Simple Ways to Cut Down on Saturated Fat

Saturated fats are fats that don’t have double bonds between their carbon molecules. They are found naturally in foods such as pork, beef and dairy products. Regularly eating foods that are high in saturated fat will cause your blood cholesterol levels to increase, which means an increase in the chance that you might suffer from heart disease or a stroke.

But, while many of us eat a diet that includes a high level of saturated fats, cutting down on those levels is simple. Here are some tips you can follow in order to keep your saturated fat levels to a minimum and your cholesterol levels low.

Eat Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Fruit is often overlooked as a snack or dessert food. But, it provides a sweet taste without any saturated fat. Vegetables are also an excellent snack food, but may be a better fit as a side dish at dinner time. In addition, fruits and vegetables are antioxidants, and many of them contain vitamins and minerals that our bodies need.

Use Low-fat Dairy Products

You may already buy the skim or low-fat alternative milk at the store. But, there are low-fat alternatives to many dairy products. Start using low-fat cheese whenever possible. And if a recipe calls for sour cream, use plain non-fat Greek yogurt instead.

Cut Way Down on Butter

Butter is a particularly versatile dairy product that is often overused. Whether it’s spread across toast, or used in baking or frying, many of us tend to overdo it when it comes to adding butter. Whatever you’re using butter in the kitchen, use less than what the recipe calls for, or than you feel that you need. You might even cut butter out of your cooking entirely by substituting it with things such as Greek yogurt, peanut or almond butter, or mashed avocado.

Avoid Frying Your Meat

Frying meat means giving it a chance to absorb the fat from the oils that you cook it in. While some oils may be touted as ‘healthy’, others are not. When possible, it’s best to just avoid them altogether. Fortunately, there are several ways to prepare meat that doesn’t involve frying at all. The simplest alternative is to bake the meat. The roasted flavor is more than delicious. If you have access to a grill, use that instead of frying so that you can stay away from fats and give your food a satisfying grilled taste.

Consuming too much saturated fat can be a serious issue, especially if you are already experiencing problems related to high cholesterol. If you’re looking for more ways to keep cholesterol levels in check, it may be best to speak with a healthcare professional. They will be able to tell you more about what effects cholesterol have had on your body, and the steps you can take to work toward a healthy diet.

Inexpensive Ways to Eat More Fruits & Vegetables

Fruit and vegetables are highly nutritious. Not only that, they also provide your body with many essential vitamins and other nutrients. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to make these things a regular part of our diet. The good news is that both fruit and vegetables are very versatile when it comes to their use in the kitchen. Here are several great ways to incorporate fresh produce into every meal of the day.

Breakfast

Many fruits are already considered to be a great addition to a complete breakfast. Orange or grapefruit juice provides a wholesome alternative to coffee and sugary sports drinks. However, keep in mind that some of these juices contain added sugars, so be sure you enjoy them in moderation.

Another way to serve fruits at breakfast is in the form of a homemade fruit spread. Take fresh fruit and slowly boil it down to thicken. You can add honey for sweetness, though many fruits will be sweet enough without it. Depending on the fruit you use, you may need to add a little pectin to help it thicken as it cools. This fresh fruit spread makes a great topping for a bagel or a piece of toast.

Vegetables are associated with breakfast less often. But, that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to appreciate them. You can try bell pepper or tomato slices with eggs to bring a little something extra to your omelets. Or, you could take a step toward a full English breakfast and include fried tomatoes in the meal.

If you prefer a shake or a smoothie in the morning for breakfast, there are all sorts of recipes for both fruit and veggie smoothies available on the internet. It only takes a quick search to find them.

Lunch

Lunch is a meal that many of us take for granted. For many people lunchtime is an extremely busy period. This means that they often choose the fast-food option rather than the healthy one.

Vegetable soup is a good choice, which allows you to add in whatever produce you desire. If you change up what you mix together each time, you’ll be able to enjoy a little variety from batch to batch. Another option is simply to eat raw fruits or veggies along with lunch or as a snack.

Dinner

Adding fruit to your dinner is easier than you may think. Just about any fruit you can imagine can be cooked into a sauce or glaze for anything from beef, chicken and pork, or even seafood. Some fruit also makes a great topping for simple meals like hamburgers or pizza.

As far as vegetables go, it’s likely that you already eat them with your dinner on a regular basis. But, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for more in your diet. Try to plan meals that center around vegetables as often as possible, such as soup or stir fry.

Also, don’t forget about a yummy side salad and never pass up a great opportunity to include vegetables, fruit and nuts into your evening meal. Greens such as kale or lettuce are the perfect example of this.

One of the main influences on fruit and vegetable prices is the season. These foods tend to be much less expensive and easier to find during and shortly after their harvest season. For example, pumpkins are widely available in the fall, while pineapples are easy to find in the spring. Making your fruit and vegetable choices based on the season allows you to save money as well as give your menu a fun-to-eat theme.