Nutrition Action Healthletter
Jan/Feb 1997 — U.S. Edition

The Sat Fat Switch

It doesn't matter if you've got high ("bad") LDL or low ("good") HDL. It doesn't matter if you're taking cholesterol-lowering drugs, aspirin, vitamin E, or nothing at all. Experts agree that everyone should be eating a diet that's low in saturated fat.

You should also:

But one thing at a time.

Here are some simple switches to help you cut saturated fat. Shoot for no more than 20 grams a day. Check the "%DV" on food labels. It will tell you how much of a day's worth of sat fat the food uses up. -- Bonnie Liebman

Switch From: Switch To:

Meat, Poultry, Seafood

Hamburger, meatloaf

Ground turkey breast, veggie burgers

T-bone, rib eye, prime rib, etc.

Round steak, sirloin

Pork chops, ribs

Pork tenderloin

Regular hot dog, bologna, sausage, etc.

Low-fat hot dog, bologna, sausage, etc.

Poultry w/skin

Skinless poultry

Fried chicken or fish

Broiled, grilled, or roasted chicken or fish

Chicken thigh, wing

Chicken breast, drumstick

Dairy Products

Whole or 2% fat milk

1% fat or skim milk

Regular cheese

Reduced-fat or low-fat cheese

Regular ice cream

Low-fat or fat-free ice cream or frozen yogurt

Regular cream cheese

Light or fat-free cream cheese

Sweets & Desserts

Cheesecake, cheese danish, croissant, cinnamon roll, brownie, pie, regular or gourmet ice cream, fudge brownie sundae, doughnut, pound cake

Fruit or small serving of low-fat sweet (muffin, cake, cookie, pie, pastry, ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet, sorbet, etc.)


Chocolate bar, sandwich crackers, ice cream, Bugles, popcorn popped in coconut oil

Fruits, vegetables, whole-grain crackers, "light" popcorn, pretzels, baked potato chips, corn chips, rice cakes

Fast Food

Hamburger, cheeseburger, french fries, pizza, fried chicken, regular milk shake, pot pie, beef taco, beef burrito, taco salad

Grilled chicken sandwich, salad with light dressing, chili, plain baked potato, bean burrito, "light" chicken taco or burrito

Restaurant Sandwiches

BLT, chicken salad, corned beef, egg salad, grilled cheese, ham, tuna salad

Turkey (sliced), roast beef, grilled vegetable, grilled chicken, hummus

Dinner Houses

Hamburger, cheeseburger, baby back ribs, chicken fingers, steak fajitas, bacon & cheese grilled chicken sandwich, french fries, loaded potato, onion rings, buffalo wings, fried mozzarella sticks, stuffed potato skins

Grilled chicken or seafood, chicken or vegetable fajitas, Gardenburger, chicken salad with light dressing, pasta with chicken or shrimp or vegetables in any non-cream sauce, baked potato (with a tablespoon of sour cream), vegetable of the day

Chinese Restaurant Food

Moo shu pork, sweet & sour pork, kung pao chicken, General Tso's chicken, orange (crispy) beef

Stir-fried vegetables, shrimp or chicken with garlic sauce, Hunan or Szechuan shrimp or chicken or tofu

Italian Restaurant Food

Lasagna, manicotti, eggplant or veal parmigiana, fettuccine Alfredo, fried calamari

Spaghetti with tomato or meat sauce, linguini with red or white clam sauce

Mexican Restaurant Food

Taco salad, enchilada, beef chimichanga, chile relleno, cheese quesadilla, beef & cheese nachos, beef burrito

Chicken or vegetable fajitas, chicken or bean burrito, chicken taco

Seafood Restaurant Food

Seafood casserole, any fried seafood, baked stuffed shrimp

Any broiled, grilled, blackened, or steamed seafood

Restaurant Breakfasts

Belgian waffles, biscuits & gravy, ham & cheese omelette, sausage, egg-pancake-sausage-bacon platter

Hot or cold cereal, scrambled egg substitute, hash browns, ham, pancakes (if they hold the margarine), toast or bagel with preserves or marmalade, fresh fruit or juice


Butter or margarine, sour cream

Whipped light butter, lower-fat tub margarine, fat-free or low-fat sour cream

Nutrition Action Healthletter