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Avoiding Too Much Fat, Saturated Fat, and Cholesterol


Choose a diet low in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol does not mean "never eat cheese" because it contains fat or "never eat egg yolks" because they contain cholesterol. The total amount of fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol in your diet is what matters. While you may want to moderate your intake of some foods, you need not eliminate them completely from your diet. Instead, balance high-fat foods with other foods that contain little or no fat and cholesterol. Here are 20 tips to help.

  1. Choose lean cuts of meat.
  2. Read the ingredients list on all packaged foods: soups, sauces, cereal, condiments, breads, crackers, frozen entrees. Buy foods prepared with no added fats or oils, especially trans fats, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats.
  3. Examine the nutrition information on packaged foods. Compare the serving size and the fat calories per serving; then choose foods with the lowest amount of fat. Balance high fat food choices with lower fat ones.
  4. Microwave, steam, boil, or bake vegetables; or for a change, stir-fry in a small amount of vegetable oil.
  5. Steam-fry: sauté foods in water, broth, juice or wine instead of fat (oil, butter, shortening, lard).
  6. Season vegetables with herbs and spices rather than with sauces, butter, or margarine.
  7. Reduce saturated fat by using soft or liquid margarine instead of butter in baked products and, when possible, use oil instead of shortening.
  8. Try whole-grain flours to enhance flavors of baked goods made with less fat and cholesterol-containing ingredients.
  9. Replace whole milk with skim or low-fat milk in puddings, soups, and baked products.
  10. Substitute plain low-fat yogurt, blender-whipped low-fat cottage cheese, or buttermilk in recipes that call for sour cream or mayonnaise.
  11. Trim fat from meat and remove skin from poultry prior to eating (either before or after cooking).
  12. Roast, bake, broil, or simmer meat, poultry, or fish.
  13. Cook meat or poultry on a rack so the fat drains off. Use a nonstick pan for cooking so added fat will be unnecessary.
  14. Chill meat or poultry broth until the fat becomes solid.  Spoon fat off before using the broth.
  15. Substitute egg whites in recipes calling for whole eggs. For example, use two egg whites in place of each whole egg in muffins, cookies, and puddings.
  16. Instead of butter or sour cream, try salsa, ketchup or BBQ sauce on the side and dip your fork in before each bite of potato.
  17. Try lemon juice, vinegar or salsa on salads.
  18. Ask for salad dressings on the side.  Dip your fork in the dressing before each bite of salad. With this method you will taste the dressing with each bite and you eat less dressing!
  19. Replace fatty desserts with fresh fruits, sorbet, Italian ice, yogurt or ice milk.
  20. Stock up on a variety of low-fat snacks: fresh fruit, frozen berries, grapes or bananas, baked sweet potato, popcorn, oatmeal, fresh, raw veggies, etc.


Prepared by:           Sue Snider, PhD

Professor/Food Safety and Nutrition Specialist


This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

UD Cooperative Extension

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, Cooperative Extension is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.