Many of us are working hard to achieve our goals for a healthy weight.
Body mass index measurements have found their way into our doctor’s office, where they encourage us to change our behaviors to get into the healthy BMI range.
The reality is that obesity is reaching epidemic proportions, with negative health outcomes for many people.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one third of American adults and 17% of children age 2-19 are obese.
A BMI value over 30 is considered obese. The higher the BMI value runs the greater the risk for dangerous medical consequences.
- BMI less than 18.5 = underweight range
- BMI 18.5 to 24.9 = normal or Healthy Weight range.
- BMI 25.0 to 29.9 = overweight range.
- BMI 30.0 or higher = obese range.
YOU can combat obesity with both small and big changes in your menus. If others in your family need to manage their weight, you can help them by altering your menu.
Menu Makeover Tips
Focusing on fat is one way you can lower the calories and makeover your menus.
Limit added fat, avoiding fried foods and enjoying the flavor of fresh foods will help you lighten up your meal menus.
Here are a few key areas to lower the fat and thereby the calories in your menu to help you and your family achieve a healthy weight:
(1) Reduce fat in cooking
Be creative in your cooking style to reduce the amount of deep fat and pan frying.
Try roasting, grilling, sautéing and stir frying to reduce the amount of added fat and calories in your meals.
The food will taste fresh and delicious and your waistline will thank you.
(2) Substitute lower fat ingredients
Transform your favorite recipes using lower fat ingredients.
Our family recipes often use high fat ingredients from the past. You can greatly reduce the fat and calories in these precious recipes with just a few substitutions.
Read labels to identify which may contain trans fat or excessive saturated fat and find healthier alternates.
(3) Use low fat dairy products in your favorite recipes
Try low fat milk, nonfat condensed milk and low fat cheeses in your recipes.
You can maintain not only the flavor you expect but also the consistency of your product while reducing the fat.
(4) Buy the leanest cuts of meats and poultry
Trim the fat before you cook.
There are many more lean protein options on the market for you to choose than previously available.
(5) Try something new!
Have you tried protein substitutes like veggie burgers and soy protein products lately? These products have come a long way since they first appeared in the marketplace and are delicious!
These items are cholesterol free and very low in fat. They can be used in recipes in place of other high fat meats and will be a tasty addition.
Bean burgers, turkey burgers, soy crumbles, sausage links and chicken nuggets are tasty and low fat veggie protein items that you can find in the supermarket.
Every recipe and menu can be improved to help keep everyone at their ideal weight!
Watching portion sizes, lowering added sugars and getting enough physical activity are also important lifestyle changes that will help you and your loved ones reach their health goals.
Those are steps we can take on our own, without waiting for the doctor’s orders.
Do you have any tips for cutting the fat and calories? We would love to hear from you!