According to the Institute of Medicine’s Guidelines, only 20-30 percent of our daily calories should come from fat. Preparing meals at home helps to keep a close watch over the calories and eliminate unhealthy fats. However, don’t go overboard because some fats (unsaturated) are good for the heart. Most people love cheese, but it is chock-full of fat and when you choose the low fat varieties of cheddar for example, you get a rubbery, salty mess that doesn’t taste anything like the cheese you know and love. Why not opt for cheeses that are naturally low in fat content.
For example, feta and goat’s cheese are good for salads, sandwiches and dishes that list cheese as an ingredient. Because of the pungent flavor of feta and goat’s cheese, you also end up using a lesser quantity of cheese in anything you prepare. Other options include low fat cottage cheese or ricotta cheese for lasagna and other baked dishes. Broiling, roasting and grilling are some of the healthier methods for cooking meats as opposed to frying meat.
Cooking methods like deep frying, pan frying and braising are all to be avoided. You should also avoid the fattier cuts of meat. Fish can be grilled or broiled and will taste just as good with some lemon juice and a few other spices. Choose lean steaks like flank or round for steak dinners and marinade the meat in a mix of garlic, lemon juice and soy sauce. This will help to tenderize the meat and flavor it without the need for fat rich marinades. Always take the time to trim as much fat as possible from the meat and remove all the skin from chicken before cooking. You can reduce the quantity of meat especially ground meat in recipes with beans.
Black eyed beans and pinto beans are very healthy and have a low fat content. You can use a mix of boiled beans and ground meat for burgers, meatloaf and chili preparations. Add the spices and chopped bell peppers and the burger will be just as tasty. There is no rule that says all frying has to be done with lard or butter.
You can use broth quite effectively to reduce the cholesterol and fat levels in the cooking. Cook vegetables in broth and add broth instead of butter to mashed potatoes. You can also keep some of the water you boiled them in to moisten them for mashing. Healthy cooking takes a bit of effort initially, but very soon becomes a part of your regular cooking methods.