Saturated Fat: Is It Good or Bad for You? |

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The debate about the health risks of saturated fat has raged on for years, and it seems to be more pronounced now than ever before. Studies have linked high saturated fat diets with increased risk of cardiovascular disease, and many health and nutrition experts have been recommending that all foods be leaner and less high in saturated fat. However, a new study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology says that there is no conclusive proof that saturated fat should be avoided.

There’s no doubt about it: saturated fat is good for you. The health benefits of saturated fat are well-documented, including its role in keeping your heart healthy. However, there are some people who are concerned that saturated fat is bad for you. While saturated fat is classified as a “bad” fat, it is actually a fatty acid found in foods such as meat, dairy and eggs. Here is the skinny about saturated fat:

When most people think of saturated fat, they think of the bad, so what exactly is it? The answer is it is not as simple as it may seem. Technically, all fats are saturated or unsaturated, but the two types play drastically different roles in the body. Saturated fats tend to be solid at room temperature, while unsaturated fats become liquid at room temperature. The result? Saturated fats are more likely to be stored as body fat, while unsaturated fats are more likely to be used for energy. It’s true that saturated fats have been shown to increase LDL cholesterol levels, which is the bad kind of cholesterol. But, in controlled studies, saturated fat actually lowers LDL cholesterol levels, which is the good kind of cholesterol

Saturated fat can provide a nutritional conundrum.

You’ve probably been told it’s bad for you for much of your life. Saturated fat blocks arteries, resulting in heart attacks.

However, if you use the right Google search terms, you can uncover research-based papers that claim that thinking is outmoded and incorrect.

A common assertion is that the notion that saturated fat is “bad” is based on flawed science, and that it is, in fact, perfectly healthy. You don’t even need to limit it because it’s so nutritious. (Some even suggest that you consume more of it.)

There’s also the fact that foods high in saturated fat are often delectable.

You see what I mean.

It’s enough to leave you stranded in indecision at the butter aisle of your supermarket. Finally, you may grab a stick but secretly suspect you’re carrying a grenade.

Saturated fat, like so many other foods (carbs! red meat! soy! ), is divisive.

However, you’ll need some clarity to make intelligent food choices for yourself and your family—or, if you’re a coach, to help your clients do the same.

The truth regarding saturated fat is as follows.

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Why do we believe saturated fat is unhealthy?

The Seven Countries Study was published in 1978. Ancel Keys, an American physiologist, led the study, which found:

  • Heart disease was shown to be more common in countries where saturated fat consumption was high (like the US)
  • There was a decreased incidence of heart disease in countries where saturated fat consumption was low (like Italy, Greece, and Spain)

Keys theorized that saturated fats cause cardiovascular disease (CVD) and should be avoided based on this data. He also suggested that plant-based unsaturated fats were beneficial and should be promoted.

(Fun fact: it was through these observations that the Mediterranean diet was born.)

We have this link between saturated fats and heart disease thanks in great part to the Seven Countries study and Ancel Keys.

We have this link between saturated fats and heart disease thanks in great part to the Seven Countries study and Ancel Keys.

Yes, but it’s a little more complicated. If you’ve been reading our blog for a long, you’ll know that nutrition research is rarely black and white.

It’s rare, for example, to state that an entire food group is “bad” for everyone—or, conversely, “excellent” for everyone. (For further information, see: Why have we informed over 100,000 clients that there are no such things as “bad” foods?

Saturated fat is the same way. While it may raise cholesterol and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease in some people, it does not in others.

And, like so many other things, “the dose creates the poison.”

Saturated fat in excess is bad for everyone. (However, same advise applies to less contentious matters as well, such as water, so we’re not saying anything new there.)

Keys’ observations were made about half a century ago. Science has continued to whittle away at the reality regarding saturated fat since then.

We’ll tell you all we know about saturated fat, including what it does in the body, where it comes from, and how much to consume.

A crash course in fats

Let’s zoom out and speak about fats in general before we get into the different types of fats. (If you don’t want to learn about biochemistry, you can go on to the next section.)

Fatty acids and a substance called glycerol make up all fats. One glycerol “backbone” with three fatty acids is common in the fats we ingest. Triglycerides are a type of fat.

To help you visualize it, a triglyceride’s molecular structure resembles a capital letter “E” when drawn (the “E’s” arms are fatty acids).

See?

Saturated-Fat-Is-It-Good-or-Bad-for-You

Each fatty acid is made up of a “chain” of carbon atoms that are chemically connected.

The length of this “chain” can range from 2 to 24 carbon atoms. Fatty acids, in other words, come in a variety of sizes.

