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Slash the saturated fats

8/24 10:32:07

Research shows that that total amount of fat in your diet isn't linked with weight or disease, what really matters is the TYPE of fat and the total CALORIES in your diet. 

Eating good fats in place of bad fats lowers the 'bad' LDL cholesterol and plays a role in the prevention of diabetes.

Eating a diet that is high in saturated fat can raise the level of cholesterol in the blood which in turn increases the risk of heart disease. Most of us eat too much saturated fat - about 20% more than the recommended maximum amount.

  • The average man should eat no more than 30g of saturated fat a day.

  • The average woman should eat no more than 20g of saturated fat a day.

You can use these figures to guide your choices when you are shopping by checking nutrition labels on food packaging to determine the volume of saturated fat in the product.

The following suggestions may help you cut down on saturated fat.

At home:

  • Spaghetti bolognese: use a leaner mince as it's lower in saturated fat. If you aren't using leaner mince, brown the mince first, then drain off the fat before adding other ingredients.

  • Pizza: choose a lower-fat topping, such as vegetables, ham or fish instead of pepperoni, salami or extra cheese.

  • Fish pie: use reduced-fat spread and 1% fat milk.

  • Ready made meals: compare the nutrition labels on different ready made meals as there can be a big difference in saturated fat content. Pick the one lower in saturated fat using per 100g or per serving information. Remember, serving size may vary, so read the label carefully.

  • Potatoes: make your roast potatoes healthier by cutting them into larger pieces than usual and using just a little olive oil.

  • Chips: choose thick, straight-cut chips instead of french fries or crinkle-cut. If you're making your own, cook them in the oven with a drizzle of sunflower oil, rather than deep-frying.

  • Chicken: before you eat it, take the skin off to reduce the saturated fat content.

  • Meat: trim the visible fat off meat such as steak.

  • Sausages: compare nutrition labels on the packs and choose the ones lower in saturated fat using per serving or per 100g information. Remember, servings may vary so read the label carefully. Make sure you grill them instead of frying.

  • Bacon: choose back bacon instead of streaky bacon. If you're cooking your own, grill the bacon instead of frying.

  • Eggs: prepare eggs without oil or butter. Poach or boil eggs.

  • Pasta: try a tomato sauce on your pasta. It's lower in saturated fat than a creamy or cheesy sauce.

  • Cheese: when using cheese to flavour a dish or sauce, try a strong-tasting cheese, such as mature cheddar, because you'll need less. Make cheese go further by grating cheese instead of slicing it.

  • Yoghurt: choose a lower-fat yoghurt. 

When eating out:

  • Coffee on the go: swap any large whole-milk coffee for regular 'skinny' ones.

  • Curry: go for dry or tomato-based dishes, such as tandoori or madras, instead of creamy curries such as korma or masala. And choose plain rice and chapatti instead of pilau rice and naan.

  • Kebabs: at the kebab shop go for a shish kebab with pita bread and salad, rather than a doner kebab.

  • Chinese takeaway: choose a lower-fat dish, such as steamed fish, chicken chop suey or Szechuan prawns.

  • Thai: try a stir-fried or steamed dish containing chicken, fish or vegetables. Watch out for curries that contain coconut milk, which is high in saturated fat. If you choose one of these, try not to eat all the sauce.

  • Snack time: have some fruit, toast, a low-fat yoghurt or a handful of unsalted nuts, instead of chocolate, doughnuts, croissants or pastries. If you must have something sweet, swap cakes and biscuits for a currant bun, scone or some malt loaf, plain or with reduced-fat spread. 


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