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Reducing Fat Intake Can Be Painless Process

By Merri Lou Dobler Correspondent

Start a discussion about reducing fat in the diet, and eyes glaze over. You’ve heard it all before. You’re not interested in calculating fat grams.

Most of you, however, will perk up when you hear that removing extra bits of fat, painlessly, can make a difference in health and weight.

Dietitian Jan Gilliam, with the Spokane County Health District, shared some tips that developed out of her own research as a graduate student at WSU-Spokane.

Gilliam looked at behaviors specifically aimed at reducing fat. Another group of researchers took her study further and identified nine fat-reduction strategies. Here are a few:

Reduce fat as a flavoring. This includes salad dressing on salads, butter on vegetables and mayonnaise on sandwiches. You probably wouldn’t miss it if you reduced this fat by a half or a third. This strategy, by the way, brings about the largest decrease in fat intake.

Watch “recreational foods,” such as potato chips, hot dogs, crackers, pizza, ice cream and doughnuts. Do you really need them on a regular basis? Don’t even buy them and you won’t be tempted. Or look for low-fat alternatives.

Cut back on cooking fat. There’s a measurable difference between a cooking spray and oil from a bottle. A little goes a long way with a spray. Bottles pour out very easily.

When you have the choice, bake and broil. Meats that are fried can be just as tasty when baked or broiled, although they may require more careful attention, and you save precious fat grams.

Other ways to cut fat include replacing red meats, using lower-fat products, changing breakfast patterns and increasing fruits and vegetables.

Here’s an unusual recipe that has only 5 grams of fat in each taco and uses a fat-free mayo/salsa combo that’s very flavorful.

Fish Tacos

From “Healthy Cooking For People Who Don’t Have Time To Cook,” by Jeanne Jones (Rodale Press, 1997).

1 (8-1/2-ounce) box frozen sole fillets with bread crumb coating

3/4 cup salsa

1/3 cup fat-free mayonnaise

6 corn tortillas, warmed

1-1/2 cups packaged coleslaw mix or 1/2 small green cabbage, shredded

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

3 limes, quartered

Bake the fish fillets according to package directions. In a small bowl, mix the salsa and mayonnaise.

Cut each fillet in half lengthwise and place in the center of a tortilla. Top with the cabbage and cilantro. Spoon on the salsa mixture. Fold each taco in half. Serve with lime quarters to squeeze on the tacos.

Yield: 6 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 177 calories, 5 grams fat (25 percent fat calories), 13 milligrams cholesterol, 434 milligrams sodium.

, DataTimes MEMO: The goal of Five and Fifteen is to find recipes where you can do the shopping in five minutes and the cooking in 15. Merri Lou Dobler, a registered dietitian and Spokane resident, welcomes ideas from readers. Write to Five and Fifteen, Features Department, The Spokesman-Review, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210.

The following fields overflowed: SUPCAT = COLUMN, RECIPE - Five and Fifteen

The goal of Five and Fifteen is to find recipes where you can do the shopping in five minutes and the cooking in 15. Merri Lou Dobler, a registered dietitian and Spokane resident, welcomes ideas from readers. Write to Five and Fifteen, Features Department, The Spokesman-Review, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210.

The following fields overflowed: SUPCAT = COLUMN, RECIPE - Five and Fifteen

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