Web Content Viewer (JSR 286) - Healthy Weight

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Fats can be saturated or unsaturated (monounsaturated or polyunsaturated). This will depend on their chemical structure. Other fats, called trans fats, can be produced when some fats are processed. 

Diets high in saturated fats and trans fats can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke –monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are better for our health.

A variety of deep fried finger foods as a platter with sauces in the middle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

However, all fats are equally high in kilojoules. If you are overweight, or if you are a healthy weight and plan to stay that way, then it is particularly important to limit your intake of foods high in saturated fat and to eat unsaturated fats in small amounts as part of a balanced diet.

Saturated fats are found in:

  • Butter, cream, lard and dripping
  • Coconut and palm kernel oils
  • Many biscuits, cakes, pastries, pies
  • Processed meats, such as sausages and salami
  • Commercial burgers, pizzas and fied foods
  • Potato chips and crisps
  • Meats
  • Full cream milk products, especially full-fat cheese

Saturated fats are always listed on the nutrition information panel section of the food label. So when choosing between foods in the supermarket, compare food labels and choose the product lowest in saturated fat.

Ways to reduce the amount of saturated fat in your diet include:

  • Swapping full-fat milk, yogurt and cheese for reduced-fat milk varieties for family members over two years old
  • Cutting off the fat – trimming all visible fat from meat and poultry before cooking
  • Avoiding fatty and/or fried take away foods
  • Ordering a side salad or vegetables instead of hot chips
  • Replacing sour cream or coconut milk with light evaporated milk or plain reduced-fat yoghurt
  • Avoiding most packaged cakes and biscuits
  • Choosing healthier snacks, such as fresh fruit, small packets of nuts, reduced-fat yoghurt, reduced-salt crispbreads and unbuttered popcorn
  • Replacing butter with spreads (margarines) that contain mostly unsaturated fats.

Unsaturated fats

Healthy fats are found in various foods within the five food groups, especially in fish, seeds, nuts, legumes/beans, avocado, oats, lean grass-fed meat, poultry and some eggs. These good fats, found both in these foods and added as oils and spreads, increase the taste and texture of food, provide fatty acids that are essential for health and often have vitamins A, D and E.

The healthier spreads and oils are made from foods such as nuts and seeds that contain mostly unsaturated (polyunsaturated or monounsaturated) fats including:

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Safflower seeds
  • Soy beans
  • Cottonseed
  • Olives
  • Sesame seeds
  • Corn
  • Rice bran
  • Grape seeds.

Beware however, some spreads and oils are high in saturated fats and are not recommended. These include cooking margarine (which is different to margarine spread), coconut oil and palm oil.

 You can find out what types of fats are contained in particular spreads or oils by reading the food labels.  

 

For more information: