The Healthy Food Guide team believe that making small diet and lifestyle changes brings the best long-term gains. We look at the science behind the headlines and promote a balanced way of eating.

Try these 10 ways to change your cooking and eating habits – they could make a big difference to your heart health and help you lose unwanted fat


1. Stop frying your food – grill, poach, steam, boil, bake or microwave – or dry-fry.

2. Use non-stick pans so you need very little oil. Measure it with a spoon rather than pouring freely from the bottle, or use a spray oil.

3. Replace biscuits, cakes and chocolate with dried or fresh fruit, and swap crisps for low-fat dips with crudités.

4. Choose lean cuts of meat and skinless chicken, and cut off any visible fat before cooking.
 Avoid fatty meat products such as sausages, burgers, pepperoni, salami and pies.

chicken satay
Check out these 20 healthy chicken recipes


5. Roast meat on a rack so the fat drips into the tray below – then drain and discard the fat before using the meat juices to make gravy.

6. Skim fat from the surface of casseroles and stews.

7. Use less butter or margarine on toast and in sandwiches, or switch to a low-fat spread – but whatever you use, get into the habit of spreading it thinly.

8. Opt for reduced-fat dairy products such as semi-skimmed or skimmed milk, reduced-fat cheese and fat-free yogurt.

9. Serve puddings with low-fat yogurt or fromage frais instead of cream or ice cream (natural yogurt is a good substitute when a soup or sauce recipe calls for cream or crème fraîche).

10. Use fat-free or low-fat dressings rather than French dressing or mayo – try a squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.


DAIRY products contribute 15% to an adult’s total fat intake and 24% of our saturates

MEAT accounts FOR 23% of the average adult’s total fat and saturated fat intake

WOMEN should have a maximum of 70g total fat a day. The recommended daily limit of saturated fat for women is 20g – yet on average, we consume 22g. For men, the limits are 95g (total) and 30g (saturates).