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04/06/2009 - Articles

How to Choose Low-Fat Food

By: The Swiss Association for Nutrition (SAN)

Funny as it may sound, fat reduction actually starts in the head! Anyone who for health reasons wants to reduce the amount of fat in his or her daily diet needs to know what low-fat .

Funny as it may sound, fat reduction actually starts in the head! Anyone who for health reasons wants to reduce the amount of fat in his or her daily diet needs to know what low-fat alternatives there are to high-fat food and to be able to make the right choices. This not only applies to planning one's menus at home, but is also important for those who often eat out - of the the many dishes on offer, you can only make a healthy choice if you know what the low-fat options are. Some suggestions are provided in the following list.

Type of food Replace high-fat foods... ... with lower-fat alternatives
Soups high-fat broths, cream soups low-fat vegetable and meat soups, most ready-to-eat soups (provided that no cream is added during preparation)
Sauces cream sauce, butter sauce, béarnaise sauce, hollandaise sauce, mayonnaise (incl. light mayonnaise), pesto, certain ready-to-eat sauces, sauce cubes or pastes (read the nutritional information on the pack) tomato sauce, ketchup, tomato purée, low-fat cooking sauce, many ready-to-eat sauces (read the nutritional data; up to 5 g fat/dl is low fat), home-made sauces from meat stock without any supplementary fat, sauces from yogurt, light quark, soya sauce
Meat, meat products and sausage
Where possible, always cut off any visible fat
Breaded meat or fatty meat e.g. minced meat, marinated beef, salted or pickled pork products, mutton, duck, goose, sausage meat.
Bacon, meat loaf, preserved meat, terrines and paté.
Sausage and sausage products, salami
Lean beef, veal, horsemeat,
Roast beef, lean boiling beef, turkey ham, ham, dried beef (e.g. Bündnerfleisch).
Fish and seafood, tinned products Tinned fish preserved in oil, such as tuna, anchovies or sardines
Fish with fatty sauces (melted butter, mayonnaise, béarnaise etc.)
High-fat types of preparation, e.g. deep-fried or breaded fish, such as octopus in batter, fish fingers, frito misto
Sardines and tuna in water, without oil.
Relatively low-fat fish include perch, pike, carp, trout, whiting, plaice, sole, cod, and seafoods of all kinds.
High-fat fish such as eel, herring, salmon etc. contain a lot of health-promoting omega-3 fatty acid
Low-fat types of preparation are preferable (smoked, grilled, poached or steamed fish)
Milk and dairy products Single cream (25% fat), full-fat cream (or whipping cream), sour double cream (crème fraiche), sauce cream, Mascapone, double cream.
Whole milk, condensed milk, some cocoa-containing breakfast drinks (read the information on the pack)
Light cream, sour single cream (15% fat)
Skimmed milk, low-fat milk, buttermilk, drinking whey, sour milk, yogurt drink.
Yogurt, kefir
Cheese Cream quark
All semi-fat and full fat cheese, cream and double cream cheese.
Cheese dishes such as cheesecake, quiche lorraine, fondue and raclette.
Low-fat or light quark, cottage cheese, blanc battu without the fat, semi- or low-fat cheese (max. 30% fat)
Bread and dough Croissants, wholemeal croissants, butter-enriched bread.
Cake dough, puff pastry
Breads of all kinds, rusks, rolls, crispbreads.
Pizza dough
Grains and cereal products Some muesli and cornflake brands (read the data on the pack)
Pasta products made with fat or cheese, e.g. egg noodles fried in butter, lasagne, spag-hetti in a pesto sauce etc.
Wheat, barley, rye, oats, maize, rice, spelt, millet, buckwheat, amaranth and quinoa and their products, such as flour, semolina, flakes, pasta, egg noodles etc.
Potatoes Chips (french fries), fried potatoes, roast potatoes, croquettes, potato gratin with cream. Salted potatoes, potatoes boiled in their skins, mashed potato, potato stock (with only a little cream or butter), baked potatoes, potato gratin (without cream, a little cheese) Savoyard potatoes
Pulses Soya beans, soya flour Lentils of all kinds (red, green etc.), peas of all kinds (green, yellow, chickpeas), beans of all kinds (green beans, dried beans, red kidney beans, borlotti beans, soisson beans etc.), tofu
Vegetables and mushrooms Ready-to-eat products such as cream spinach, vegetables in high-fat sauces, ready-to-eat salads with mayonnaise or cream sauces, vegetables either baked or preserved in oil Any fresh, deep-frozen, dried or tinned vegetables
Fruit Avocado, olives Any fresh, deep-frozen, dried fruit, compôte, fruit juice etc.
Nuts and seeds Although nuts, almonds, sesame and poppy seeds, linseed etc. are healthy, they are rich in fats and should be eaten in moderation. Chestnuts, coconut milk
Snacks and nibbles Salted nuts and almonds
crisps (potato chips), crackers (read the information on the pack)
Butter sticks, flûtes, cheese crackers etc.
Low-fat crisps (potato chips) and crackers
Grissini breadsticks, salt sticks or pretzels
Sugar, sweets
Chocolate, Danish pastries, ice cream, desserts
Sweets are often "sweet fats", i.e. they contain a high proportion of fat - so eat them in moderation
Ice cream, cream desserts, chocolate mousse, cream quark, Mascapone, tiramisu, chocolate, pralines, chocolate bars
Cakes, confectionery, Danish pastries, tarts, puff pastry.
Sweets such as toffee, marzipan, nougat
Low-fat desserts (without cream) such as water ice, sorbet, light quark and yogurt, yogurt desserts, mousses and similar desserts without cream, fruit salad or compôte
Low-fat cakes and biscuits such as Lebkuchen (without the filling), honey cakes, gingerbread, meringues
Wine gums, chewing gum, pear drops etc.
Drinks
Beverages (with the exception of milk drinks) do not contain fat - this also applies to alcoholic drinks. However, alcohol slows the metabolism of fat in the body and so contributes indirectly to weight gain - drink alcohol in moderation
All alcoholic beverages such as beer, alcopops, champagne, wine, liqueurs, aperitifs, spirits etc. Any other drinks (excluding milk drinks)

Created on: 11/11/2002
Reviewed on: 04/06/2009

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