12 foods you wouldn’t believe are so fatty

Some foods we imagine are healthy can be shockingly full of fat. Learn which ones are a useful part of a healthy diet, and which ones are best treated with caution.

1. Muffins

Blueberry muffin

culinarycara / Via Flickr.com 

A blueberry muffin might sound like a healthy breakfast food, but don’t be fooled – this is basically cake, and is full of sugar as well as fat. For a lower-fat choice try a currant bun or plain wholemeal scone instead.

Typical content per blueberry muffin (85g): 14.6g fat / 1.8g saturated fat / 281 kcal

Get our recipe for fresh strawberry scones.

2. Yoghurt coated raisins

Yoghurt coated raisins

jamesmellor / Via Flickr.com

These can contain almost double the calories of plain raisins. The yoghurt coating contains add fat and sugar, so stick to a small handful of plain dried fruit, or if you’re craving a yoghurt taste, try dipping some dried apricots in plain low fat yoghurt instead. 

Typical content per serving (30g): 4.9g fat / 4.3g saturated fat / 134 kcal

3. Coleslaw

Coleslaw

tracy benjamin / Via Flickr.com 

It’s a salad, right, so it must be healthy? But even though it’s based on carrot and cabbage, coleslaw is dressed in a mayonnaise based dressing which is high in fat. Check the nutrition information on pack and look out for reduced fat and yogurt dressed versions instead. Or why not try making some at home by shredding cabbage and carrots and using low-fat yogurt for the dressing?

Typical content per 100g: 16.3g fat / 1.7g saturated fat / 173 kcal

4. Salami

Salami

Aka / Via commons.wikimedia.org

Just like sausages, salami can quickly add fat and calories to your meal. Why not use a little lean ham or cooked chicken instead?

Typical content per large slice (12g): 4.7g of fat / 1.7g / 52 kcal

5. Egg yolk

Egg on toast

An average egg yolk contains 5.6g of fat. The yolk is also a source of cholesterol, which is why restricting eggs is often wrongly associated with a heart-healthy diet. An average egg white, on the other hand, contains 14 calories and no fat. But before you rush to make an egg-white omelette, it’s important to remember that egg yolks also contain a whole range of minerals and vitamins including A, D and E as well as essential fats.

The cholesterol we eat also isn’t a significant cause of raised cholesterol in our bodies, so for most people it’s not necessary to restrict eggs when eaten as part of a balanced, healthy diet. So, if you like eggs, eat them whole to benefit from all the nutrients they can provide. Just remember to use healthier cooking methods such poaching or boiling.

Typical content per egg yolk: 5.6g of fat / 1.6g saturated fat / 62kcal

Read our guide to perfect poached eggs.

6. Yoghurt

Greek-style yoghurt

ProjectManhattan / Via commons.wikimedia.org 

Although yoghurt can be a low-fat option, watch out for creamier Greek-style yoghurt, which is typically around 10 per cent fat, compared with less than 2 per cent in the low fat version. If you’d like a yoghurt as a healthy snack, always check the nutrition information and go for a low-fat (and low sugar) option.

Typical content per 150g serving of plain whole milk Greek-style yoghurt: 15.3g fat / 10.2g saturated fat / 200 kcal

7. Pizza

Pizza 

Loaded with cheese, the fat levels of this dish can go sky high. Add some ham or pepperoni and this will increase the fat even more as well as adding extra salt. Why not try buying un-topped pizza bases and loading them with chopped peppers and sweetcorn and a little reduced-fat cheese yourself, to reduce the fat and calories?

If it has to be the shop-bought one, compare the nutrition information on the packets to make the healthiest pizza choice, and serve with a large side salad instead of chips or garlic bread.

Typical content per 7 inch cheese and tomato pizza (deep pan): 22.5g fat / 9.4g saturated fat / 625 kcal

Get our recipe for healthy red onion, courgette and pepper pizza (pictured).

8. Avocado

Avocado

Ross / Via Flickr.com 

Nearly all vegetables are low in fat, but avocado is an exception. Although this is a high fat option, compared to a 30g serving of cheddar cheese it has 50 per cent less saturated fat, plus half an avocado counts as one of your 5-a-day too. So, instead of cheese on toast for lunch, why not try half an avocado on wholegrain toast topped with some sliced tomato?

Typical content per half an avocado: 14.6g fat / 3g saturated fat / 142 kcal

Get our recipe for chicken and avocado salad.

9. Granola

Granola

Sarah Gilbert / Via Flickr.com 

An average portion of granola with nuts is 40g, which without milk packs in 180 kcal and 8.2g fat of which 1.8g is saturated fat. Serve this with 125ml of full fat milk and this adds another 81 kcal and 4.6g of fat of which 2.9g is saturated fat.

Try having muesli instead to save almost 6g of fat (1.2g of saturated fat) and serve with semi skimmed, 1 per cent fat or skimmed milk instead. Why not add a chopped banana or a handful of blueberries to get one of your 5-a-day too?

Typical content per 40g portion of granola with nuts (without milk): 8.2g fat / 1.8g saturated fat / 180 kcal

Typical content per 40g portion of granola with nuts (with 125 ml whole milk): 12.8g fat / 2.9g saturated fat / 261 kcal

Read how to have a healthy breakfast.

10. Cereal bar

Granola bar

Cburnett / Via en.wikipedia.org

Fat is usually used to hold cereal bars together (along with sugar), so these healthy-looking choices can pack in the fat quite quickly. Some are healthier than others, so check the nutrition information on the food label when buying to find the healthiest.

Typical content per 30g cereal bar: 5.5g fat / 2.52g saturated fat / 130 kcal

11. Mackerel

Mackerel

An average portion of grilled mackerel contains 452 kcal and 35.8g of fat of which 8.2g is saturated fat. However, this is not a reason to avoid oily fish, as it’s recommended that we consume at least 1 portion of oily fish a week as they contain omega-3 fats.

These are essential fatty acids that we need in our diet for our bodies to function properly. They have also been associated with other health benefits, including the prevention of coronary heart disease.

White fish contain some omega-3, but at much lower levels than in oily fish. Salmon, mackerel, herring and sardines all count as oily fish, so try to include a portion of these at least once a week.

Typical content per average portion of grilled mackerel (160g): 35.8g fat / 8.2g saturated fat / 452 kcal

Read our list of 8 favourite fish dishes as voted by you, with healthy recipes. 

12. Garlic bread

Garlic bread

The garlic butter soon adds calories and fat to the bread. So it’s important to keep an eye on the portion size you are eating, so buy individual slices or cut a larger baguette in half to cook some now and freeze the other half for another day.

You could serve a side salad as well, which will make it more likely that you stick to one slice instead of two or three. And remember, it’s often served as a side dish with dishes like spaghetti bolognaise, lasagne or pizza, which may be high in fat already, so all the more reason to go easy on garlic bread.

Try buying reduced-fat garlic bread, or you could make your own by mixing plenty of finely chopped garlic with some chopped parsley or chives and reduced-fat unsaturated spread.

Typical content per average slice (20g): 3.3g fat / 1.7g saturated fat / 70 kcal

Read our guide to baking perfect bread.

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