Margarine, butter, other spreading fats and low fat spreads, cooking oils, oil-based salad dressings, mayonnaise, cream, fried foods including fried chips, chocolate, crisps, biscuits, pastries, cake, puddings, ice-cream, rich sauces and gravies are all in this food group because they contain fat.
Like carbohydrates, fats contain the elements Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen. Fats are used as a source of energy: they are also stored beneath the skin helping to insulate us against the cold. Do not think that by avoiding fat in your diet you will stay thin and elegant! If you eat too much carbohydrate and protein, you will convert some of it into fat, so you will put on weight. You must balance the amount of energy containing foods with the amount of energy that you use when you take exercise.
Soft drinks (not diet drinks), sweets, jam and sugar, as well as foods such as cakes, puddings, biscuits, pastries and ice-cream.
It is essential to have a small amount of fat in the diet, but eat foods containing fat sparingly as they are high in energy. Look out for reduced fat or low fat alternatives (by law any food labelled as low fat must contain no more than 3g of fat per 100g). Fats can be divided into saturates, monounsaturates and polyunsaturates.
Limit consumption of saturates, associated with animal products, cakes, biscuits and pastries, to reduce risk of heart disease. To cut down on saturates, make use of the information on nutrition panels on food products, cut off visible fat from meat and poultry, choose lower fat meat and dairy products, and where fat is needed in cooking use it sparingly.
Choose fats and oils containing monounsaturates (e.g. olive and rapeseed oils) and polyunsaturates (e.g. sunflower, corn and rapeseed oils) instead of saturates. In moderation these are not associated with an increased risk of heart disease – but still use them sparingly. There are two types of essential fats, which must be supplied by the diet in small amounts: omega-3 fatty acids (e.g. found in oily fish, walnuts, omega-3 enriched eggs, and rapeseed and soya oil) and omega-6 fatty acids (e.g. found in vegetable oils such as sunflower, corn and soya oil and spreads made from these).