Dear Dietitian – Cutting Fat?

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Published Friday, March 23, 2018
by Leanne McCrate, RD, LD, CNSC

Dear Readers: It is well-known that one of the factors of a healthy diet is to decrease total fat intake. The RDA for fat is 65 g per day on a 2000 - calorie diet. These are suggestions to help you get started. Lean meat is defined as 3 grams of fat or less per ounce.


Dear Dietitian

Simple Ways to Cut Fat in Your Diet

  1. We always say choose lean meats, but what does this mean exactly?

Poultry- chicken or turkey - white meat with skin, dark meat (no skin)

Beef-trimmed of fat - sirloin, round, or flank steak; tenderloin; roast (rump, rib, chuck). Lean ground meat is ground sirloin or ground round. Sometimes in recipes like chili, these meats will become dry, so bump it up to ground chuck.

Pork-tenderloin, center-cut pork chops

Fish- any fish that is not fried

Game: duck or pheasant (no skin), deer, buffalo, goose, rabbit

Cheese- cottage cheese, grated parmesan (not in a can)

  1. Potato chips, corn chips, cheese curls, etc.--ditch 'em, unless you can stick to one serving size or try a baked version.  In my case, a serving size is the whole bag so I cut them out altogether.
  2. Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Instead of that high calorie snack, grab a piece of fresh fruit. You'll be surprised at how filling it is!
  3. Bake, broil, or grill your meat.
  4. Use butter, margarine, salad dressings prudently. You don't need to slather your toast in margarine for a good taste; use a little less.
  5. If a recipe calls for mayonnaise, substitute low-fat or non-fat yogurt
  6. Choose low-fat dairy products, like skim or 1% milk, low-fat yogurt.
  7. Use oils like canola oil or olive oil instead of animal fat.
  8. Save dessert for a once weekly treat.
  9. I never say never, so save the fried chicken, mashed potatoes & gravy, mac & cheese, homemade buttermilk biscuits, and apple pie ala mode for a special occasion. Your eating plan should be healthy and livable.
Leanne McCrate, RD, LD, CNSC, is an award-winning dietitian with over fifteen years of experience. Have a question?  Email Leanne at