All animal products contain some saturated fat. Some plant oils, such as palm and coconut oils, do, too. You can eat meat and still cut back on saturated fat by following these tips.
- Eat lean cuts of meat. Lean cuts include those with no more than 15% calories from fat. Choosing cuts that say loin also leads to a lower fat selection. See How can I cook healthy meals? to learn more about which meats are healthy choices. For a list of foods to limit or avoid, see Foods High in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol.
- Trim all the fat off before cooking.
Keep in mind, choosing the healthiest foods is only part of the solution. You also need to pay attention to the number of servings of meat you eat. Doing so will help you determine if you are getting too much saturated fat from meat. If you are, try reducing the amount of meat you eat during a meal. Supplement your smaller serving sizes of meat with whole grains, vegetables, and fruit. These are naturally low in fat and are full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Think beyond meat. Other foods besides meat can be filled with saturated fat. So, choose snack foods wisely. If you eat processed foods - such as crackers, chips, candy, or whipped toppings - eat these only in small amounts and only occasionally. Saturated fats are often hidden in these foods. That means you might not see the words saturated fat in the ingredients list, but you might see coconut oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil, or cocoa butter. All of these are saturated fats.
Most packaged foods must carry a Nutrition Facts label that lists the amount of saturated fat in a serving, so check the label.