Low-Fat Diet 

A low-fat diet will help you lose weight. It also can lower cholesterol and prevent symptoms of gallbladder disease. The average American diet contains up to 50% fat. This means that half of all calories come from fat (about 80 grams to 100 grams of fat per day). Choosing normal portions of foods from the list below can help lower your fat intake. Experts recommend that only 20% to 35% of your daily calories come from fat. The remaining 65% to 80% of calories will come from protein and carbohydrates.


OK: Whole-wheat or rye bread, graham or soda crackers, melba toast, plain rolls, bagels, English muffins

Don't have: Rolls and breads containing whole milk or egg; waffles, pancakes, biscuits, corn bread; cheese crackers, other flavored crackers, pastries, doughnuts


OK: Oatmeal, whole-wheat, bran, multigrain, rice

Don't have:Granola or other cereals that have oil, coconut, or more than 2 grams of fat per serving

Cheese and eggs

OK: Cheeses labeled low-fat; 3 whole eggs per week; egg whites and egg substitutes as desired

Don't have: All other cheeses


OK: Gelatin, slushy, angel food cake, meringues, nonfat yogurt, and puddings or sherbet made with nonfat milk

Don't have: Any other store-bought desserts, or desserts that have fat, whole milk, cream, chocolate, and coconut


OK: Nonfat milk, coffee, tea, fizzy (carbonated) drinks

Don't have:Whole and reduced-fat milk, evaporated and condensed milk, hot chocolate mixes, milk shakes, malts, eggnog


OK: You may have up to 3 teaspoons of fat daily. This can be butter, margarine, mayonnaise, or healthy oils (canola or olive)

Don't have: Cream, nondairy creams, cream cheese, gravies, and cream sauces


OK: All fruits made without fat

Don't have: Coconut, olives

Meats, poultry, fish

OK: Limit meat to 6 ounces daily (broiled, roasted, baked, grilled, or boiled). Buy lean cuts, and trim off the fat. Try beef, fish, lamb, pork, and canned fish packed in water; also chicken and turkey with the skin removed.

Don't have: Fried meats, fish, or poultry; fried eggs, and fish canned in oils; fatty meats such as bacon, sausage, corned beef, hot dogs, and lunch meats; meats with gravies and sauces

Potatoes, beans, pasta

OK: Dried beans, split peas, lentils, potatoes, rice, pasta made without added fat

Don't have: French fries, potato chips, potatoes prepared with butter, refried beans


OK: Clear broth soups without fat and with allowed vegetables

Don't have: Cream-based soups


OK: Fresh, frozen, canned or dried vegetables, all made without added fat

Don't have: Fried vegetables and those prepared with butter, cream, sauces

Other foods

OK: Salt, sugar, jelly, hard candy, marshmallows, honey, syrup, spices and herbs, mustard, ketchup, lemon, and vinegar. Try to limit sweets and added sugars.

Don't have: Chocolate, nuts, coconut, and cream candies; sunflower, sesame, and other seeds; fried foods; cream sauces and gravies; pizza

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