Step. 2 ‘EAT’ Low Fat Cooking Methods

Cooking Method

Alternative

Deep-fry

  • try roasting meat/chicken/fish or vegetables instead in the oven (see ‘roasting’).

Shallow Fry

  • try using a non-stick frying pan or wok.
  • use just a small amount of oil or oil spray such as canola, sunflower or olive. Measure with a teaspoon (one per serve) rather than just pouring.
  • add a little water or stock when needed to keep the pan/wok moist if needed.

Roasting

  • choose lean cuts of meat, or trim all visible fat. Place meat on a roasting/cake rack in a baking dish with 1-2cm of water. Add herbs, spices and/or mustard to meat or wine to the water for extra flavour.
  • try brushing meat with a marinade to prevent the meat drying out. Or cover meat with a lid or aluminium foil for part of the cooking time to retain moisture.
  • roast vegetables;
    • peel or wash the vegetables and make sure you dry them well with a clean paper or tea towel.
    • toss first with a little unsaturated oil (using a plastic bag is great for this).
    • Use baking paper on the tray for easy washing-up.
  • plan the cooking times to take out the meat 10 mins before the vegetables are done. Cover meat to rest for 10 mins before slicing. This helps meat to stay moist.

Casserole/Stew

  • trim all visible fat off meat before cooking and remove chicken skin.
  • add lots of vegetables and or legumes
  • after cooking, chill the casserole/stew so that any fat hardens on the surface. Skim this off before reheating and thickening.
    • If you’re in a hurry, drop in some ice cubes to cool the surface quickly.

Cooking Ingredient

Alternative

Milk/Yoghurt/Cream

  • use low or reduced fat varieties.
  • ricotta or blended cottage cheese with a small amount of icing sugar with or without vanilla is a great alternative for whipped cream.
  • light and creamy evaporated milk or double strength made up powdered skim milk, can be used in soups, quiches, sauces and casseroles instead of cream for a rich flavour. Add some blended cornflour to thicken if needed.

Sour Cream

  • blend cottage cheese or ricotta & low or reduced fat milk to thin cream like consistency. Add a small amount of lemon juice or vinegar, if desired to create a sour flavour.
  • use low or reduced fat natural yoghurt (great on jacket potatoes, Mexican dishes and home made potato wedges).
  • use light & creamy (skim) evaporated milk with a dash of lemon juice or buttermilk instead of sour cream in cooking.

Cheese

  • try to reduce the amount needed
  • use reduced fat cheese varieties
  • parmesan cheese gives more flavour & less is needed, use a fine grater – you need less cheese
  • mix grated reduced fat cheese with oats or breadcrumbs for toppings on baked dishes.
  • Use a potato peeler for thin shaved slices for sandwiches and toast.

Butter/margarine/oil

  • use unsaturated margarine instead of butter, dairy blends, lard, copha or cooking fat
  • reduced fat or light spreads are lower in kilojoules and great for spreading but sometimes not good for cooking
  • use a variety of oils for cooking including canola, sunflower, olive, peanut and sesame oil – depending on the flavour.
  • measure oil in cooking with a teaspoon, rather than pouring. Add just one teaspoon per serve.
  • reduce the amount of margarine or oil used or leave out if possible (such as on bread).
  • use ricotta, cottage cheese, hummus, avocado or unsalted nut spreads as an alternative spread on bread for variety.

Step. 2 ‘EAT’ FAT LESSON 1 0 1!

Fat are an essential part of our diet and is important for good health. There are different types of fats, with some fats being healthier than others. To help make sure you stay healthy, it is important to eat unsaturated fats in small amounts as part of a balanced diet.

When eaten in large amounts, all fats, including healthy fats, can contribute to weight gain. Fat is higher in energy (kilojoules) than any other nutrient and so eating less fat overall is likely to help with weight loss.

Eating less saturated and trans fats may help lower your risk of heart disease. When buying products check the labels and choose the varieties that are lower in saturated and trans fats and higher in poly and monounsaturated fats.

So a diet that is low in saturated fats and trans fats, but that also includes moderate amounts of unsaturated fats will help you stay healthy.

Image of man reading a food label at a supermarket to illustrate the importance of reading labels.

