Use fats sparingly, choose vegetable oil rather than hard fats

Fats and oils can be found in foods, or added to foods and meals. The total amount of fat and oil in the eating plan should be limited, because too much fat increases risk for weight gain and the development of high levels of blood fats.

Some fats and oils are needed by the body, but only small amounts should be used. The essential nutrients from fat are found in fat and oil from plants. Foods that are cooked in fat by frying are always high in fat, so frying food is not recommended as a method of cooking. Many foods that are bought at restaurants and takeaway shops are cooked with a lot of fat and therefore are not healthy choices.

Guidelines for including fat or oil in your diet

  • Some fat is needed by the body, but too much fat is not good
  • The best fats are those that come from plant foods like oil, peanut butter and avocado
  • A total of about four to six teaspoons of oil, margarine or butter will supply the essential fats needed
  • Margarine should spread thinly on bread

Examples of how to include fat in the diet

  • Spread margarine thinly on the sandwiches
  • Make peanut butter sandwiches for your lunch box
  • Use oil in meal preparation for the evening meal such as a small amount of sunflower oil to brown onions for a stew
  • Slice avocado into a salad