1. Measuring oils in cooking with a teaspoon will help regulate the amount used, or try an oil spray, which gives a thin coating of oil. Use a non-stick frying pan to reduce the amount of oil needed.
2. Use lean cuts of meat and mince, light meats tend to be naturally lower in fat than dark meats. Processed meats such as burgers and sausages are often even higher in fat.
3. Remove the skin and cut the visible fat from meat. This fat is high in saturated fat and therefore can increase levels of bad cholesterol in the blood.
4. Skim or drain any excess fat from dishes such as stews or casseroles. Add extra vegetables, which are naturally low in fat and high in fibre, to dishes such as meat pasta sauces or lasagne
5. Cooking methods such as boiling, steaming and poaching reduce the amount of fat added in the cooking process. When roasting or grilling use roasting rack to allow fats to drip away from the meat.
6. Use herbs and spices to generate more flavour without having to rely on butter or sauces. If cooking with nuts, reduce the portion size and heat in dry pan to intensify flavour.
7. Try using low fat products such as skimmed milk or reduced fat cheese and yoghurt. Alternatively try using a small quantity of a stronger flavoured cheese. Substitute soured creams with low fat crème fraiche or quark when making sauces.
8. Beware of confectionary foods such as crisps and chocolate or pastry dishes. These are very high in fat instead try swapping for a more nutritious snack or limiting portion sizes.
9. Avoid high fat puddings which are empty calories. Swap these for more nutritious options incorporating fruit, which give a natural sweetness.
10. If baking, experiment with removing some of the fat and replacing with unsweetened apple sauce or fruit purees. The lower fat recipe may require a reduced baking time to prevent drying out.
Steve Fennell HCPC Registered Dietician