Saturated fats

Eating greater amounts of saturated fat is linked with an increased risk of heart disease and high blood cholesterol levels. These fats are usually solid at room temperature and are found in:

Animal-based products:

Dairy foods – such as butter, cream, full fat milk and cheese

  • Meat – such as fatty cuts of beef, pork and lamb and chicken (especially chicken skin), processed meats like salami, Some plant-derived products:
  • Palm oil
  • Coconut
  • Coconut milk and cream
  • Cooking margarine

Many manufactured and packaged foods:

  • Fatty snack foods (such as potato chips, savoury crackers)
  • Deep fried and high fat take away foods (such as hot chips, pizza, hamburgers)
  • Cakes and high fat muffins
  • Pastries and pies (including quiche, tarts, sausage rolls, pasties, croissants)
  • Sweet and savoury biscuits

Unsaturated fats

Unsaturated fats are an important part of a healthy diet. These fats help reduce the risk of heart disease and lower cholesterol levels (among other health benefits) when they replace saturated fats in the diet.

There are two main types of unsaturated fats:

Polyunsaturated fats:

  • omega-3 fats which are found in fish, especially oily fish
  • omega-6 fats which are found in some oils such as safflower and soybean oil, along with some nuts, including brazil nuts.

Monounsaturated fats:

  • found in olive and canola oil, avocados and some nuts, such as cashews and almonds.
An image of almonds to illustrate a potential source of monounsaturated fats.

Trans fats

Trans fats are unsaturated fats that have been processed and as a result, behave like saturated fats. Eating trans fats increases the levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol and decreases the levels of ‘good’ cholesterol in the body which is a major risk factor for heart disease. It is important to lower the amounts of trans fats you eat to help you stay healthy.

Trans fats are found in many packaged foods and also in butter and some margarines. Use food labels to compare foods and choose those with fewer trans fats.

It is great for health to replace saturated and trans fats with mono and polyunsaturated fats.

Source: Dietitians Association of Australia.

Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a type of fat found in food, but also in our blood. Cholesterol has many important functions in the body but having high levels of the wrong type of cholesterol in the blood increases heart disease risk.

It was once thought that eating too many cholesterol-containing foods (such as eggs) was the major dietary cause of high blood cholesterol level. But we now know that eating too many foods containing higher amounts of saturated and trans fats is a bigger problem and has a much greater influence on blood cholesterol levels.

Step. 2 ‘Eat’ How much are you eating?

Do you know what to eat but no sure how much to eat here’s a guide for you.. From eatforhealth.gov.au

A standard serve is about 75g (100–350kJ) or:

  • ½ cup cooked green or orange vegetables (for example, broccoli, spinach, carrots or pumpkin)
  • ½ cup cooked dried or canned beans, peas or lentils (preferably with no added salt)
  • 1 cup green leafy or raw salad vegetables
  • ½ cup sweet corn
  • ½ medium potato or other starchy vegetables (sweet potato, taro or cassava)
  • 1 medium tomato

A standard serve is about 150g (350kJ) or:

  • 1 medium apple, banana, orange or pear
  • 2 small apricots, kiwi fruits or plums
  • 1 cup diced or canned fruit (no added sugar)

Or only occasionally:

  • 125ml (½ cup) fruit juice (no added sugar)
  • 30g dried fruit (for example, 4 dried apricot halves, 1½ tablespoons of sultanas)

A standard serve is (500kJ) or:

  • 1 slice (40g) bread
  • ½ medium (40g) roll or flat bread
  • ½ cup (75-120g) cooked rice, pasta, noodles, barley, buckwheat, semolina, polenta, bulgur or quinoa
  • ½ cup (120g) cooked porridge
  •  ²/³ cup (30g) wheat cereal flakes
  • ¼ cup (30g) muesli
  • 3 (35g) crispbreads
  • 1 (60g) crumpet
  • 1 small (35g) English muffin or scone

*Grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain and/or high cereal fibre varieties

A standard serve is (500–600kJ):

  • 65g cooked lean red meats such as beef, lamb, veal, pork, goat or kangaroo (about 90-100g raw)
  • 80g cooked lean poultry such as chicken or turkey (100g raw)
  • 100g cooked fish fillet (about 115g raw) or one small can of fish
  • 2 large (120g) eggs
  • 1 cup (150g) cooked or canned legumes/beans such as lentils, chick peas or split peas (preferably with no added salt)
  • 170g tofu
  • 30g nuts, seeds, peanut or almond butter or tahini or other nut or seed paste (no added salt)*

*Only to be used occasionally as a substitute for other foods in the group (note: this amount for nuts and seeds gives approximately the same amount of energy as the other foods in this group but will provide less protein, iron or zinc).

