Your Complete Guide To Saturated Fats

Your Complete Guide To Saturated Fats

Saturated fats – we’ve all heard about them. Some say they’re good, some say they’re bad. Some say we should avoid them completely, other people say that saturated fats are healthy in small amounts.

So, should you eat saturated fats, or avoid them? What foods contain saturated fats? Continue reading to find out everything you need to know about saturated fats.

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Everything You Need To Know About Saturated Fats

The first thing we need to make clear is what exactly a saturated fat is in the first place. Saturated fats are fats that are derived from animal products such as meat, eggs, and dairy. However, they are also found in a handful of plant foods such as coconut and palm oils. Saturated fats are always solid when at room temperature. In chemical terms, they’re fats that lack double bonds between the carbon molecules in them. Instead, they’re “saturated” with hydrogen molecules.

guide to saturated fats

The Effect Saturated Fat Has On The Body

When you consume saturated fat, it has been proven to increase your levels of ldl cholesterol, also known as “bad” cholesterol.

In turn, this can increase your risk for cardiovascular disease if you consume high amounts of it.

Did you know that if you get too much saturated fat in your diet, it can even lead to Type 2 diabetes?

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That said, it’s important to remember that there are two types of saturated fats – the type that comes from animal products, and the saturated fat that comes from plant sources such as coconut and palm oil.

If you consume saturated fat from the plant sources such as raw coconut oil, it can actually benefit your body due to all of the powerful anti-bacterial and antioxidant properties that coconut oil contains.

The Highest Sources of Saturated Fats

Here is a list of some popular foods that contain saturated fat:

  • Pizza
  • Cheese
  • Dairy products
  • Ice cream
  • Chicken
  • Burgers
  • Ground beef
  • Lamb
  • Pork
  • Hot dogs
  • Butter
  • Eggs
  • Yoghurt
  • Dairy desserts
  • Bacon
  • Fried foods
  • Whole milk
  • Palm oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Palm kernel oil

Some types of saturated fats are definitely worse than others. For example, heavily fried foods (especially meat) that already contain large amounts of saturated fats should be avoided.

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This includes fried chicken, bacon, fried eggs, sausages, and burgers. Red meat is especially high in saturated fat, and so is melted cheese. This makes pepperoni pizza a food that should not be consumed every day.

How Much Saturated Fat Should You Eat Per Day?

Just because we need to limit our intake of saturated fat in our diet doesn’t mean that we should cut it out completely. Saturated fat only becomes a problem when we consume it in excess.

The American Heart Association recommends that you try to limit your saturated fat intake to 5-6% of your calories. This means that if you consume 1800 calories a day, 90 of those calories should be coming from saturated fat. This equates to consuming around 10 grams of saturated fat a day.

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Unfortunately, on average, most Americans consume around 26 grams of saturated fat a day. This is double the recommended amount!

This is where the health problems begin to kick in. A beneficial and realistic goal would be to aim for consuming 10-15 grams of saturated fat daily.

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How to Construct Your Diet?

The best way to limit your intake of foods high in saturated fat is to focus on eating whole foods, with an emphasis on plants.

more: What Is Saturated Fat?

Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds should make up the bulk of your diet.

In terms of animal protein, the best sources would be lean meats, low-fat dairy products, and fish. Try to limit red meat, all fried food, and as much dessert/baked goods as possible.

An example of a healthy breakfast low in saturated fat would be a fruit smoothie with bananas, spinach, frozen mango, chia seeds, flax seeds, and almond milk.

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For lunch, you can make a quinoa salad with quinoa, lettuce, corn, cucumbers, and other vegetables of your choice with a lemon juice vinaigrette.

For dinner, why not make some brown rice with a vegetarian chili full of kidney beans, black beans, diced tomatoes, mushrooms, bell pepper, and corn?

There are many recipes you can find online that are low in saturated fat. If you get hungry during the day, snacking on fruit such as apples, bananas, or grapes is always a good idea.

more: Is Saturated Fat Good Or Bad?

So What’s The Bottom Line About Saturated Fats?

In conclusion, saturated fat is something that should not be consumed in excess.

