Healthy Peterborough

Cut Back on Fat!

We all need to eat less fat to help keep ourselves healthy. Too much fat in our diet can cause us to gain weight and increase our risk of heart disease and stroke.

We do need some fat in our diet, as it helps us to absorb certain vitamins which keep our bodies healthy. The type of fat we eat is important though. Adults and children need to eat less saturated fat in particular. Making changes to our diet to eat less saturated fats and replace these with healthier unsaturated fats is better for our health.

Different Types of Fat

What is saturated fat?

Saturated fat is unhealthy as too much can increase our cholesterol which increases risk of heart disease and stroke. Most saturated fats are solid at room temperature and usually come from an animal source.

These include; lard, butter, ghee, goose fat, palm oil and coconut oil.

What is unsaturated fat?

Unsaturated fats are healthier for us and swapping saturated fats for unsaturated fats can help to lower your cholesterol. Unsaturated fats tend to come from plant sources.

These include olive, rapeseed and sunflower oils, nuts and seeds, avocados and oily fish.

All fats are high in calories and eating too much of any type of fat will lead to weight gain. Try to cut down on the saturated fats you eat by swapping these for unsaturated fats. Do not start eating more unsaturated fats without also reducing your saturated fat intake or this may result in you eating too much fat in total.

How can I eat less saturated fat?

Reduce consumption of saturated fats

…by swapping them for these healthier choices

Butter, lard, ghee, goose fat

Lower fat margarine or spreads

Coconut oil and palm oil

Olive oil, rapeseed oil, sunflower oil

Hard Cheese e.g. cheddar, red Leicester

Reduced fat cheese

Soft cheese e.g. cottage cheese, quark

Fat on meat e.g. rind on pork chop, minced beef, skin on chicken

Cut visible fat off of the meat e.g. rind on pork chop. Orremove the skin before cooking. 
Look for leaner meats e.g. chicken, turkey, 5% fat minced beef.
Also include 2 portions of fish a week, one of which should be an oily fish e.g. mackerel, herring, pilchards, sardines, salmon, trout and fresh tuna.

Meat products e.g. sausages, bacon, beef burgers

Choose back bacon instead of streaky bacon.
Look at foods labels for meat products with less saturated fat.

Biscuits, cakes & pastries

Nuts e.g. almonds, brazils, cashews, walnuts
Seeds e.g. sesame, sunflower, pumpkin
Fruit & vegetables - avocados are a good source of unsaturated fats.

Find more swaps here 

Changing your cooking methods can also help reduce the fat content of foods. Instead of frying or adding fat to help food cook try one of these cooking methods;

  • Baking
  • Boiling
  • Poaching
  • Microwaving
  • Steaming

Check the food label. Learning to understand food labels will enable you to make a healthier choice. You will be able to see if a food is high in fat, and then choose one which is lower in both fat and saturated fat.

Fat as part of a healthy diet

Oils and spreads are included as part of a healthy balanced diet. This is shown by the Eatwell Guide. Oils and spreads are the smallest section of the Eatwell Guide, which shows we only need to eat these in small amounts.

Foods which are high in fat are set to one side of the Eatwell Guide. This shows that while we may choose to eat these types of foods occasionally, we do not need them for a healthy diet and so should eat less of them. These foods include;chocolate, cakes, biscuits and ice-cream.

Following a healthy balanced diet will support you to stay well and maintain a healthy weight.






No comments have been left for this article

Have your say...

Your name will be published alongside your comment but we will not publish your email address.

All comments will be reviewed by a moderator before being published.

Please ensure you complete all fields marked as mandatory.
Healthy Peterborough is led by:
  • Peterborough City Council
  • Peterborough Pharmacies
  • Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust