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Fats and cholesterol

A low-fat diet can help you keep to a healthy weight, and this will help to keep your blood pressure down.

Eating foods that are low in fat can also help you keep down the level of cholesterol in your blood. Too much cholesterol can raise your risk of heart disease and stroke, so if you have high blood pressure it is very important to keep your cholesterol levels low.

Types of fat

The type of fat that you eat is also important, as some types of fats are more likely to raise your cholesterol levels. While other types of fat will help to lower it.

Avoid eating too much saturated fat, as this will raise your cholesterol. It is usually found in red meats, butter, palm oil or ghee.

In contrast, polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats will help to lower your cholesterol level. They can be found in olive oil, rapeseed oil or sunflower oil. However they will still make you to gain weight if you eat too much of them.

How to cut out the fat

By reading the food label, you can see if a food is low, medium or high in fat or saturated fat:

  • Low – Less than 3g total fat or 1g saturated fat per 100g of food – These foods are a good choice
  • Medium – Between 3-20g total fat or 1-5g saturated fat per 100g of food – Eat small amounts occasionally
  • High – More than 20g total fat or 5g saturated fat per 100g of food – Avoid these completely

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