Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Top tips to cut the saturated fat

reposted from:

Top tips to cut the saturated fat Grilled chicken kebabs

Eating too much saturated fat can increase blood cholesterol levels, which in turn is a risk factor for coronary heart disease.

The healthier type of fat to choose is unsaturated fat (monounsaturated or polyunsaturated), which can actually improve cholesterol levels. But don’t forget all fat is high in calories, so if you are watching your weight, you should limit your overall fat intake.

Here are our tips to help you cut down on saturated fats:

  • Not so good fats…

    Butter, lard, palm oil, coconut oil/cream and ghee (clarified butter) are all rich sources of saturated fat and are best limited. Replace with small amounts of unsaturated fats such as olive oil, rapeseed oil or corn oil.

  • Choose your meat wisely

    Have chicken or turkey without skin, lean cuts of meats and trim off any visible fat. Cut back on fatty meat pies, sausages, sausage rolls and breaded meat or chicken etc. Did you know a grilled chicken breast without skin contains a third less saturated fat than with skin?

  • SpreadsMargarine on knife

    Use spreads thinly and go for lower fat spreads with the lowest amount of saturates. Avoid butter or hard margarines and choose spreads that mainly contain monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats.

  • Check the labels

    Cut down on takeaways, ready meals and processed foods. Opt for lower fat versions; check and compare nutrition labels and pick foods with a lower amount of saturated fat.

  • Look at your cooking methods

    Grill, bake, steam, boil or poach foods instead of frying in lots of oil. Did you know a portion of cod fried in batter has 2.9g of saturated fat and 445 calories, but an average portion of baked cod has just 0.4g of saturated fat and only 115 calories! Rather than adding extra fat like cream or sour cream to recipes why not swap with low-fat yoghurt or fromage frais.

  • Dressings and sauces

    Make your own low fat salad dressing using ingredients such as low fat yoghurt, lemon juice, herbs, etc rather than shop brought ones. If you do buy dressing or sauces, pick lower fat varieties, e.g. low-fat salad dressing or lower fat mayonnaise.

  • Milk carton
  • Milk it up…

    Use semi-skimmed or skimmed milk rather than full fat or condensed milk. For example, swap a 200ml glass of full fat milk for semi-skimmed milk and cut your saturated fat intake by 2.9g and 40 calories.

  • To measure or spray

    Measure your oil out with a tablespoon rather than just pouring straight out of the bottle. Then you know how much you are using. Or why not use a spray oil to cook.

  • Cheesy choice

    Check out the nutrition label and opt for cheeses that are lower in fat and saturated fat such as cottage cheese, ricotta and half-fat cheddar. Did you know that a 30g portion of hard cheese is the size of a small matchbox?

  • Fish with lemon
  • Eat more oily fish

    Oily fish, such as salmon, mackerel, fresh tuna and sardines are rich in omega 3 polyunsaturated fat; which can help to protect against heart disease.

  • Snack attack

    For a tasty and nutritious snack, have a handful of unsalted nuts, seeds or dried fruit rather then reaching for fatty snacks such as crisps, pastries, or bombay mix. For those with a sweet tooth choose sugar free jelly or sorbets instead of cakes, biscuits or ice-cream.

  • Bulk up

    Add less meat to casseroles, stews and sauces and replace with fibre-rich vegetables, beans or pulses.

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