Eating a Low-Fat Diet
Tips for Low-fat Cooking
Use low-fat cooking methods: broil,
steam, roast, bake, microwave, grill,
braise, boil, simmer, poach, stir-fry.
These methods are low-fat only if you
don’t add fat while cooking.
Limit high-fat cooking methods such as
frying, sautéing, basting with fat, and
cooking in fatty sauces and
Use herbs, spices, marinades, salsa, fla-
vored vinegars, and fat-free salad dress-
ing, rather than butter, margarine, or oil
to add flavor to foods.
Chill soups and stews and skim off the
fat before serving.
Drain and rinse cooked ground beef un-
der hot water before adding it to spa-
ghetti sauce, tacos, or similar
Use ground round for recipes such as
meatloaf and meatballs where it is
difficult to drain excess fat.
Use jams and preserves which are natu-
rally fat-free on toast and bagels in-
stead of butter, margarine, or cream
Use low-fat or fat-free salad dressings.
Measure the amount you use or dip the
forks tines in dressing to get just a taste.
Prepared by: Mary Wilson, M.S., R.D., Nutrition
Specialist, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.
The University of Nevada, Reno is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer
and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, creed, national
origin, veteran status, physical and mental disability and in accordance with university
policy, sexual orientation, in any program or activity it operates. The University of
Nevada employs only United States citizens and aliens lawfully authorized to work in
the United States.
Tips for Low-fat Dining
Whenever possible, choose restaurants that
offer a variety of selections. A broader
menu will make it easier to choose low-fat
Ask how foods are prepared. Ask for items
to be prepared without butter or margarine
and have any sauces and salad dressing
served on the side so you can control the
Check the menu for those items that are
baked, broiled, grilled, steamed, poached,
boiled, or stir-fried.
Ask for the chef’s recommendation for a
When your choices are limited, use your
knife and fork to trim calories. Cut fats
from meats, remove skin from poultry, and
peel off deep-fried batters. Push gravy,
rich sauces, toppings and dressing aside.
Don’t add extra fat to your food. Skip the
butter on your bread or potato and ask for
salad dressing on the side.
Watch out for large portion sizes. If the
portion you receive is too large, cut it in
half and take the rest home for another
Steer away from items described as
“buttery,” “creamy,” “fried,” “with
cheese,” “breaded,” “scalloped,”
“sautéed,” “Alfredo,” or “au gratin,” etc.
If you want dessert, eat only half or split it
with someone. Better yet, order fresh fruit,
sorbet, or sherbet.
Fried shrimp with
Some Better Choices
Ham or Canadian bacon
Baked chicken without
Non-fat or low-fat frozen
Angel food cake
Fat-free or 1% milk
Spaghetti with marinara
Boiled or grilled shrimp
with cocktail sauce
Ham or turkey
Soft chicken tacos
Cheese pizza with veggies
(light on the cheese)
Bean or broth-based soup
Oven-baked fries or a
Ground round or extra-
lean ground beef
Low-fat or fat-free
Egg substitutes or egg
Fact Sheet 99-02
Prepared by University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
and the University of Nevada School of Medicine.
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