7. Saturated Fats
A small amount of fat is an essential part of a healthy, balanced diet. Fat is a source of essential fatty acids that the body cannot make itself. Fat helps the body absorb vitamins A, D, and E. These vitamins are fat-soluble, meaning they can only be absorbed with the help of fats.
The main types of fat found in our food are saturated and unsaturated, and most foods will have a combination of these. We all need to cut out saturated fat like butter, cream, cheese, and red meat and replace it with more unsaturated fats and oils like rapeseed or olive oil, as these are better for your heart and general wellbeing.
Saturated fats are found in many foods, both sweet and savoury. Most of them come from animal sources, including meat and dairy products, as well as some plant foods like palm oil and coconut oil.
There is good evidence that there is a link between saturated fat and raised cholesterol levels. Diabetes UK and the British Dietetic Association are calling on healthcare professionals not to recommend diets that are high in saturated fats (3). It is important that any diet recommended for people with type 2 diabetes is based on evidence and tailored to the individual. Therefore, diets like low carb or Mediterranean diets, which are not high in saturated fats, can continue to be recommended for diabetics.
Eating foods lower in unhealthy fats, especially saturated and trans fats, is particularly important to keep the risk of diabetes as low as possible. It can also help you lose weight, especially when also paired with exercise.