Low Fat Diet

As part of a regular healthy diet, it is recommended that of the total calories eaten, no more than 30% should come from fat. However, certain diseases and medical conditions can make it difficult for the body to tolerate even that much fat, and a low-fat diet may be recommended.

Following a low-fat diet can be helpful for many different diseases such as gallbladder disease, delayed stomach emptying (gastroparesis), diarrhea, and fatty liver disease.

In general, it is advised that all visible fat be trimmed from meats. All foods, including meat and fish, should be baked, steamed, or broiled rather than fried.

Group Recommend Avoid
Sweets & Desserts (servings depend on caloric needs) Sherbet made with skim milk, non-fat frozen yogurt, fruit ice, gelatin, angel food cake, vanilla wafers, ginger snaps, graham crackers, meringues, puddings made with skim milk, tapioca, fat-free cakes and cookies, fruit whips made with gelatin or egg whites, hard candy, jelly beans, jams, marmalades, maple syrup Ice cream, pastries, cakes, cookies, pies, doughnuts, pudding made with whole milk, cream puffs, turnovers, chocolate
Fats & Oils (3 servings daily, each listed is one serving) Avocado 2 Tbsp or 1/8 medium, margarine 1 tsp, diet margarine 2 tsp, salad dressing 1 tbsp, diet salad dressing 2 Tbsp, vegetable oils 1 tsp, nuts (raw or dry roasted): almonds 6, peanuts 20 small or 10 large, whole walnuts 2, whole pistachios 18, sesame seeds 1 tbsp, sunflower seeds 1 Tbsp, saturated fats: bacon 1 strip, butter 1 tsp, dried coconut 2 Tbsp, cream cheese 1 Tbsp, sour cream 2 Tbsp, other fats: olive oil 1 tsp, peanut oil 1 tsp, large olives 10, peanut butter 2 tsp Any fat in excess
Milk & milk products (2 or more servings daily) Skim milk, evaporated skim milk, skim buttermilk, nonfat sour cream, yogurt made with skim milk (3 gms fat or less/oz, maximum of 3 oz/day), fat-free cheeses, low-fat cottage cheese, part-skim mozzarella cheese, part skim or skim ricotta cheese Whole milk, cream, sour cream, non-dairy creamers, whole milk cheese, cheese spreads
Bread & grains (4 or more servings daily) Whole grain and enriched breads, cold cereal, whole grain cereals (except granola), saltines, soda crackers, low-fat snack crackers, rice cakes, unbuttered popcorn, low-fat muffins, plain pasta, barley, oatmeal, home-made pancakes without fat, French toast made with egg substitute and skim milk Breads containing egg, cheese, or made with fat, biscuits, sweet rolls, pancakes, French toast, doughnuts., waffles, fritters, muffins, granola type cereals, snack crackers, potato chips, packaged stuffing, fried rice, chow mein noodles
Vegetable (3 or more servings daily) All vegetables (steamed, raw, boiled, or baked (without added fat) Fried vegetables or those in ice cream, cheese, butter sauces, dips
Fruits (2 or more servings daily) All other fruits Avocado
Meat & meat substiture (5 to 6 oz daily) Poultry (without skin), veal, lean ground beef trimmed of fat (USDA good or choice cuts of round sirloin, flank, and tenderloin), fresh, canned, cured, or boiled ham, Canadian bacon, lean port (tenderloin, chops, cutlet), fish (fresh, frozen, canned in water), eggs (boiled, scrambled without added fat), luncheon meat at least 95% fat free Any fried, fatty, or heavily marbled meat, fish, or poultry, beef (USDA prime cuts, ribs, ground beef, corned beef), pork (spareribs, ham hocks), fish (canned in oil), eggs (fried in butter, oil, or margarine), luncheon meat less than 95% fat free
Beverages (4 to 6 cups or more daily) Decaffeinated or regular coffee or tea, cocoa made with skim milk, fruit juices, soft drinks, water Beverages made with high fat dairy products
Soups Fat-free broths, consommés, bouillon, soups made with fat-free broth, skim milk, evaporated skim milk Cream soups, soups with added oils or meat fats, soups made from stocks containing meat fat