A low-fat diet is simply a diet that restricts all kinds of fat. On a 25 g allowance, both saturated fats and cholesterol are severely limited. However, healthy unsaturated fats remain in the diet because they are critical for the functions of the body, helping to absorb vitamins and maintain the structure of cell membranes. Low-fat meals require careful counting and structure, but it is still possible to achieve a healthy and great-tasting diet.
Foods allowed on a low-fat diet include lean meats, low-fat dairy, fruits, vegetables, grains and beans. Nuts may be allowed in limited amounts. Eggs are also permitted if you remove the egg yolk, which contains all the egg's fat and cholesterol. Certain foods that can be classified into one of these categories, such as an avocado, may nevertheless contain too much fat to be allowed on a low-fat diet.
Low-fat meals do not necessarily require much sacrifice or austerity. Instead, it's possible to cook familiar foods with low-fat options or alternatives. For example, choose non-fat milk instead of whole milk and skinless chicken instead of fatty beef. Maintaining the taste of food is one of the most important parts of going on a diet.
Low-fat breakfast alternatives may closely resemble higher fat breakfast items. For example, you can eat a spinach and tomato omelet with liquid egg substitute for only 7 g fat. Cranberry pancakes with non-fat milk have 4 g. Breakfast parfait with low-fat yogurt has 2 g. A quick breakfast taco with egg substitutes and reduced-fat cheddar also has 2 g of fat. Whole wheat Irish soda bread has 1 g. In addition, most whole fruits, such as apples and bananas, do not have any fat at all.
Possible lunch items include chipotle turkey burger with 9 g fat; crab rolls with 7 g fat; Caribbean chicken wrap with 6 g; grilled Cajun chicken sandwich with 6 g; chicken pita pockets with 6 g; deli turkey sandwich with 4 g; and apple and chicken salad sandwich with 4 g. Most other low-fat sandwiches and wraps will also fall into this range.
Dinner will probably be the biggest meal and therefore contain the most fat. Nevertheless, you have a number of low-fat options. These include a curried scallop-apple salad with 11 g fat; a warm salmon salad and crispy potatoes with 10 g fat; edamame succotash and shrimp with 9 g fat; skillet gnocchi containing chard and white beans with 7 g; beer-battered tilapia and mango salsa with 7 g; crab salad melts with 6 g fat; pork chops and orange-soy sauce with 6 g; and grilled orange chicken fingers with 4 g.
Constructing a low-fat daily menu requires picking foods that, when combined together, add up to no more than 25 g total fat. For example, cranberry pancakes for breakfast, chicken pita pockets for lunch and salmon salad with crispy potatoes for dinner equal 20 g fat a day, which leaves room for a low-fat dessert.