What exactly are saturated fats?
Saturated, unsaturated, cholesterol, and trans fats are the four major types of fats found in the human diet. Foods that contain saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol can boost blood cholesterol levels. A high blood cholesterol level is a key risk factor for coronary artery disease, which can result in a heart attack or stroke. A well-balanced diet can assist to mitigate these dangers.
The majority of saturated fats are derived from animal products such as dairy, meat, and poultry. To decrease your intake of saturated fats, consider lower-fat and leaner dairy, meat, and poultry options such as skim milk, lean beef, and grilled chicken breast without the skin.
Consuming too many foods high in saturated fats might be detrimental to your health. You may reduce your risk of heart disease by substituting saturated fats with unsaturated fats.
What foods and beverages contain the most saturated fat?
- Some tropical oils, such as coconut and palm kernel oil
- Cakes, biscuits, and some snack foods
- Higher-fat meats, such as beef ribs, sausage, and some processed meats
- Higher-fat dairy, such as regular-fat cheeses and whole or 2% milk
- Butter, stick margarine, cream, and cream cheese
Dishes featuring a lot of components, such as pizza, casseroles, burgers, tacos, and sandwiches, tend to include a lot of saturated fats.
How To Cut Down Saturated Fat
1. Read the Nutrition Facts label at the shops
The label breaks down total fat into saturated fat and trans fat. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids may also be listed on labels. These are different forms of unsaturated fats.
- High: More than 5g saturates per 100g. Red may be used as a color code.
- Medium: 1.5g to 5g saturates per 100g. Amber may be used as a color coding.
- Low: 1.5g saturates every 100g or less. Green may be used as a color code.
Take note of the precise types of fats listed. When it comes to saturated fat, choose products that are green or amber in colour. The saturated fat content of comparable items might vary significantly.
2. When eating out
- Coffee: replace huge full milk coffees with regular “thin” ones. Avoid sprinkling whipped cream on top.
- Curry: Instead of creamy curries like korma, pasanda, or masala, opt for dry or tomato-based dishes like tandoori or madras. Instead of pilau rice and naan, choose plain rice and chapatti.
- Kebabs: choose a shish kebab with pita bread and salad over a doner kebab.
Chinese: choose for a lower-fat cuisine like steamed fish, chicken chop suey, or szechuan prawns.
- Thai: Try a stir-fried or steamed dish with chicken, seafood, or veggies. Keep an eye out for curries that contain coconut milk, which is high in saturated fat. If you choose one of them, try not to consume all of the sauce.
- Snack time: replace high-sugar, high-salt, and high-fat items like chocolate, doughnuts, and pastries with fruit, wholegrain bread, low-fat and sugar-free yoghurt, a piece of fruit bread, and a piece of malt loaf
3. When cooking at home
- Spaghetti bolognese: choose a lower-fat mince that is lower in saturated fat. If you’re not using low-fat mince, brown it first, then drain off the fat before adding the rest of the ingredients. Alternatively, combine meat mince with a meat-free mince substitute.
- Pasta: Serve your pasta with a tomato-based sauce. It contains less saturated fat than a creamy or cheesy sauce.
- Pizza: instead of extra cheese or cured meats like pepperoni, salami, and bacon, use a lower-fat topping such veggies, chicken, tuna, and other seafood.
- Bacon: Back bacon is preferable than streaky bacon, which contains more fat. Instead of frying, grill.
Chicken: Choose thinner cuts of chicken, such as chicken breast. Remove the skin before eating to lower the saturated fat content.
- Chips: To limit the surface area exposed to fat, consider thick, straight-cut chips rather than french fries or crinkle-cut chips. Cook them in the oven with a little sunflower oil and the skins on if you’re preparing your own, rather than deep frying.
- Potatoes: Make your roast potatoes healthier by chopping them into larger pieces and adding only a small amount of sunflower or olive oil.
- Milk: Use 1% fat milk on cereal and in hot beverages. It contains around half the saturated fat of semi-skimmed.
- Cheese: When using cheese to flavor a meal or sauce, use a strong-tasting cheese, such as reduced-fat mature cheddar, because you’ll need less. Grating cheese instead of slicing it will make it last longer.
- Yogurt: Go for a lower-fat, lower-sugar yoghurt. Different products can have significant differences.