While low fat is a better alternative for a healthy diet, it is not the cure-all for weight loss, report doctors at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics. One gram of fat equals 9 calories, while protein and carbohydrates contain 4 calories per gram, which is why low-fat foods can provide healthier eating options. Incorporate fat-free foods -- foods that contain less than half a gram of fat per serving -- into your diet to help limit your calorie intake.
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Skim milk is fat free and still delivers the same amount of protein and calcium as whole milk. Dairy products made from skim milk also are fat free. Nonfat yogurt does not contain any fat. Cottage cheese, like milk, comes in whole, 2 percent and fat-free versions, also providing the same nutrients as fat-laden cheese. Ice cream made with skim milk is fat free. The American Academy of Family Physicians warns consumers to beware of the many products that use sugar to make up for the lack of taste in fat-free products.
Most fruits and vegetables have no fat in their purest forms. Coconuts and avocados are exceptions. It's usually the sauces, butter and other toppings you put on fruits and vegetables that increase the fat content. Most beans and legumes are fat-free when they are closest to their natural form. Canned beans often don't have added fats and are ready to eat.
While creams and sauces typically are loaded with fat, there are many fat-free condiments you can use to flavor food. Soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and ketchup are fat free. Vinegar is available in a wide range of flavors to add fat-free flavor to dishes. Salsa made with natural ingredients like tomatoes, peppers, cilantro, onions, parsley and lime juice or other vegetables is another fat-free condiment that can spice up a meal. Find a number of fat-free barbecue sauces on the supermarket shelves.
Practice portion control when using condiments to flavor your meals. While they might be free of fat, many condiments come loaded with sugar -- which boosts your calorie intake -- or packed with sodium, which can negatively affect your health.
Grains are fat-free in their natural state, although most people don't eat raw grains. Look for products that do not contain added fat to make them more flavorful. There are a few bagels on the market that do not contain added fats. Fat free grain sources are available in a number of cereals too, such as bran cereals, puffed wheat and rice, and creamy wheat cereal.
Because sugar does not contain fat, many candy products are fat-free. Enjoy everything from candy corn to orange slices, hard candies and mints that may be loaded with calories from sugar but are fat-free.