Shopping for less saturated fat

It’s easy to cut the amount of saturated fat in your weekly supermarket shop by reading the labels carefully and making simple swaps.

Why do we need to read labels?  Two products might look very similar but have a very different nutrition profile.

In 2011 we looked at five sets of similar products that had very different saturated fat contents.

Don’t assume they will look the same today.  Check the nutrition information.

Instead ofChoose
Fatty mince
(where you can see the white marbling) with around 13g saturated fat per 150g serve
Lean mince
with around 4g saturated fat or less per 150g serve – 9g 60% less
Anchor Blue Top milk
with 4.5g saturated fat per 200ml serve
Anchor Trim milk or Calci+ milk
with 0.2g saturated fat per 200ml serve – SAVE 4.3g 96% less
Delmaine Alfredo pasta sauce
with 9.7g saturated fat per 80g serve
Delmaine Pomodoro pasta sauce
with 0.2g saturated fat per 80g serve – SAVE 9.5g 98% less
Mainland Natural butter
with 7g saturated fat in 1 tablespoon
Gold’n Canola Lite spread
with 1.5g saturated fat in 1 tablespoon – SAVE 5.5g 79% less
Lisa’s Baby Spinach & Feta dip
with 6g saturated fat per 50g serve
Lisa’s Original Hummus
with 0.5g saturated fat per 50g serve — SAVE 5.5g 92% less

Total for all swaps

Was 40.2g, now 6.4g
= 84% less saturated fat

In context

The type of fat we eat, rather than the amount, is the most important factor for heart health. High blood cholesterol from saturated fat is the key factor explaining most coronary heart disease and strokes in New Zealand. If we are consuming the average 8700kJ each day, we are advised to have no more than 23g saturated fat in a day.

First published: Apr 2011
Last updated: November 8 2018
Last science review: September 27 2016

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