Whether you've been put on a diet to lose weight, or are just looking for ways to cut unnecessary fat from your diet, choosing low-fat foods doesn't have to be bland or boring. In fact, many of your favorite and flavorful foods have little or no fat in them, and can be enjoyed at all meals. Low-fat foods can be categorized much like the food pyramid; fruits and vegetables, bread and grain, beans and legumes, dairy products, and other foods that are low in fat and help to make up a healthy diet.
Dairy products are enjoyed daily by most people in the United States. You can save yourself unnecessary fat intake by switching to a low-fat or skim milk. Look for products like low-fat yogurt and fat-free cheese that you can substitute for higher-fat counterparts for snacks and in recipes. Use fat-free whipped topping on your desserts, and finish a meal off with low-fat frozen yogurt, instead of higher-fat ice cream products.
Meat and Fish
Some meats are surprisingly low in fat and a good way to add protein that will keep you full longer, and aid in maintaining healthy muscles. Instead of beginning the morning with a few pieces of bacon, swap your fatty breakfast meats out for leaner cuts, like turkey bacon or Canadian bacon. Have lunch with low-fat and low-sodium lunch meats. For dinner, look for the leanest type of ground beef or find boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Port tenderloin is also low in fat, as is most types of fish, including salmon, tuna and trout.
Breads and Grains
Breads and grains are a low-fat way to get more fiber into your diet without adding fat. Rice and noodles, especially brown rice or whole wheat noodles are low in fat and can be prepared with low-fat sauces and dressings to give them extra flavor. Oatmeal is a low-fat way to start off your day, as are whole-wheat and grain-based cereals like shredded wheat, puffed wheat or crispy rice.
Snacks and Baked Goods
Just because you're eating lower-fat foods doesn't mean you have to sacrifice snacks and sweets altogether. Indulge occasionally on low-fat fare like air-popped or low-fat microwave popcorn, light angel food cake served with strawberries and low-fat whipped topping, low-fat cookies and crackers like graham crackers and fig cookies. Look for snacks that have "fat free" or "low fat" on the package, and keep an eye on the recommended serving size so that you stay within the low-fat spectrum.
Sauces and Dressings
A fatty dressing can take a healthy green salad and turn it into a meal that has the same amount of fat as a hamburger. Take care that you use sauces and dressings sparingly, and if you need to, choose low-fat alternatives like vinaigrette over creamy dressings for salads, or lemon juice or applesauce over meat and poultry dishes. Jelly is a low-fat alternative to peanut butter on toast, and use a spray oil instead of butter for readying pans for cooking.