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MAKE FRUITS, VEGETABLES MAINSTAY OF LOW-FAT DIET

SHARE MAKE FRUITS, VEGETABLES MAINSTAY OF LOW-FAT DIET

UPDATE: Guidelines for low-fat eating - continued from last week:

I previously summarized some ideas about low-fat eating from the last three issues of Running & Fit-News (American Running and Fitness Association). They suggested breakfasts based on cereal, fruit and juice, and lunches based on vegetable soups and whole-grain breads. To add even more flavor and nutrition to your lunch, they recommend the European habit of eating rolls or crispbreads with your soup. Then, round out lunch with fruit. Apples, pears, grapefruits, oranges and related fruits such as bananas, melons and grapes are usually avail-able all year. Try peaches, apricots, pineapple and berries when they are in season.A lunch of up to 10 ounces of vegetable soup, two or three slices of bread and some servings of fruits will satisfy most appetites and will be low in both calories and fat.

Dinner: The basic low-fat dinner is an entree of meat, poultry or fish and as many vegetables as you like. You don't need to avoid meat; it's a good source of iron and zinc - but you must control the amount. Your limit should be 3 to 4 ounces (a little larger than the size of a deck of cards).

A 31/2-ounce serving of lean beef with all fat trimmed off will average about 250 to 300 calories and up to 25 grams of fat. This is not too different from values for lamb, pork, ham and veal, but these meats are usually just a little bit fatter. Poultry is slightly lower in fat, but you still need to limit the serving size to one breast of chicken or 31/2 ounces of turkey. Some white fish are quite a bit lower in fat but still need to be cooked using some no-oil method such as baking or grilling. Season with lemon juice and herbs or make some low-fat sauce to liven up the flavor.

Although you need to limit meat, there is no limit with vegetables. And the bigger the variety the better. A medium potato and steamed broccoli, kale and cauliflower should satisfy most appetites and would total only about 400 calories and almost no fat. If you like pasta, use a sauce made predominantly from vegetables to stay under the guidelines for total meat intake.

A great strategy for making satisfying low-fat dinners is to make salad as important as your entree. Large salads satisfy hunger; the key is to go for variety. Use lettuce, spinach, celery, green pepper, onion, tomato, cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower, radish, kohlrabi, carrot and any other raw vegetable you enjoy. Since a majority of the calories most people consume when they eat salad comes from dressing, use fat-free dressings or lemon. Other ways to liven up salads includes adding beets, sliced pickles or a pickled bean mixture. A few spoonfuls of pasta can also help the taste and texture of salads.

If you really like dessert after all those vegetables and a large bowl of salad, fruit should satisfy your sweet tooth. You could also add a little sherbet or low-fat frozen yogurt from time-to-time to make it even more satisfying.

Garth Fisher is director of the Human Performance Research Center at Brigham Young University.