Cooking from scratch using basic ingredients is a real plus, because you control exactly what goes into your food and you can control the amount of fat, sugar and salt in your diet.
It’s also really important to buy either natural or reduced-fat ingredients. Heer’s a list of basics (extracted from Damien Galtier’s Losing Weight as a Family, First Editions):
In your cupboard
-Pastas (different shapes and types), rice (perfumed, long grain, easycook), couscous
-Vegetables with nothing added (green beans, peas, tomatoes)
-Fish: tuna, sardines or mackerel in brine, lemon or tomato sauce
-Fruit – in syrup or puréed, with no added sugar
-Spices and seasoning, oil and different types of vinegar (wine, balsamic, etc)
In your freezer
-Lean minced beed (5% fat)
-Fish in filets, steaks, or pieces, and seafood eg shelled prawns
-Vegetables (spinach, carrots, brocolli, green beans)
-Bread: bread rolls or sliced bread (wholemeal)
In your fridge
-Natural yogurt, semi-skimmed milk, yogurts (less than 20% fat)
-Butter and reduced-fat cream
-Meat, fish, lean ham, bacon, turkey, chicken, smoked salmon, crabsticks
-Fruit and veg
-Vinaigrette (25% fat), reduced-fat (40% fat) mayonnaise
-Low-fat cheese (45% fat)
Non-stick Teflon pans, wok, grill, blender, microwave.
If you have well-stocked cupboards and the right equipment, it’s easy to make healthy low-fat meals. Use as little fat as possible (1 tbsp max per person), and always make sure your meal contains protein, a carbophydrate and veg. Have a yogurt or fruit for dessert.