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 2¼ 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
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.