However, small amounts can be beneficial to your body. As long as you aim for an average of 13 grams of saturated fat per day, you can still follow a balanced and healthy diet without any of the negative health effects that come from consuming high amounts of saturated fat.

If you want more information or want to see if your body has been affected by high saturated fat levels, the best thing to do would be to contact your doctor or local nutritionist.

30 comments… add one
  • camila February 26, 2018, 2:04 pm

    saturated fats have been linked to hear diseases and other illnesses..this is why i am always careful with what i eat. i try not to eat processed meats and the like and it’s helped me with my health and weight maintenance.

  • lidia February 22, 2018, 8:19 pm

    i should be focusing on eating whole foods to better construct my diet and avoid the harmful effects of saturated fats. thank you for the sample meals low in saturated fat. i will give them a try soon.

  • brandi February 21, 2018, 7:29 pm

    you do not have to completely remove saturated fat in your diet. you just consume it in moderation. knowing all the foods high in saturated fat can also help especially if you have cardiovascular diseases.

  • yvonne February 20, 2018, 8:04 pm

    this article provided me everything i should know about saturated fats. i am not aware that it can lead to type 2 diabetes. i must share this post.

  • liliana February 16, 2018, 2:16 pm

    i appreciate your write ups. some of them i haven’t really heard of but truth is, they make sense.

  • alessandra February 15, 2018, 5:30 am

    thank you for sharing this information. i needed this to make sure what i can keep and what i should avoid, not only for me but my whole household. i want to give my children a healthier lifestyle and that starts with me.

  • emily February 13, 2018, 12:23 pm

    i love pizza and melted cheese. reading this makes me sad but i don’t eat this daily, only when i really crave it and feel like i need to indulge or reward myself. i know now how to control myself a bit.

  • jolie February 12, 2018, 1:28 pm

    cheeses and dairy products are really high in saturated fats. these should be consumed in moderation. there are also some alternatives that aren’t too high in fat content.

  • allie February 12, 2018, 6:51 am

    it’s always best to choose vegetables and fresh fruits over any other other foods if you want to have a healthier body.

  • elena January 23, 2018, 7:16 pm

    i really hate fatty foods!

  • berneace September 26, 2017, 12:45 pm

    avoid these and you’ll have a healthier body.

  • jennica September 18, 2017, 7:46 am

    i just realized all my favorite foods are full of saturated fats! lol!

  • loren September 7, 2017, 4:06 pm

    i make sure i do not feed my family with too much of these.

  • princess September 6, 2017, 4:41 pm

    i have long committed to not eating these things. it helped me improve my weigh and even my health in genereal

  • andrea August 22, 2017, 11:53 pm

    i appreciate your posts that are very helpful in keeping a good health like this.

  • licelle August 20, 2017, 6:57 pm

    i love that you even give us ideas on how to construct a healthy diet.

  • anita August 18, 2017, 11:26 am

    definitely keep away from these because they’re not really good for the health

  • bertha August 17, 2017, 3:43 pm

    if you want to get healthy and fit, beware of these foods that contain saturated fats.

  • rose August 14, 2017, 9:05 am

    your posts are always helpful and informative, keep it up!

  • charo August 10, 2017, 2:36 pm

    if you’re trying to stay healthy and fit, absolutely avoid these.

  • janessa August 6, 2017, 11:38 pm

    thanks for this additional info. i really need this.

  • paula July 30, 2017, 10:40 pm

    watch your “bad cholesterol” intake

  • ingrid July 26, 2017, 3:09 pm

    absolutely avoid these kinds of food that produce too much saturated fats

  • hadley July 23, 2017, 11:34 pm

    this is really bad for the health..

  • glenda July 18, 2017, 10:13 pm

    beware of these foods, definitely not good for you.

  • rebbie July 17, 2017, 11:30 pm

    always eat these in moderation to avoid diseases such as diabetes.

  • annie July 16, 2017, 4:07 pm

    what do i know about this? wow, now i kinda understand better..

  • erica July 13, 2017, 11:22 pm

    thanks for sharing this. i’m not usually interested in things like this but i actually learned from this.

  • micah July 10, 2017, 6:54 pm

    good thing i don’t like fatty foods.

  • megan July 9, 2017, 1:14 pm

    anything in excess is never OK

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