BistroMD Health Library

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Low Fat Food List to Make Grocery Shopping Successful

Not all low-fat foods are created the same, as commercially produced low-fat foods often contain excess sugar and additives. Add these naturally, low-fat foods to your next grocery list for successful shopping and ultimate health!

Low Fat Food List to Make Grocery Shopping Successful

A "low-fat" diet is often implemented in hopes to lose weight and reduce the risk of heart disease, yet individuals often misinterpret all low-fat foods to health. However, not all low-fat foods are created the same, as commercially produced low-fat foods often contain excess sugar and additives. Add these naturally, low-fat foods to your next grocery list!

Getting to Know Fat

When it comes to fat, there are several variations - types that should be avoided, limited or increased:

Avoid Trans Fats
With such negative consequences on health, it is no wonder why the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declared the elimination of trans fat in food products by the year 2018. Trans fats are found in a wide variety of convenience products including fried foods, chips, pastries and donuts.

Limit Saturated Fats
Despite popular belief, saturated fat products can fit into a well-balanced diet. The importance, though, is keeping their intake in modest amounts and sticking to serving sizes. Healthful saturated fat products include most dairy products, beef, eggs and coconut oil.

Increase Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated Fats
Unsaturated fats encompass monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). MUFAs come from avocados, nuts and their correlated nut butters and vegetable oils including canola and olive oils while PUFAs are further broken down into omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-3s are highly recognized in the literature for their antioxidant and heart-protective properties. Sources include seed oils, chia seeds, tofu and fatty fish including herring, tuna, salmon and trout.

Low-Fat Foods List

Whole Grains
When it comes to whole grain products, they inherently contain low amounts of fat. Low-fat, fiber and nutrient-rich whole products include:

•Whole grain breads including English muffins and bagels.
•Whole grain pasta and noodles, just choose red sauces or moderate heavy creamed sauces.
•All rice, yet brown rice offers more nutrients, fiber and protein than white rice.
•Oats, just limit the butter and sugar atop of oatmeal!
•Quinoa is similar to rice but is recognized as a complete protein.
•Corn and popcorn, but be mindful of added butter and salt.

Meats and Proteins
Most animal products contain saturated fat. Though too much may negatively impact health, their intake is encouraged in moderated amounts and with low-fat options:

•Lean and ground beef.
•Chicken breasts and tenders.
•Eggs, especially egg whites or egg substitutes.
•Beans including black beans, chili beans, kidney beans and pinto beans.
•Lentils in all color forms.

Dairy Products
Dairy products provide the body with essential nutrients that keep the body healthy. "Good for you" dairy products include:

•Low-fat or skim milk.
•Fat-free or part-skim cheeses including mozzarella cheese and cottage cheese.
•Reduced fat yogurt, just be sure to check the nutrition and ingredient labels for added sugars!

Almost all fresh herbs, fruits and veggies are naturally absent of fat. Incorporating these plant-based products contribute to a healthy low-fat diet:

•Avocado is one of the exceptions to the fat rule, as the fruit contains high amounts of monounsaturated fat. Consume in modest amounts, as they are loaded with valuable nutrients.
•Vibrant berries including blueberries, strawberries and blackberries.
•Other colorful and nutrient-rich fruits including apples, bananas and oranges.
•All dark green, leafy vegetables including romaine lettuce, kale and spinach.
•Root veggies and starches including onions, beets, turnips, carrots and sweet potatoes.
•Vibrant herbs offer flavor without loading up on salt and sodium.

Putting It All Together

Need a little inspiration utilizing the low-fat food list? We have you covered! Stick to a low-fat diet with a few of these well-balanced, flavor-filled meal ideas!

Yogurt Parfaits
Instead of convenience yogurts and parfaits loaded with fat and sugar, create your own at home! Layer plain Greek yogurt with fresh berries, oats and a light drizzle of your favorite nut butter. The breakfast or snack combination is heart-protective and boasting with protein that will keep you satisfied for hours!

Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry
Create an Asian-inspired dish without all the added calories from fat-laden and sugary sauces. Prepare beef to desired internal temperature (well, medium-well, etc.) and mix into steamed broccoli and brown rice or quinoa. Drizzle with soy sauce and top with chopped scallions and peanuts.

Vegetarian Chili
Chili is a fiber and protein powerhouse, even without ground meat! Skip out on the beef and turkey and use strictly beans including chili and kidney beans. Add favorite chili seasoning and throw in fresh tomatoes and other chopped and diced veggies for added nutrients!

Fish Tacos
Fish and shellfish contain those healthy fats along with ample amounts of protein all at a low calorie cost. Use a whole grain tortilla and layer fish, fresh tomatoes and lettuce, a dollop of plain Greek yogurt, fresh cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime juice!

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