There are many simple substitutions we can make while cooking, and especially baking that will reduce the amount of fat in the foods we make. Reducing overall fat intake is important because obesity is a leading precursor to diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Another thing we can do to improve our health is to replace bad fats with good fats. Bad fats are the ones that will raise cholesterol levels and cause obesity. Good fats actually lower cholesterol levels and are used for other things inside the body, so are not stored as fat under our skin as much. Both reducing overall fat levels, and substitution of fats will make your cooking much more healthy and will not decrease the taste of the food.
Here are some simple things we can do re reduce the amount of fat or replace bad fat with good fat
1. Use non-stick sprays instead of margarine or butter on your baking pans. Margarine is loaded with trans fats, a harmful type of fat. Adding it to the foods you cook when a cheap and readily available non-stick spray is available is a great way to make your food unhealthy for no reason. Even better yet, make your own sprayer and use canola or olive oil. These two oils contain good fats which will lower cholesterol levels.
2. Grill, broil or steam cook your food instead of frying. Whenever possible while cooking, use a method other than frying to cook the food. Even microwaving the food is a healthier option than loading the food up with fat from oils. If frying is necessary, always use olive or canola oil to replace bad fats with good fats.
3. Remove fat from meats, especially red meat and chicken. This begins at the grocery store. Choose the leanest types of meats available. When buying chicken, buy skinless chicken. Once at home, trim off all the fat you can see, especially large pieces on the outside. Finally, after cooking, drain the meat completely and blot dry with a paper towel.
4. Substitute fish for red meat. Whenever possible, try to add fish to your cooking rather than red meat. Fish contains fat that is beneficial to the body, while red meat contains saturated fat.
Another important goal should also be to substitute good fats with bad fats. While many people do not realize it, there are fats that actually can lower our cholesterol and are needed by the body for important functions like reducing joint paint. These good fats are also more easily used by the body which means they won't be stored. The two major bad fats that we ingest are saturated fats which mainly come from meat products, and trans fats which come in foods that are made with partially hydrogenated oil. The good fats are called mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats and come to us mainly from healthy oils and fish.