List of Low-Fat Foods

Karen Frazier
healthy feast

Eating a healthy low-fat diet is much easier when you have a list of low-fat foods as a resource. Low-fat diets give increased protection against the risk of heart disease, many different cancers and other illnesses. Eating a variety of low-fat foods can also help to lower caloric intake resulting in weight loss.

Low-Fat Foods

This list of low-fat foods includes most common options available at your local grocery store. Eating low-fat foods can help establish a healthy balanced eating plan. However, just as with all eating and diet plans, check with your personal physician before making any significant changes to your diet.

Snacks

Snack foods are quick and easy. Keeping an array of low-fat snack foods on hand can help you stay on track. While fat content may vary by brand, general fat and calorie counts are listed.

Snack Food Serving Size Percentage Fat Calories
Whole wheat pretzels 1 ounce 7.5% 100
Air-popped popcorn 1 cup 12% 31
Low-fat microwave popcorn 1 ounce (unpopped) 20% 122
Baked potato chips 20 chips 23% 120
Baked tortilla chips 20 chips 20% 120
Salsa 4 tablespoons 5% 16
Vegetarian refried beans 1/2 cup 15% 120
Low-fat hummus (made without oil or tahini) 4 ounces 0% 100
Pop Chips 23 chips 30% 120
Kosher dill pickles 1 pickle 0% 10
Whole wheat bagel with fat-free cream cheese 1 bagel/1 tbsp cream cheese 8% 320
Special K granola bar (or other low-fat varieties - check labels) 1 bar 25% 110
Angel food cake 1/5 cake 0% 130
Skinny Cow (and other low-fat brands) ice cream sandwich 1 sandwich 12% 150
Low-fat frozen yogurt 1/2 cup 12% 180
Fat-free pudding 1 snack cup 1% 105
Snackwell's low-fat snacks Varies Varies Varies
Fat-free yogurt 1/2 cup 0% 100
Reduced-fat whole wheat or gluten-free crackers 4 crackers 22% 65
Water-packed tuna, fat free mayo in a rolled low-fat whole wheat tortilla 4 ounces tuna, 1 tablespoon mayo, 1 tortilla 15% 190
Turkey wrap: turkey, Dijon mustard and fat-free cream cheese rolled in low-fat whole wheat tortilla 3 ounces turkey, 1 tablespoon cream cheese, 1 teaspoon mustard, 1 tortilla 23% 160
Cheerios in skim milk 1 cup cereal, 1 cup milk 14% 200
Root beer float with diet root beer and fat free vanilla ice cream 8 ounces root beer, 1 cup ice cream 0% 180
Fig Newtons 2 cookies 16% 110

Dairy

Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends two servings of dairy foods daily for people eating fewer than 1,600 calories or three servings for people eating more calories than that. Low-fat dairy provides calcium and vitamin D, which promotes bone health.

Dairy Product Serving Size Percentage Fat Calories
Skim milk 1 cup 5% 86
1% milk 1 cup 21% 102
Goat's milk - 1% 1 cup 21% 100
Lowfat soy milk 1 cup 20% 110
Lowfat fruit yogurt 1 cup 10% 240
Fat-free fruit yogurt 1 cup 0% 150
Fat-free sour cream 1 ounce 0% 21
Fat-free cream cheese 1 ounce 13% 27
Fat-free ricotta 1/4 cup 0% 40
Low-fat (made with skim milk) cheese 1 slice 26% 50

Bread and Grains

Whole grains are a good source of B vitamins, Vitamin E, magnesium, iron and fiber, and they make a better choice than processed grains.

Grain Serving Size Percentage Fat Calories
Whole wheat bread 1 slice 14% 50
Bulgar 1/4 cup dry 3% 140
Whole wheat pasta 1 cup cooked 1% 300
Oatmeal 1 cup cooked 15% 145
Brown rice 1 cup cooked 7% 215
Rice noodles 1 cup cooked 2% 192
Wild rice 1 cup cooked 3% 166
Amaranth 1/4 cup dry 15% 180
Millet 1 cup cooked 8% 205
Quinoa 1 cup cooked 14% 229
Barley 1 cup cooked 3% 198

Proteins

Pan seared scallops

Protein is an important part of a healthy diet. Nails and hair are made up of mostly protein, and your body needs protein to build strong bones and muscles and for healthy skin and blood. Bodies don't store protein, so foods that contain protein need to be a regular part of a healthy diet. Low-fat protein options are plentiful.

