• Fat is made up of fatty acids, some of which are essential for health, in small amounts;
  • Foods that contain a lot of fat provide a lot of energy. Too much can cause people to become overweight;
  • Fat carries some vitamins (A, D, E and K) round the body and is necessary for their absorption.

Where are fats found in our diet?

  • We add fat to food, for example butter or spread on bread;
  • Some of the fat we eat is visible for example we can see the fat on some meats;
  • Some fat is hidden and harder to spot – for example it can be found in biscuits, cake and chocolates and crisps.

What are the different types of fat and where do we find them?:

  • Not all fat is the same – there are two main types of fat in food. These are called ‘Saturated’ fat and ‘Unsaturated’ fat;

Saturated fat

  • Usually solid at room temperature;
  • Found in meat, full fat dairy foods and pastry;
  • Too much can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

Foods high in saturated fat:

  • Meat products, e.g. sausages;
  • Cuts of meat with visible white fat, and skin;
  • Cheese, especially hard cheese;
  • Butter, ghee and lard;
  • Pastries, pies, samosas;
  • Some savoury snacks;
  • Chocolate, cakes and biscuits;
  • Cream, soured cream. crème fraiche and ice cream;
  • Palm oil, Coconut oil and coconut cream.

Unsaturated fat

  • Usually liquid at room temperature;
  • Tend to be vegetable fats and oils;
  • Can help lower cholesterol levels;
  • Provide the essential fatty acids.

Foods high in unsaturated fat:

  • Oily fish, e.g. mackerel, salmon, sardines;
  • Avocados;
  • Nuts (choosing unsalted nuts helps to make sure we do not eat more salt than is recommended);
  • Seeds;
  • Oils and spreads made from rapeseed, olive, sunflower and vegetables.