Fat can be broken down into two different groups; saturated fatty acids (SFA) or unsaturated fatty acids (UFA). The title of this post is to decrease our fat intake and the reason behind that is to provide an easy and effective method of decreasing your calories. However, the types of fat people consume also can also affect their risk of cardiovascular disease. Thus, the goal of this article is to; 1) provide 5 easy ways to decrease your fat intake, 2) decrease your saturated fat intake & 3) decrease the omega-6 to omega 3 ratio.
1. Choose meat with little visible fat or remove fat before cooking
If you simply pick a leaner cut or trim the fat you can significantly lower your saturated and total fat intake.
2. Cook meat in a way that removes fat instead of adding
Grilling, roasting or baking can let the fat drip off during cooking. You can also boil the meat and then skim off the liquid that rises to the surface.
3. Take the skin off after grilling or roasting, that way you can lock in the moisture and add flavour without eating it.
No one enjoys eating dry meat, keep the fat/skin on and then trim it off after. Maximum flavour, minimal fat.
4. Exchange full-fat dairy to low or reduced fat options
Switch from full-fat milk/ cheese to low- or reduced fat options. You'd be surprised at how much fat you can cut back.
5. For the coconut cream lovers - switch to lite coconut cream or coconut milk
Despite what people believe, coconut cream is extremely high in saturated fats. But what about coconut oil? All the recent marketing of coconut oil is based off misinformation.
First of all, much of the research used to promote coconut oil are based of medium chain triglycerides or MCTs. MCTs only represent a very small fraction of the total fat content in coconut oil (92% of coconut oil i saturated fat). They are two different substances. If any thing, one can make an argument for MCTs but not for coconut oil.
Furthermore, human trials investigating the effect on blood cholesterol have compared coconut oil to butter. Two types of foods you should already be limiting in your diet. These studies found that out of the 2, coconut oil was the better alternative but are no way a better alternative compared to fish oil, olive oil, flaxseed etc.
"But what about all the indigenous people who consume coconut milk & flesh, just look at them they are healthy." These groups of people also eat plenty of fish, vegetables & are physically active. There are many aspects of their diet and lifestyle that is different from the typical western diet and thus, coconut consumption is unlikely to put them at risk for developing cardiovascular disease.
- More information available at the Heart Foundation's 2014 evidence paper