Fat (Fat RI: 70g)

Fat provides energy (nine calories for each gram of fat), and as a result foods that contain a lot of fat provide a lot of energy.

Fat is made up of different types of fatty acids. There are monounsaturated fats (found in nuts and vegetable oils), polyunsaturated fats (found in oily fish) and saturated fatty acids (found in butter and animal fat).

sample labelMonounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are better for health than saturated fatty acids which is why there is a separate RI for saturated fat; however total fat intake is important to watch as all fats contain 9 calories per gram.

Fat is an important nutrient used the body for many different things. Some fats (called essential fatty acids) cannot be produced by the body and must be supplied by the diet. However fat is only needed in small amounts for health. It shouldn't comprise more than a third of the diet.

Examples of foods high in fat are: oils, butter and cheese, pies and pastries. energy based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Top Tip!

The RI figure of 70g for fat is for the total amount of fat a food contains – it includes both unsaturated fats and the figure for saturates.