According to the American Heart Association, eating a diet high in saturated fat can raise level of cholesterol in your blood. High cholesterol, in turn, can lead to a number of health risks – including coronary heart disease, heart attack and stroke.
UK health guidelines also advise to eat less fat, especially saturated fat. These guidelines recommend maintaining saturated fats intake within following limits:
(i) the average man should eat no more than 30g of saturated fat a day; and
(ii) the average woman should eat no more than 20g of saturated fat a day.
Saturated fat is the kind of fat, which is found in butter and lard, pies, cakes and biscuits, fatty cuts of meat, sausages and bacon, and cheese and cream. With the increasing busy schedule due to demands of work, school and other outside activities, people these days don’t get enough time to cook food at home and so tend to eat fast and processed foods. These foods generally contain higher amounts of saturated fat.
Low Saturated Fat Foods Diet
Fats contain both saturated and unsaturated (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) fatty acids. Saturated fat elevates blood cholesterol level more than any other form of fat. Curtailing saturated fat to less than 10 percent of your total recommended calories intake helps you bring down your blood cholesterol level.
Guidelines On How To Reduce To Saturated Fat And Cholesterol
1. Total Fat Control
(i) Limit total intake of fats and oils.
(ii) Keep away from butter, stick margarine, shortening, lard, palm and coconut oils.
(iii) Reduce intake of mayonnaise, salad dressings, gravies and sauces, except those that are homemade with low-fat ingredients.
(iv) Opt for low-fat and nonfat products like low-fat mayonnaise, low-fat or non-hydrogenated peanut butter, low-fat or fat-free salad dressings and nonfat gravy.
(v) Curb chocolate.
(vi) Choose vegetable oil, for example canola or olive oil.
(vii) Eat nuts in moderate amounts.
(viii) Choose margarine that does not contain trans fatty acids.
(ix) Make sure to read ingredient labels thoroughly to find out both amount and type of fat present in foods you are buying in order to control saturated and trans fats intake.
(x) Steer clear of high-fat processed and convenience foods.
2. Meats and Meat Alternatives To Cut Back Saturated Fat In Your Diet
(i) Go for fish, chicken, turkey and lean meats.
(ii) Include in your diet dried beans, peas, lentils and tofu.
(iii) Reduce intake of egg yolks to one a day.
(iv) In case you relish red meat, cut back its intake to no more than 3 servings per week and look for lean or round cuts.
(v) Steer clear of fatty meats like bacon, sausage, franks, luncheon meats and ribs.
(vi) Don’t eat organ meats, including liver.
3. Choose Dairy Products Prudently For Saturated Fats Control
(i) Look for nonfat or low-fat milk, yogurt and cottage cheese.
(ii) Majority of cheeses is high in fat. Opt for cheeses made from non-fat milk, such as mozzarella and ricotta cheese.
(iii) Go for light or fat-free cream cheese and sour cream.
(iv) Restrict intake of cream and sauces made with cream.
4. Fruits and Vegetable Are Your Best Friends
(i) Include in your diet fruits and vegetables of all colors.
(ii) Avoid fried vegetables, instead add lemon juice, vinegar or “mist” olive oil on vegetables to make them palatable.
(iii) Restrict adding fatty-sauces, fat or oil to vegetables.
5. Tips on Breads, Cereals and Grains
(i) Opt for whole-grain breads, cereals, pastas and rice.
(ii) Keep away from high-fat snack foods, such as granola, cookies, pies, pastries, doughnuts and croissants.
6. Cooking Guidelines To Lower Saturated Fat And Cholesterol
(i) Steer clear of deep fried foods.
(ii) Prune visible fat off meats and shear skin from poultry before cooking.
(iii) Preferably bake, broil, boil, poach or roast poultry, fish and lean meats.
(iv) Remove and throw away fat that comes out of meat as you cook it.
(v) Add little or no fat to foods.
(vi) Use vegetable oil brush or sprays to smear pans with a bit of oil for cooking or baking. Other alternative is to steam vegetables.
(vii) Use herbs, spices or no-oil marinades to flavor foods.