Protein Serving Size Percent Fat Calories
Egg whites 2 large 3% 34
Skinless chicken breast 4 ounces 8% 120
Skinless turkey breast 4 ounces 15% 120
Pork tenderloin (trimmed) 4 ounces 26% 135
Beef liver 4 ounces 25% 160
Venison 4 ounces 16% 170
Cod 4 ounces 27% 140
Flounder 3 ounces 12% 79
Halibut 3 ounces 19% 94
Tuna, canned (water) 4 ounces 7% 130
Pollock 4 ounces 12% 78
Snapper 4 ounces 12% 78
Clams 4 ounces 12% 104
Mussels 3 ounces 23% 146
Crab 1 cup 17% 119
Lobster 3 ounces 12% 100
Crayfish 3 ounces 11% 65
Octopus 3 ounces 11% 70
Squid 4 ounces 15% 104
Scallops 3 ounces 8% 75
Shrimp 3 ounces 30% 130
Lowfat silken tofu 4 ounces 30% 120

Beans and Peas

Food Serving Size Percentage Fat Calories
Kidney beans 1 cup 6% 210
Black beans 1 cup 3% 218
Pinto beans 1 cup 8% 206
Lentils 1/4 cup 5% 170
Garbanzo beans 1 cup 8% 286
Green peas 1 cup 4% 117
Lima beans 1 cup 7% 176
Fava beans 1 cup 4% 500
Navy beans 1 cup 3% 296
Adzuki beans 1/2 cup 2% 320
Split peas 1/2 cup 3% 356

Fruits

Along with being low-fat, fruit is also low in sodium and offers natural vitamins, minerals and plant phytochemicals. Juicing fresh fruits makes a delicious low-fat drink. You can also mix fruits for a wonderful fruit salad or eat them alone as a snack.

Fruit Serving Size Percentage Fat Calories
Apple 1 medium 3% 72
Apricot 1 medium 7% 17
Banana 1 medium 3% 105
Cantaloupe 1 cup 6% 60
Casaba melon 1 cup 3% 48
Fig 1 medium 3% 37
Grapes 1 cup 2% 110
Grapefruit 1/2 medium 3% 41
Honeydew 1 cup 3% 64
Lemon 1 medium 6% 17
Lime 1 medium 4% 20
Kiwi 1 medium 7% 46
Mango 1 cup 3% 107
Orange 1 medium 2% 62
Papaya 1 small 3% 59
Peach 1 medium 5% 38
Pear 1 medium 2% 96
Persimmon 1 medium 2% 118
Pineapple 1 cup 2% 74
Plum 1 medium 5% 30
Pomegranate 1 medium 4% 105
Tangerine 1 medium 5% 37
Watermelon 1 cup 4% 46

Berries

Berry Serving Size Percentage Fat Calories
Blueberries 1 cup 5% 83
Blackberries 1 cup 10% 62
Boysenberries 1 cup 9% 62
Cherries 1 cup 3% 74
Cranberries 1 cup 0% 60
Currants 1 cup 3% 63
Gooseberries 1 cup 11% 66
Loganberries 1 cup 5% 79
Raspberries 1 cup 10% 64
Strawberries 1 cup 8% 49

Dried Fruit

Fruit Serving Size Percentage Fat Calories
Apple 12 rings 0% 120
Apricot 10 halves 2% 80
Blueberries 1/3 cup 0% 120
Cherries 1/4 cup 0% 150
Cranberries 1/3 cup 4% 123
Dates 6 dates 0% 120
Figs 6 figs 3% 125
Prunes 6 prunes 1% 120
Raisins 1/2 cup 1% 217
Mixed vegetables

Vegetables

Vegetables are also a natural food packed with vitamins and minerals. They are low-fat and low in calories and a good source of dietary fiber.

