Cut the fat!

After the holidays, any resolution is worthwhile to reduce your fat consumption. We offer some ideas on how to cut fat from your diet, whether you simply want to shed some pounds or gain more control over your health.

Here is a reference table to check out for those who want to reduce their fat intake without sacrificing taste

  • Instead of this... sausage, salami and mortadella... Choose that! Opt for lean cold meats in your sandwiches or paninis: turkey breast, ham, roast beef or pork, prosciutto or pastrami.
  • Instead of this... Bacon or lardon... Choose that! Add diced smoked ham (Black Forest) to your pasta dish or Caesar salad.
  • Instead of this... Potatoes fried in oil... Choose that! Coat your potatoes in a little canola or olive oil, place on a baking sheet and cook at a high temperature in the oven.
  • Instead of this... Potato chips... Choose that! Munch on some pretzels or plain popcorn. Make pita chips by cutting each pita into triangles, then place the pieces on a baking sheet and dry in the oven for a few minutes.
  • Instead of this... Mayonnaise... Choose that! Spread a thin layer of pesto on your sandwich (basil or sun-dried tomato) or a yogurt-based spread (tzaziki), vegetable spread (red pepper, eggplant, guacamole) or a legume spread (hummus, lentil).
  • Instead of this... Cream soups... Choose that! Adding cream is not always necessary if soup is thick enough: just add less broth when you put your vegetables in the blender.
  • Instead of this... Rich desserts... Choose that! Save the fat (and some money) by replacing 35% cream with 15% country cream. If you like the taste, you can also replace half the cream in a recipe (ex. panna cotta) with 1% buttermilk.
  • Instead of this... Croissants, Danishes, brioches... Choose that! If you have a sweet tooth, spread honey or maple butter on a good raisin or nut bread. Pancakes and French toast with fresh fruit on the side are also tasty and healthy choices.
  • Instead of this... Quick breads and muffins... Choose that! Replace half the quantity of oil in a recipe with unsweetened applesauce or prune puree (throw an equal amount of prunes and hot water in the blender). You can do the same with dried apricots. As an added bonus, you get fibre, vitamins and minerals.
  • Instead of this... Sour cream... Choose that! Use plain yogurt or thick labneh (strained yogurt). You can also strain plain yogurt through a cheesecloth, leaving it to drip for a thicker consistency.
  • Instead of this... Fresh cream... Choose that! Cut the 40% content of cream in half with thick plain yogurt (Greek type). This is the secret of many pastry chefs!
  • Instead of ice cream... Choose that! Treat yourself to sorbet made with fresh fruit or frozen yogurt. Yogurt tubes can also be frozen. If your teeth are not sensitive to cold, enjoy some thawed frozen fruit: mango, blueberry, raspberry or grape cubes.

Hélène Laurendeau

A nutrition and health enthusiast who loves to share: this description fits Hélène Laurendeau to a tee. She has been active for more than 25 years in the media and communications field. Nutritionist, host, columnist, author and speaker, Hélène holds a Bachelor degree in Nutrition and a Master degree in Epidemiology. She has spread her knowledge alongside Ricardo every week since 2005, as part of his daily show broadcast on ICI Radio-Canada Télé, as well as in Ricardo magazine, where she pens the Bien se nourrir (Eating Well) column.