Low Fat Foods as Part of a Healthy Diet

Low fat foods is often easy to choose due to many clues available on the food labels.

When a food is low in fat, nutrition claims read like this:

  • Fat free - Less than 0.5g of fat per serving -
  • Low fat - Less than 3g of fat per serving -
  • Lean - Less than 10g of fat per serving and 4.5g of saturated fat -
  • Extra lean - Less than 5g of fat per serving and 2g of saturated fat -
  • Nutrition claims that are less helpful when choosing food low in fat include the terms reduced, less, and light, since they only mean that the food has fewer calories or grams of fat than the regular version of the food.

    Beware... Just because something is low in fat doesn't mean that it is low in calories! So while you want to avoid high-fat foods, you also want to avoid foods that are high in sugar and calories.

    When you come to think that most of - the foods that rank at the top of "the list of low fat food" - in the United States Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference - include candy, soda, and fruit drinks - ...

    Here's a List of Healthy Low Fat Foods

  • Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Tomatoes
  • Strawberries
  • Spinach
  • Egg whites
  • Baked potatoes
  • Grapes
  • Angel food cake*
  • Oatmeal cookies*
  • Breakfast cereals (most brands)
  • Watermelon
  • Air-popped popcorn (without added butter)*
  • Light tuna fish (canned in water)
  • Green peas
  • Wheat bread
  • Pancakes
  • Beans
  • Rice
  • Pretzels*
  • Vegetable soup
  • Chicken soup with rice
  • Milk - 1% reduced fat and skim milk Egg whites.

  • Except for avocados and olives, remember that most raw fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat.

    *These are a few examples of low-fat snacks and most should be eaten in moderation only.

    Hidden Fats

    Many low-fat foods become high fat foods when we unknowingly add high fat or hidden fat ingredients to them, including:

  • Oils, which are 100% fat and should only be used in limited amounts, with an emphasis on monounsaturated and polyunsaturated oils.
  • Oils, which are 100% fat and should only be used in limited amounts, with an emphasis on monounsaturated and polyunsaturated oils.
  • Butter and margarine.
  • Mayonnaise (1 tablespoon = 10g of fat and 90 calories).
  • Ranch dressing (2 tablespoons = 15g of fat and 140 calories).
  • Nuts.
  • Other foods made with hydrogenated vegetable oils, palm kernel oil, or coconut oil, are also high in fat.

    "Bon Appétit"

    Sources: USDA.The Food Label.

    From this "Low Fat Foods" page, back to "Healthy Foods to Eat" page

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