Vegetable Serving Size Percentage Fat Calories
Acorn squash 1 cup (cubed) 2% 56
Artichoke 1 artichoke 3% 60
Asparagus 6 spears 4% 24
Bean sprouts 1 cup 4% 62
Beets 1 cup (cubed) 3% 58
Brussels sprouts 1 cup (halved) 6% 38
Butternut squash 1 cup (cubed) 2% 63
Cabbage 1 cup (chopped) 4% 21
Cauliflower 1 cup florets 3% 25
Carrots 1 cup (chopped) 5% 52
Celery 1 stalk 10% 6
Corn 1 cup 11% 132
Cucumbers 1 cup (chopped) 12% 16
Eggplant 1 cup (cubed) 6% 20
Green beans 1 cup 3% 34
Hubbard squash 1 cup (cubed) 10% 40
Iceberg lettuce 1 cup (shredded) 8% 8
Leeks 1 cup (sliced) 4% 54
Mushrooms 1 cup (sliced) 13% 15
Okra 1 cup (chopped) 3% 31
Onions 1 cup (chopped) 2% 67
Parsnips 1 cup (cubed) 3% 100
Potatoes 1 medium baked 1% 163
Rutabaga 1 cup (cubed) 5% 50
Sweet potatoes 1 medium baked 0% 115
Tomato 1 medium 9% 22
Turnips 1 cup (cubed) 3% 36
Zucchini 1 cup (sliced) 9% 20

Dark Green Leafy Vegetables

Vegetable Serving Size Percentage Fat Calories
Arugula (rocket) 1 cup 19% 5
Bok choy 1 cup (shredded) 13% 9
Broccoli 1 cup florets 9% 31
Collard greens 1 cup fresh 10% 33
Kale 1 cup (chopped) 12% 34
Mesclun 3 ounces 0% 15
Mache 3 ounces 0% 20
Mustard greens 1 cup (chopped) 6% 15
Romaine lettuce 2 cups (chopped) 0% 15
Spinach 1 cup raw 12% 7
Turnip greens 1 cup (chopped) 8% 18
Watercress 1 cup (chopped) 8% 4
Beet greens 1 cup (chopped) 4% 8
Swiss chard 1 cup (chopped) 9% 7

Vegetables From the Sea

Vegetable Serving Size Percentage Fat Calories
Kelp 2 tablespoons 11 4
Nori 1 sheet 0 5
Dulse 2 tablespoons 0 16
Agar-agar 1/2 cup 0 20
Wakame 2 tablespoons 12 4
Mixed nuts

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are high in fat content and do not meet low-fat criteria. However, eating nuts and seeds in moderation (fewer than 2 ounces per day) can be part of an overall healthy low-fat plan.

Low-Fat Cooking Skills

Learning to cook with low-fat foods is an important aspect of eating a low-fat diet. Consider these tips:

Fat Substitutes

When cooking, there are a number of ways you can reduce fat by making healthy substitutions.

  • Replace half of the oil when you bake with an equal amount of unsweetened applesauce.
  • Use a lowfat cooking spray, such as Pam when sauteeing.
  • Use non-stick pans and eliminate the oil.
  • Substitute egg whites for whole eggs.
  • Stir fry using water instead of oil.
  • Use fat-free mayonnaise, salad dressing, and similar condiments.
  • When marinating, skip the fat and use herbs, spices, and acid such as lemon juice or vinegar instead.
  • Replace whole-fat or 2% milk products with non-fat.
  • Choose cooking methods that minimize fat including grilling, broiling, and steaming.

Low-Fat Defined

The USDA My Plate recommends eating a diet that contains 30 percent of its calories or less from fat. Low-fat foods are considered those with 30 percent of their calories or less from fat.

Calculating Fat Percentage

To calculate fat percentage in food, consider the following:

  • Fat has nine calories per gram
  • Carbohydrates and protein have four calories per gram
  • Alcohol has seven calories per gram

To calculate the percentage of fat if it isn't listed on a food label:

  1. Multiply the grams of fat per serving times nine.
  2. Multiply the grams of carbs per serving times four.
  3. Multiply the grams of protein per serving times four.
  4. Multiply the grams of alcohol per serving times seven.
  5. Add the results of steps one through four.
  6. Divide the number obtained from step five by the number obtained in step one (fat calories/total calories).
  7. Multiply this result times 100 to obtain the percentage of calories from fat.

Portion Size Matters

While making sure you keep the overall fat percentage down is essential, eating low-fat isn't going to help much for weight control if you eat giant serving sizes. A kitchen scale is an effective way of measuring serving sizes. For packaged foods, follow the serving size recommendations on the nutrition label.

List of Low-Fat Foods