Date Published: 10 February 2009

Agency provides tips on how to cut sat fat and reduce risk of heart disease

Health Food - illustrating an item from the UK Food Standards Agency.

The Agency has produced a selection of tips, offering people simple and practical steps to help cut their intake of saturated fat. The tips are featured in press advertising for the Agency’s new awareness campaign about saturated fat, as well as on its consumer advice website, eatwell.gov.uk.

Straightforward ways to reduce saturated fat intake include: cutting the fat off meat, switching to lower-fat dairy products, and comparing labels and choosing the option that is lower in saturated fat.

The Agency is also running a TV ad during February and March 2009 highlighting the dangers of eating too much sat fat.

To coincide with the launch of this campaign, the Agency has introduced a new recipe section on eatwell.gov.uk

All the recipes have been analysed nutritionally so users can see how many grams of sat fat, fat, salt and sugar is contained, and whether it is high, medium or low for each nutrient.

The recipes can also be searched by type of meal, and whether they are suitable for vegetarians, vegans and people who need to avoid nuts, gluten or dairy. People in a hurry can also look out for those that take less than half an hour to prepare. The recipes can be found at the link below.

Tim Smith, Food Standards Agency Chief Executive, said:

"There are simple ways we can cut down the amount of saturated fat we all eat and protect our health. We need to eat leaner meat and a bit less cheese, switch to lower-fat milks and eat healthier snacks, cutting down on cakes and biscuits."

A new FSA survey published today shows that many of us are unaware of simple changes we can make to reduce the amount of saturated fat we eat:

* only a fifth (20%) of people choose to eat fish or poultry instead of red meat, only a quarter of people (24%) cut the white bits off meat and a fifth (20%) choose meat with less white on it – all options for reducing the amount of saturated fat in our food
* not even a third (29%) of people take the skin off chicken/poultry before cooking (or buy it without the skin), which reduces the saturated fat content
* less than half (43%) of people regularly grill their meat, which is a healthier way of cooking, while a tenth still fry their meat for extra flavour (11%)
* almost two thirds (63%) of people think that healthier foods are more expensive than unhealthier foods, highlighting the need for practical, cost-effective tips

These findings suggest that there is an opportunity for all of us to make simple changes, which will allow us to continue to enjoy a range of foods as part of a balanced diet, while reducing our intake of saturated fat.

 

Source: Food Standards Agency (FSA), UK.

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