Oils and spreads

We all need some fat in our diet to stay healthy. What’s important is the kind of fat that you eat. There are two main kinds of fat - saturated and unsaturated. Eating too much saturated fat can put you at risk of heart disease, so keep it in small amounts in the diet. Unsaturated fat is actually good for your heart health, so you can eat more of this kind.

Tips for cutting down on fat

  • Choose lower fat spreads.
  • Downsize your fatty snack foods, like chocolate, cakes and crisps. 
  • Go for treat-size bars and small, individual packets of crisps. 
  • Try sharing your desserts.
  • Fill up on foods that are low in fat - like fruit and veggies (all kinds)
  • Go for lean cuts of meat, and cut off any fat you can see on your meat before you cook it
  • Grill, bake, steam and microwave foods instead of frying or roasting them
  • Go for low-fat dairy foods like milk, cheese and yoghurt
  • Use stronger-tasting cheeses so that less can be used to get the same taste
  • Switch to low-fat spreads instead of butter
  • Compare labels on pre-packed foods and go for the brands that are lower in fat
  • Go for tomato-based sauces instead of cream or cheese-based sauces
  • Try natural yoghurt or fromage frais instead of cream

Non saturated fats - choose more often

  • Oily fish
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Avocados
  • Vegetable oils (olive, sunflower, rapeseed)
  • Vegetable oil spreads (instead of butter)

Saturated fats - choose less often

  • Cakes
  • Biscuits
  • Chocolate
  • Butter or lard
  • Cream or creme fraiche
  • Sausages and other processed meats
  • Meat pies
  • Fast food
  • Hard cheese

Eating too much fat – whether good or bad - can cause weight gain. So be sure to keep fats and oils to small amounts in your diet, and add just small amounts during cooking.