How to eat less saturated fat, sugar and salt

Check out the tips and table below to see how you can eat less saturated fat, sugar and salt.

Cooking your own meals as often as possible is a great way to make healthy food choices. Use mostly whole or less-processed ingredients. For easy, fast and affordable meal ideas, see the Healthy Kids website.

When cooking and preparing foods

  • Limit highly processed foods (eg, ‘heat and eat’ meals like pizza).
  • Remove the chicken skin after cooking.
  • Add flavour to food using herbs, spices and lemon or lime juice instead of using salt.
  • Use fruit to replace sugar on your breakfast cereal.
  • If you are adding salt, use iodised salt and try to use less salt over time.
  • When roasting or baking, place meat on a rack so that fat can drip off.
  • Choose foods with the least amount of salt. Avoid high-salt foods with more than 600 mg of sodium per 100 g of food.
  • Choose meat with little visible fat or remove the fat before cooking.

Choosing healthier options

Instead of this Use this
Butter Margarine or other plant-based unsaturated spreads
Lard and/or dripping Water (for roasting meat), small amount of plant-based monounsaturated oils, eg, canola, olive or rice bran oils
Coconut oil Small amount of plant-based unsaturated oils – if using oil for cooking, choose monounsaturated oil like the examples given above
Full-fat milk Low- and reduced-fat milk
High-fat cheese, eg, mild, Colby Reduced-fat cheese, eg, edam
Coconut cream ‘Lite’ coconut cream or milk, or use half water and half coconut cream
White bread Higher fibre, dense whole grain bread
High-fat takeaways Healthier option takeaways, eg, kebabs or wraps with plenty of salad, non-fried Asian rice or noodle dishes with plenty of vegetables
Sugar-coated breakfast cereal Whole grain cereal, eg, porridge or whole wheat breakfast biscuits
Muesli bars Fresh fruit or a small handful of unsalted nuts
Chippies and a cream-based dip Raw vegetable sticks and hummus, or homemade popcorn (go easy on the salt)
Sugary drinks Water. It is nice chilled, with fresh mint and/ or a slice of lemon
Fruit juice Glass of chilled water and a piece of fruit
Dried fruit Fresh fruit
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