Doctors often recommend low-fat, low-sugar diets to treat a wide variety of conditions from diabetes to heart disease. Besides improving diagnosed health problems, eating less fat and sugar often helps overweight individuals shed unwanted pounds that could ultimately lead to serious health concerns. Whatever your reason for trying to eat a diet low in fat and sugar, you’ll need to make some conscious choices about exactly what you should eat every day.
You’ve probably heard that it’s a good idea to eat breakfast. In fact, you shouldn’t skip any of your meals since your body needs a certain amount of fuel to run effectively. What you need to make sure is that you’re not eating things like doughnuts, bacon, eggs and other fried foods. If you’re attempting to stay on a low-fat, low-sugar diet, you should eat things like whole-grain breads and cereals. If you are having whole-grain toast or bagels, don’t slather them with butter, jelly, or cream cheese. Instead, try eating them plain. If you absolutely must have something on them, try spreads made with 100 percent fruit and no added sugars, but use only a minimal amount. Some good whole-grain cereals are Total, Grape Nuts and Shredded Wheat. If you aren’t sure about a cereal’s fat or sugar content, check the label to see how much of each you will get from one serving. Also make sure that you are using 1 percent or nonfat milk on your cereal.
Another good option for breakfast is oatmeal with cinnamon. You could also try either low-fat or nonfat cottage cheese with a piece of fruit such as a peach or plain yogurt with some berries mixed in. If you absolutely must have something to sweeten your yogurt, try stevia. Just a few drops will go a long way. As far as drinks go, both coffee and hot tea are naturally fat- and sugar-free drinks as long as you're not adding any cream or sweeteners to them.
For lunch, you can have a wide variety of types of foods. Popular lunch items are soups, sandwiches and salads. Watch out for soups because many cream type soups are high in fat. Also tomato soups made with whole milk can have lots of fat in them. Check the labels on cans at the store before you purchase soup. And if you are thinking about ordering soup in a restaurant, talk with your server about what is in the soup before you order it. Homemade soups are a good way to go, especially since you know exactly what you put in them.
Sandwiches can be a great lunch choice. Just make sure your sandwiches are made of whole-grain breads and lean meats. Lettuce, tomatoes and pickles are fine, but watch out for high-fat salad dressings. You can either skip the dressing altogether, have mustard or use low- or no-fat mayo.
Salads are another good lunch choice as long as you make sure any meats in them are lean. Be careful about having things like bacon, ham and fried chicken strips on your salad, since all these are high in fat. Also think carefully about what type of dressing you choose. Go with no-fat or low-fat dressings, and use them sparingly. If you are at a restaurant, consider getting your dressing on the side. That way you can control how much you have on your salad. As far as drinks go, try squeezing some lemon in your water to make sugar-free lemonade.
When thinking about dinner, go with small portions (3 to 4 ounces) of lean meats, poultry or fish that are grilled, roasted or baked. Along with your meat, have lots of vegetables. Good low-sugar, low-fat vegetables include asparagus, broccoli, cabbage and mushrooms. But other vegetables can be beneficial. Just be careful about eating too many starchy vegetables such as potatoes, corn and green peas. Various types of beans can also be good as long as you eat them in moderation. If at all possible, skip dessert. But if you absolutely must have something, try a baked apple topped with a little cinnamon. Unsweetened tea is a good drink choice as long as you don’t add any sugar to it.
When eating a diet low in fat and sugar, you will find yourself being hungry quite often. So it’s a good idea to eat two to three snacks during the day to help curb your appetite. Raw veggies such as carrots, celery and cauliflower are good choices as are apple or orange slices and a wide variety of berries.