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Friday, January 31, 2014

Low-Fat & Low-Calorie Diet Menu

Low-Fat & Low-Calorie Diet Menu

Establishing a diet low in fat and calories, if approached safely, can be effective in achieving overall health and might lead to a longer life. A sensible low-calorie diet is also often low in fat, as fatty foods tend to be caloric. If you plan to put yourself on a low-calorie or low-fat diet, it's advisable to talk to a nutritionist or a physician who can determine how many calories you require given your current weight and activity level. In the meantime, you should understand the basics.

Base Meal on Protein

    Though you may not eat meat, basing meals upon lean protein minimizes the number of calories needed to sustain you for longer periods of time. Solid examples of lean protein, which are low in fat and in calories, include chicken breast (baked or broiled), fish, turkey or--for the vegetarian--chickpeas or soybeans. Fresh lemon juice and olive oil are healthy options for flavoring and preparing these types of protein-based products.

Maximize Natural Produce

    Building fresh fruits and vegetables into your low-calorie, low-fat diet plan maximizes your intake of necessary vitamins and minerals. Uncooked or even lightly cooked fruits and vegetables are almost always low in fat and calories. They are also easy to digest, as your body takes less energy to metabolize these foods. One exception to natural low-fat foods is avocado, which contains a higher level of fat than other fruits and vegetables. Eat fresh avocado sparingly. Leafy greens like spinach and broccoli can--and should--be eaten in generous amounts.

Whole Grains

    Whole-grain foods like wheat breads, pastas and natural cereals are often low in fat and high in fiber, which--like lean protein--allows you to feel satisfied for longer periods of time, decreasing your overall calorie intake. Consider the importance of breakfast, as eating healthy meals early in the day helps you burn calories longer. Morning meals, for example, can involve a high-protein, high-fiber oatmeal mixed with fresh fruit. Select cereals that contain wheat-flour bases and that list (on their boxes) at least 7 grams each of protein and fiber.

Minimize Sugar and Sodium

    To train yourself into a lifestyle of low-fat and low-calorie eating, learn to read the ingredients on labels of food products. Aim to keep your daily sodium levels below 2,000 mg. Look for foods that have next to no saturated fat, and avoid foods that are boxed or highly processed. Buy cereals that list natural products like soy or whole-wheat flour well before sugar. Foods that are high in sugar and sodium are typically also higher in fat or calories, or both.

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