Not all fat is bad—and some, like the unsaturated fat in olive oil and canola, may actually help reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol, which in turn may help to lower your risk of heart disease. But regardless of what kind of fat you use in a recipe, use all fats in moderation because they are high in calories. There are plenty of ways to make cooking with less fat easy and tasty. For instance, make sure you have a set of nonstick or cast-iron skillets so you can cook with teaspoons of oil rather than tablespoons. Skip tossing cooked vegetables in butter. Instead try roasting them with a little olive oil or serve them with a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkling of fresh herbs. Try replacing some of the butter in baked goods with better-for-you canola oil.
The myth that you need butter and cream to make food taste better is just that: a myth. As for dairy—milk, sour cream and yogurt are good sources of calcium, which helps keep your bones strong and healthy. Cut down saturated fat without sacrificing flavor by replacing them with low-fat or nonfat versions.