Low Fat Cooking Techniques
There's just nothing more all-American and satisfying than fried chicken and French fries! But while they may taste great, they're very high in saturated fat and that may not be good for your heart and your weight.
Once you know how to prepare a healthy, flavorful alternative such as breaded and baked skinless chicken breasts with baked potatoes you won't even miss all that fat. One of the easiest ways to cut fat in your diet is to cut it out of your cooking.
Cooking the Low-fat Way
There's a wealth of healthy options for preparing meat, poultry, seafood and vegetables:
- Broiling is a fast way to prepare meat, poultry, fish and even vegetables. Food is cooked under a direct heat source, and the fat drains away into the bottom of the broiling pan.
- Braising means cooking food slowly on low heat in a little water, wine or broth in a tightly covered pot or Dutch oven. Braising can be done on top of the stove or in the oven. You should brown the food first to create a crust that seals in the foods moisture. Use a heart-healthy oil like canola or olive for browning. Braising is especially good for tougher cuts of meat.
- Grilling is cooking food over hot coals or a fuel such as gas. It's a naturally low-fat cooking method because the fat drains away from the food. Meat, poultry, fish and veggies are all well suited to grilling.
- Microwaving cooks food from all directions. The key is turning the food frequently to ensure that it cooks evenly. Microwaving works well with fish, poultry and vegetables.
- Poaching means gently simmering food, especially poultry or seafood, in broth, wine or water.
- Roasting uses the dry heat of the oven. Typically, food roasted uncovered in a shallow pan yields a tender center with a nice exterior crust. Roasting doesn't use liquid, although you can baste meats and poultry with broth or a low-fat marinade. Choose tender cuts of meat or poultry.
- Steaming is cooking food on a rack or in a steamer basket over simmering water in a covered pot. Because steaming is gentler than boiling, it doesn't wash away a food's nutrients, and it preserves flavor and texture.
- Stir-frying is heart-healthy and easy: All you do is cook vegetables in a small amount of oil, stirring as you're cooking, and then add beef, chicken or seafood and continue cooking. The food cooks quickly, and vegetables stay crisp-tender.
Remember: A low-fat diet starts in your kitchen. If most of your cooking consists of breading and deep-frying, its time to change your ways! So, break out the roasting pan, steamer basket and wok and start eating the healthy, low-fat way!
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