A standard serve is (500–600kJ):

  • 1 cup (250ml) fresh, UHT long life, reconstituted powdered milk or buttermilk
  • ½ cup (120ml) evaporated milk
  • 2 slices (40g) or 4 x 3 x 2cm cube (40g) of hard cheese, such as cheddar
  • ½ cup (120g) ricotta cheese
  • ¾ cup (200g) yoghurt
  • 1 cup (250ml) soy, rice or other cereal drink with at least 100mg of added calcium per 100ml

*Choose mostly reduced fat

If you do not eat any foods from this group, try the following foods, which contain about the same amount of calcium as a serve of milk, yoghurt, cheese or alternatives (note: the kilojoule content of some of these serves (especially nuts) is higher so watch this if trying to lose weight).

  • 100g almonds with skin
  • 60g sardines, canned in water
  • ½ cup (100g) canned pink salmon with bones
  • 100g firm tofu (check the label as calcium levels vary)

Step. 2 ‘EAT’ Want to take the first steps to improving your health?

Evidence suggests Australians need to eat more:

  • vegetables and legumes/beans
  • fruits
  • wholegrain cereals
  • reduced fat milk, yoghurt, cheese
  • fish, seafood, poultry, eggs, legumes/beans (including soy), and nuts and seeds.
  • red meat (young females only) Ladies more red meat 

Evidence suggests Australians need to eat less:

  • starchy vegetables (i.e. there is a need to include a wider variety of different types and colours of vegetables)  ie. Beans, Beets, Carrots, Corn, Green Peas, White potatos. 
  • refined cereals ie. Those supermarket bought cereals
  • high and medium fat dairy foods
  • red meats (adult males only) Men need to cut down on those steaks 
  • food and drinks high in saturated fat, added sugar, added salt, or alcohol (e.g. fried foods, most take-away foods from quick service restaurants, cakes and biscuits, chocolate and confectionery, sweetened drinks).

Step. 2 ‘EAT’ Say no to ‘diets’ and ‘detox’

To the person that created diets and detox shame on you. Misleading people to believe in them is so wrong it so many ways. I cringe every-time someone says ‘I’m on a diet’ ‘I’m doing a detox’ It is really bad for you to do any diets or detox programs. A lot of diets make you cut out essential nutrients and other necessary foods. People are uneducated and mislead by society and believe they are doing the right thing. I strongly disagree with diets and they never been on one and not planning to do so. We are so blessed that we live in a country with Guidelines to Healthy Eating. Below is everything you need to know about a healthy and balanced diet! http://www.eatforhealth.gov.au

An image of the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating food plate poster

There are five principal recommendations featured in the Australian Dietary Guidelines. Each Guideline is considered to be equally important in terms of public health outcomes.

Guideline 1

To achieve and maintain a healthy weight, be physically active and choose amounts of nutritious food and drinks to meet your energy needs

  • Children and adolescents should eat sufficient nutritious foods to grow and develop normally. They should be physically active every day and their growth should be checked regularly.
  • Older people should eat nutritious foods and keep physically active to help maintain muscle strength and a healthy weight.

Guideline 2

Enjoy a wide variety of nutritious foods from these five groups every day:

  • Plenty of vegetables, including different types and colours, and legumes/beans
  • Fruit
  • Grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain and/or high cereal fibre varieties, such as breads, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles, polenta, couscous, oats, quinoa and barley
  • Lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, and legumes/beans
  • Milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or their alternatives, mostly reduced fat (reduced fat milks are not suitable for children under the age of 2 years)

And drink plenty of water.

Guideline 3

Limit intake of foods containing saturated fat, added salt, added sugars and alcohol

a. Limit intake of foods high in saturated fat such as many biscuits, cakes, pastries,
pies, processed meats, commercial burgers, pizza, fried foods, potato chips,
crisps and other savoury snacks.

  • Replace high fat foods which contain predominantly saturated fats such as butter, cream, cooking margarine, coconut and palm oil with foods which contain predominantly polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats such as oils, spreads, nut butters/pastes and avocado.
  • Low fat diets are not suitable for children under the age of 2 years.

b. Limit intake of foods and drinks containing added salt.

  • Read labels to choose lower sodium options among similar foods.
  • Do not add salt to foods in cooking or at the table.

c. Limit intake of foods and drinks containing added sugars such as confectionary, sugar-sweetened soft drinks and cordials, fruit drinks, vitamin waters, energy and
sports drinks.

d. If you choose to drink alcohol, limit intake. For women who are pregnant, planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding, not drinking alcohol is the safest option.

Guideline 4

Encourage, support and promote breastfeeding

Guideline 5

Care for your food; prepare and store it safely