How to Cook Without Using Fat

three ripe fresh tomatoes with yellow specklesFats and oils are an essential part of the human diet, and help make foods tasty.  But with some medical conditions, or before certain procedures, it’s necessary to eat foods with very little or no fat content. You may have to completely avoid butter, oil, and margarine. You may also not be able to have sesame paste, peanut butter, avocado, egg yolks, cheese, nuts, and milk with any fat content.

But just because you can’t eat fat, you can still enjoy tasty meals. Cooking without fat may require only a few changes to your regular recipes.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Use the microwave. Chopped onions can be softened by cooking in the microwave for 3-5 minutes. Or you can chop them finely and they will cook in the microwave with the rest of the dish. Try a crustless quiche made with egg whites, finely chopped onions, skim milk and the vegetable of your choice.
  • Skip sauteing onions and other vegetables them before using in soup or other dishes, like rice. They will cook well in the water, as long as you allow enough cooking time. If they are chopped finely, they will cook quickly.
  • Roasted vegetables can be delicious even without fat. I like to add a few cloves of garlic with the peel to whatever I am roasting. You can use the roasted vegetables in other recipes like soup, or eat them as is.
  • Many bread recipes can be made without any fat.
  • To make breaded chicken or fish, dip fillets in seasoned flour, then in beaten egg white, and then in seasoned breadcrumbs. Bake until the crust is brown.
  • To compensate for the lack of fat, use the tastiest and freshest ingredients you can find for your recipes. Add fresh herbs or spices, fruit juices, and seeds or nuts if they are permitted.
  • Keep lots of fresh vegetables and salads available, so you will have something safe to eat.

Have you ever had to cook without fat? Please share your tips in the comments. 

You may also enjoy:

Tips for Switching to a Diabetic Diet

Going Brown: The Challenge of Eating More Whole Grains

Tips for Choosing Fresh Fruits and Vegetables


  1. I “sizzle” my vegetables (onion, mire poix, etc.) in wine, stock, or water instead of oil, butter, margarine.

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