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Low-fat diet: How to save fat

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 386 views

low-fat diet is designed to help you lose or maintain weight. Many people avoid butter, oil, fatty cheeses and sausages, as well as full-fat milk, nuts and avocados. But is that effective and healthy? Learn low-fat diet tricks, alternatives to high-fat foods, and why cutting out fat completely isn’t a good idea.

What does a low-fat diet mean?

With a low-fat diet, you sometimes drastically reduce the amount of fat that you absorb through food. Depending on how extreme you implement this diet or nutrition concept, you may only consume 30 grams of fat per day.

In the case of conventional whole-food nutrition, as interpreted by the German Society for Nutrition, the recommended value is more than twice as high: around 66 grams or 30 to 35 percent of the daily energy intake. Due to the strong reduction in dietary fat, the pounds should fall or not settle back on the hips.

Even if there are no forbidden foods with this diet: With liver sausage, cream and fries you will quickly reach the daily limit for fat. Therefore, for a low-fat diet, mainly or exclusively foods with a low fat content should end up on the plate – preferably good fats such as those found in fish and vegetable oils.

Which foods are particularly low in fat?

Low-fat foods include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. They are also good for a vegan diet. Obvious sources of fat such as fat rims on meat and sausage or butter lakes in the frying pan are easy to avoid. It becomes more difficult with hidden fats, such as those found in pastries or cheese.

In the case of cheese, the amount of fat is given as an absolute percentage or as “% FiDr.”, i.e. as the fat content in the dry matter that results when the water is removed from the food .

For a low-fat diet, you have to take a close look, because a cream quark with “11.4% fat” sounds lower in fat than one with “40% dry matter.” However, both products have the same fat content. Lists from nutrition experts help to integrate a low-fat diet into everyday life as easily as possible and to avoid stumbling blocks.

We have a table of high-fat foods and lower-fat alternatives:

High-fat foods Low-fat alternatives
Butter Cream cheese, herb quark, mustard , sour cream, tomato paste
French fries, fried potatoes, croquettes, potato pancakes  Jacket potatoes, baked potatoes or baked potatoes
Pork belly, bratwurst, goose, duck  Veal, game, turkey, pork schnitzel, pork loin, chicken, skinless duck  breast
Lyoner, mortadella, salami, liver sausage, black pudding, bacon  Cooked/smoked ham  without a fat rim , low-fat sausage such as salmon ham, turkey breast, cold cuts, aspic
Fat-free alternatives to or to combine with sausage or cheese Tomato, cucumber, radish, radish slices, salad on bread or banana slices / thin apple slices, strawberries
fish sticks Steamed, low-fat fish
Tuna, salmon, mackerel, herring  Cod, saithe, steamed haddock
milk, yoghurt (3.5% fat)  milk, yoghurt (1.5% fat)
Cream quark (11.4% fat = 40% solids) Quark (5.1% fat = 20% solids)
Double cream cheese (31.5% fat)  Layer cheese (2.0% fat = 10% solids)
Fat cheese (>15% fat = 30% dry matter)  Low-fat cheeses (max. 15% fat = max. 30% dry matter)
Creme fraiche (40% fat)  Sour cream (10% fat)
Mascarpone (47,5% Fett) grainy cream cheese (2.9% fat)
Fruit cake with shortcrust pastry  Fruit cake with yeast or biscuit dough
Sponge cakes, cream cakes, chocolate biscuits, shortbread, chocolate, bars Low-fat sweets such as Russian bread, ladyfingers, dried fruit, gummy bears, fruit gums, mini chocolate cakes (beware of sugar!)
Nut nougat cream, chocolate slices  Grainy cream cheese with some jam
Croissants Lye croissants, wholemeal rolls, yeast pastries 
nuts, potato chips  Pretzel sticks or pretzels
cream ice cream  sherbet 
Black olives (35.8% fat)  green olives (13.3% fat)

How can you eat a low-fat diet?

In addition to exchanging the ingredients, there are a few other tricks you can use to integrate a low-fat diet into your everyday life:

  • Steaming, stewing and grilling are fat-saving cooking methods for a low-fat diet.
  • Cook in the Roman pot or with special stainless steel pots. Food can also be prepared without fat in coated pans or in foil.
  • You can also save fat with a pump sprayer: Fill in about half the oil and half the water, shake and spray the base of the cookware with it before frying. If you don’t have a pump sprayer, you can grease the cookware with a brush – this also saves fat.
  • For a low-fat diet in cream sauces or casseroles, replace half the cream with milk.
  • Allow soups and sauces to cool, then skim the fat from the surface.
  • Prepare sauces with a little oil, sour cream or milk.
  • Roast and vegetable stocks can best be thickened with pureed vegetables or grated raw potatoes for a low-fat diet.
  • Place parchment paper or foil on the baking sheet, then there is no need to grease it.
  • Just put a small piece of butter and fresh herbs on vegetable dishes and the eye will eat it too.
  • Bind cream dishes with gelatine.

What does a low-fat diet do?

Fat provides vital (essential) fatty acids. In addition, the body needs fat to be able to absorb certain vitamins (A, D, E, K) from food. Eliminating fat from your diet altogether is therefore not a good idea.

In fact, however, especially in wealthy industrial nations, significantly more fat is consumed every day than recommended by experts. One problem with this: fat is particularly rich in energy – one gram of it contains 9.3 calories, twice as much as one gram of carbohydrates or protein .

Increased fat intake therefore promotes obesity. In addition, too many saturated fatty acids, such as those found in butter, lard or chocolate, are said to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and even cancer. A low-fat diet could prevent both problems.

Low-Fat Diet: How Healthy Is It Really?

Nutrition experts have long believed that a low-fat diet is the key to slimming and health. Butter, cream and red meat, on the other hand, were considered a danger to the heart, blood values ​​and scales. However, a growing body of research suggests that fat is not as harmful as previously thought.

In contrast to a low-fat diet, test subjects were better able to stick to a Mediterranean diet with lots of vegetable oil and fish, were healthier and still did not become overweight.

American researchers found when comparing different studies on the subject of fat that there is no connection between the consumption of saturated fatty acids and the risk of coronary heart disease. Also, there was no clear scientific evidence that low-fat diets prolong life.

Only so-called trans fats , which are produced during frying and the partial hardening of vegetable fats (in French fries, crisps, ready-made baked goods, etc.), were classified as dangerous by the scientists.

Learn more about trans fats here .

Anyone who only or mainly eats low-fat or fat-free foods is probably eating more consciously overall, but runs the risk of not getting enough of the good fats. There is also a risk of a lack of fat-soluble vitamins, which our body needs fat to absorb.

Low-fat diet: Conclusion

A low-fat diet requires you to think about the foods you want to consume. As a result, you are more likely to buy, cook and eat more consciously.

When it comes to weight loss, however, it is not primarily where the calories come from that counts, but that you take in fewer of them per day than you use up. What’s more, essential fats are necessary for general health, since without them the body would not be able to utilize certain nutrients and would not be able to carry out certain metabolic processes.

In summary, this means: A low-fat diet can be an effective means of weight control or one to compensate for fat indulgences. However, it is not advisable to completely avoid dietary fat.

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