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Less fat for a healthier you

Less fat for a healthier you

Fat has received so much "bad press" in the media that we sometimes forget that it is an essential part of our healthy diet. Fat helps maintain our body's temperature, protect the organs inside our body from injury, and help our body absorb vitamins A, D, E and K from our food. Our body uses fat for many things, such as to make new cells and hormones. Fat is also an important source of energy for our body.

Unfortunately, many of us are eating too much fat. This is not good for our waistline, as one gram of fat contains  the amount of calories present in one gram of carbohydrate or protein. Moreover, fatty foods, which contain saturated and trans fatty acids, can cause our cholesterol level to go up and increase our risk of getting heart diseases.

Therefore, we should limit our intake of foods that are high in fat. Here are some tips to help you get started.

Good to know
Experts recommend that our daily fat intake should not be more than 30% of our total caloric intake. For example, if your recommended total caloric intake is 2,000 kcal a day, not more than 600 kcal (approximately 67g) should come from fat.

 

Trim the Fat from Your Food

  • Choose healthier methods of cooking. Opt for healthier cooking methods such as steaming, roasting and microwaving over frying.
  • Use less oil. For dishes such as laksa lemak, nasi briyani or fried kway teow, less oil is healthier.
  • Choose low fat alternatives. For example, you can use low-fat yogurt instead of ghee for your Tandoori chicken dishes. Low-fat yogurt can also be used as a salad dressing.
  • Lean meat is better. Select lean cuts of meat and trim away any visible fat. For chicken, remove the skin before cooking.
  • Read food labels. You can check the fat content of packaged foods by reading the Nutrition Information Panel (NIP) and Guidelines Dietary Amount (GDA) on food packages.
  • Avoid food high in saturated and trans fats.Many packaged foods such as biscuits and margarine so always read food labels to check the amount present.
  • Use less santan. Coconut milk/cream has high amount of calories as well as saturated fat,
    so eat less dishes that contain coconut milk/cream. You can also replacecoconut milk/cream
    in your dishes with healthier alternatives such as low fat milk.
  • Go low fat. Choose milk and other food products labelled "low fat" or "0%".
  • Go less fat when eating out. You can request for your dishes to be prepared with less coconut milk/cream or oils.