Low-Fat Meal Ideas

You may need to follow a low-fat diet if you have heart issues, such as high cholesterol or a history of a stroke or heart attack, various GI issues, or other reasons. Regardless, we need fat in our diets for a few reasons. Fat helps certain nutrients (vitamins A, C, D, E, and K) be absorbed in our bodies. Fat takes longer to digest, so it can help keep you full for longer. Fat also makes food taste good! But we want to make sure we choose the fats that support our health, which are the unsaturated fatty acids. These are found in foods like nuts, seeds, fish, certain oils, and avocados. Limiting saturated and trans fats (found in animal products, sweets like ice cream, and some packaged foods) will help protect our hearts. 

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Ideas to think about when planning low-fat meals: 

  1. Include fruits and veggies 
  2. Choose lean animal proteins
  3. Consider plant-based protein options (read labels, not all are better!)
  4. Try low-fat dairy
  5. Use condiments like oils, butter, dressings, etc mindfully 
  6. Enjoy treats mindfully and in moderation!

Here are some examples of low-fat meal ideas throughout the day: 


  • Oatmeal + 1% milk + berries
  • Eggs (or whites) + spinach + whole grain toast
  • Low-fat yogurt + berries + crunchy cereal on top
  • Whole grain pancakes + bananas 


  • Turkey + low-fat cheese sandwich + baked chips + side salad 
  • Low-fat cottage cheese + veggies + whole grain crackers 
  • Shredded chicken + roasted veggies + whole grain pasta 


  • Tacos made with 93% lean ground meat + low-fat shredded cheese + veggies + taco shell
  • Pasta + veggies
  • Teriyaki salmon + brown rice + veggies
  • Homemade pizza with part-skim mozzarella
  • Mango + black bean quinoa salad (see below)

That Clean Life - Mango & Black Bean Quinoa Salad 

4 servings

  • 1/2 cup
    Quinoa (uncooked)
  • 2 cups
    Black Beans (cooked)
  • 1/2 cup
    Red Onion (diced)
  • 1
    Mango (peeled, diced)
  • 2 cups
    Baby Spinach (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup
    Cilantro (chopped)
  • 2 Tbsps
    Lime Juice
  • 1 Tbsp
    Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 tsp
  • Sea Salt & Black Pepper (to taste)


  1. Cook the quinoa according to package directions. Set aside to cool.
  2. Combine the cooled quinoa and all remaining ingredients in a large bowl and mix until well combined. Divide evenly between plates and enjoy!


  1. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/fats/saturated-fats
  2. https://app.thatcleanlife.com/recipes/3850


Post by Ashley Cully, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

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