Saturated fats are naturally occurring fats found in animal based products such as lamb, beef and pork. When left at room temperature saturated fats will set, non-saturated fats left at room temperature, will still stay in liquid form. That’s how we can tell the difference.
Unfortunately, eating too many saturated fats can be damaging to our health. They increase blood cholesterol levels, increase our risk of Coronary Heart Disease and may cause blocked arteries, a Stroke or Heart Attack.
Eating less saturated fats will help us avoid the gradual build up of fatty deposits, which can be the cause of all the conditions mentioned above. They can be replaced with either polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats.
Both these fats can help improve cholesterol levels and are healthier. It’s a good idea to replace saturated fats with non-saturated fats such as rapeseed oil, corn oil, sunflower or olive oil, instead of butter or lard.
I always check labels on packaging to determine whether the product I intend to buy has a high saturated fat content. I know that prepacked ready meals and takeouts have a higher fat content. Stick to 3g or less of fat per 100g or 1.5g of saturated fat.
When it comes to frying, it has been well documented in the media, about the risks of frying food. Where you can, bake, steam, grill, boil or poach food. Also pay attention to labels on creamy sauces and high fat dressings that contain cheese, or make your own dressing, using lemon juice, herbs and low fat natural yoghurt instead.
Cheese has the highest saturated fat content. Instead of choosing full fat, look for low fat versions, such as cottage cheese, ricotta and extra light soft cheese. Keep hard cheese to a minimum portion. It’s important you’re sensible.