Tips to help cut the fat from your diet

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:50 pm
If you're looking for ways to cut back on the amount of fat you eat, there are several ways you can do so. First, read labels of packaged foods to find out how much fat the products contain. It's important that you consider not only the number of fat grams, but also the percentage of fat to calories. For example, so- called 'low-fat' or 'two percent' milk actually has 38 percent of its calories as fat, because most milk is made of water. An easy way to cut out fat without having to read any label is to not eat animal products or dairy, except nonfat yogurt and nonfat milk, which was formerly known as 'skim' milk. Some vegetable products should also be avoided because they're high in fat. These include avocados, nuts, seeds, and oils. All oils are 100 percent fat, even olive oil and canola (kuh-NO-luh) oil, so it's a good idea to reduce or eliminate these from your diet. Some oils also contain saturated fat, which is even worse for you than regular dietary fat. These are hydrogenated (high-DRAWJ-uh-nay-ted) oils and tropical oils, such as palm and coconut. The taste for fat is an acquired one, so once you start cutting out fatty foods, your palate adjusts, and you won't crave them as much. When you do eat something fatty, it may no longer taste as good and can upset your stomach. Beware of some so-called 'fat-free' commercial foods, which may be free of fat but contain high amounts of sugar, calories, and chemical additives. If you're worried about fat when you eat out, call ahead to the restaurant to find out whether there are any low-fat items on the menu. If not, perhaps they'd be willing to prepare something for you made without oil, butter, or cheese. You can take low-fat foods with you on airplanes to avoid airlines' high-fat meals and snacks.

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