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Minimal fat diet

Minimal long chain fat diet

Your child has been started on a minimal long chain fat (LCT) diet. The majority of dietary fats found in the foods we eat are long chain fats and should therefore be restricted in the diet.

It is advised to check the nutritional label of manufactured food and use the following guide:

  • Foods that have a fat content of less than 0.5g per 100g can be allowed in the diet freely unless large amounts are being eaten.
  • Foods that contain 3g fat or less per 100g are considered to contain only a little fat but need to be restricted. These foods are starred (*) in the lists below and should be measured. Use the exchange guide at the end of this information if you include these foods in your child’s diet.
  • For some patients on a minimal LCT diet, a medium chain fat (MCT) supplement is advised. Please check your individual plan or speak to your dietitian for advice regarding the MCT supplement.
  • Patients on a minimal LCT diet require an essential fatty acid (EFA) supplement if they are not on a formula that is already enriched with it. The dietitian or metabolic consultant will advise on the preparation and dose.
  • A fat-soluble vitamin supplement, or more comprehensive vitamin and mineral supplement may also be needed. The dietitian can assess this and advise.

Tips for minimal fat cooking

  • Remember to cook without adding fat. Grill, braise, boil, stew, bake, casserole, steam or microwave instead of frying.
  • Choose very lean cuts of meat

Foods allowed

Meat and meat substitutes

  • Lean red meat (5g fat or 100g or less)* such as beef, pork, lamb, soya mince, Quorn* and tofu*


  • Chicken* (white breast meat, no skin)
  • Turkey* (white break meat, no skin)


  • White fish (no skin) such as haddock, cod and plaice
  • Shellfish such as crab, crabsticks, prawns, shrimp, lobster

Milk and milk products

  • Skimmed milk (fresh or dried)
  • Very low-fat yoghurts or fromage frais (<0.2g or 100g)

Bread and crackers

  • French bread
  • White bread*
  • Wholemeal bread*
  • Crumpets
  • Muffins
  • Rye crispbread
  • Rice cakes
  • Matzos
  • Ryvita (not sesame)

Pasta, rice and grains

  • Pasta- all types except wholemeal pasta*
  • Couscous
  • Bulgar wheat

Flours and cereals

  • White flour
  • Wholemeal flour
  • Corn flour
  • Custard powder
  • Semolina
  • Sago
  • Tapioca

Breakfast cereals

  • Most are suitable. Wholewheat types such as Weetabix and Bran Flakes are higher in fat than non-wholewheat types such as Rice Krispies and Corn Flakes

Cakes, biscuits and pastry

  • Only those made from low-fat ingredients
  • 95% fat-free cakes and biscuits*

Desserts and puddings

  • Skimmed milk puddings such as rice or custard
  • Jelly
  • Meringue
  • Water ices
  • Sorbet

Sugars and preserves

  • Sugar
  • Honey
  • Jam and marmalade
  • Golden syrup
  • Treacle


  • Boiled sweets
  • Mints
  • Jelly sweets
  • Fruit gums
  • Fruit pastilles
  • Marshmallows
  • Plain ice lollies


  • Clear soup
  • Consommé
  • Very low-fat soups – some low calories and “healthy eating type” soups are very low fat

Sauces and gravies

  • Marmite
  • Oxo
  • Bovril
  • Very low fat gravy mixes and stock cubes
  • Brown sauce
  • Tomato ketchup
  • Very low-fat dressings or mayonnaise
  • Soy sauce
  • Tomato puree
  • Sauces made with skimmed milk and cornflour
  • Minimal fat sauces (jars, tins and packets)


  • Salt and pepper
  • Herbs and spices
  • Vinegar
  • Pickles and chutneys


  • Tea and coffee
  • Very low-fat instant chocolate, cocoa or malted milk type drinks made with whole or semi-skimmed milk

Fruits and vegetables

  • All fruit, vegetables and salad except those on the not allowed list
  • Very low fat crisps*


  • Peas such as chickpeas, split peas and lentils
  • Beans such as red, white, borlotti and black-eyed


  • Egg white

Fats and oils

  • MCT oil, if advised

Foods not allowed

Meat and meat substitutes

  • Fatty meats such as belly pork and breast of lamb
  • Sausages
  • Salami
  • Fat on meat
  • Meat pies
  • Burgers
  • Pate
  • Potted meat


  • Chicken or turkey (dark meat or skin)
  • Chicken or turkey in batter, breadcrumbs, sauces or pastry
  • Duck
  • Goose


  • Oily fish such as salmon and mackerel
  • Herrings
  • Sardines
  • Kippers
  • Fried fish
  • Fish in batter, breadcrumbs or sauces

Milk and milk products

  • Whole or semi-skimmed milk (fresh or dried)
  • Dried milk with added vegetable fat such as Five Pints or Pint Size
  • Evaporated milk
  • Condensed milk
  • Cream
  • Full, whole milk, low fat or thick and creamy yoghurts
  • Ice cream
  • Full and half fat hard or soft cheese
  • Ordinary soft or cottage cheese

Bread and crackers

  • Naan bread
  • Chapatti made with fat
  • Croissant

Pasta, rice and grains

  • Pasta in dishes such as macaroni cheese or carbonara
  • Egg noodles
  • Yorkshire puddings
  • Dumplings

Flours and cereals

  • Soya flour
  • Bran
  • Foods made with flour which contains fat such as pastries or cakes

Breakfast cereals

  • Cereal with nuts and chocolate such as muesli and Coco Pops
  • All-Bran
  • Ready Brek

Cakes, biscuits and pastry

  • Cakes
  • Biscuits
  • Buns
  • Pastry for sweet and savoury foods

Desserts and puddings

  • Puddings made with whole or semi-skimmed milk or with fats such as butter
  • All types of sponge
  • Fritters

Sugar and preserves

  • Chocolate spread
  • Lemon curd


  • Chocolate and chocolate-covered sweets
  • Fudge
  • Toffee
  • Marzipan


  • Most soups
  • Cream soups

Sauces and gravies

  • Gravy made with fat
  • Most gravy mixes and stock cubes
  • Salad cream and mayonnaise
  • Sauce mixes (jars, tins and packets)


  • Complan
  • Instant chocolate, cocoa or malted milk type drinks

Fruit and vegetables

  • Avocado
  • Olives
  • Coleslaw
  • Potato salad
  • Fried vegetables
  • Potatoes – roast, chips, crisps and low-fat crisps


  • Egg yolk

Nuts and seeds

  • Nuts
  • Peanut butter
  • Seeds such as sesame and sunflower

Fats and oils

  • Butter
  • Margarine
  • Low fat spread
  • Vegetable oils
  • Lard
  • Suet
  • Dripping
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Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

Resource number: DT18

Resource Type: Article

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