Furthermore, each carbon atom has two open “spots” in which it can form a bond with up to two hydrogen atoms.

The molecular structure of a fatty acid is determined by how these spaces are filled. (Hydrogen may only fill one of the two available spaces at a time.)

Don’t worry if you had to read it a couple of times and still didn’t get it. That is, for one thing, normal. This is all really abstract. (We’re dealing with atoms!) Second, it doesn’t actually make a difference.

Simply said, the phrases “saturated,” “monounsaturated,” and “polyunsaturated” all refer to fatty acids that have slightly varied chemical structures depending on the types of bonds they have.

Different activities and consequences in the body emerge from these structural variances in chemical structure.

So, what exactly are saturated fats?

Saturated fatty acids (and fats) are so named because each carbon atom forms a single bond with two hydrogen atoms in their chemical structure.

As a result, their carbon chain is “filled” (saturated!) with hydrogens to capacity. (There’s no more room.)

1626000956_396_Saturated-Fat-Is-It-Good-or-Bad-for-You

Saturated fat is a broad term that refers to a variety of substances. It’s actually a group of fatty acids that includes a variety of various sorts.

Remember how we said that fatty acids come in a variety of chain lengths? 4-carbon saturated fatty acids, 6-carbon saturated fatty acids, and 8-carbon saturated fatty acids are all available. I think you get the idea.

Saturated fatty acids (SFA) can be found in a variety of forms, including:

  • Butyric acid is a kind of butyric acid (a 4-carbon SFA produced by gut bacteria via fiber fermentation)
  • Caprylic acid is a kind of fatty acid (an 8-carbon SFA found in coconut)
  • Palmitic acid is a kind of fatty acid (a 16-carbon SFA found in palm oil and animal fats)
  • Stearic acid is a type of fatty acid that is found (an 18-carbon SFA found in red meat and cocoa butter)
  • Arachidic acid is a type of fatty acid that is produced (a 20-carbon SFA found in peanuts)

(These fatty acids are referred to by their common names.) Consult the chart in this technical document, courtesy of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, for scientific names.)

What is the difference between saturated and unsaturated fats?

Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are examples of unsaturated fats.

Because two places aren’t taken up by hydrogen, monounsaturated fats only have one double bond (thus the word “mono”). (When two carbon atoms meet in an open space, they form a double bond.)

1626000958_231_Saturated-Fat-Is-It-Good-or-Bad-for-You

Because they have several locations that aren’t taken up by hydrogens, polyunsaturated fatty acids have multiple double bonds (thus the word “poly”).

1626000959_739_Saturated-Fat-Is-It-Good-or-Bad-for-You

Here’s a quick technique to figure out whether a fat is saturated or unsaturated:

It’s presumably saturated if it’s solid or semisolid at room temperature (21°C). (A few exceptions apply.) Butter, coconut oil, and cocoa butter come to mind.

It’s extremely likely that if it’s liquid, it’s unsaturated. Sunflower oil, canola oil, and olive oil, for example.

Because unsaturated fatty acids have one or more double bonds, their physical structure has a “kink” or bend to it. They can’t pack as tightly as they used to, so they’re “loose” and liquid at room temperature.

Saturated fatty acids, on the other hand, are straight and can pack closely together. At room temperature, this keeps them firm.

Saturated, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated fatty acids make up the majority of dietary fat sources.

Trans fats are the true “bad” fat.

Trans fatty acids are the last type of fat. And if there’s one kind of fat you should stay away from, it’s this one.

Trans fatty acids are created when polyunsaturated fats are chemically “saturated” with hydrogen during industrial food processing.

1626000960_744_Saturated-Fat-Is-It-Good-or-Bad-for-You

As we’ve seen, saturated fatty acids are straight due to their chemical structure, whereas unsaturated fatty acids have at least one bend according to their chemical structure. Their function in the body is affected by their form.

When unsaturated fatty acids are chemically hydrogenated, they take on a trans configuration, which straightens the molecule and makes it appear (and behave) more like a saturated fat.

Trans fatty acids are popular among food makers because they enhance the shelf life of their products.

Trans fats, on the other hand, are not well tolerated by human bodies.

Trans fatty acids have been associated to an increased risk of heart disease, breast cancer, pregnancy difficulties, colon cancer, diabetes, obesity, and allergies. 1,2,3

The FDA has even ruled that industrially hydrogenated fats are no longer “Generally Recognized as Safe,” and is working to get them removed from our food supply. 4

Trans fats, on the other hand, are still present. Trans fats are found in vegetable shortening, some margarines, some cooking oils, and the processed foods and baked goods created with them.

That’s why reading ingredient labels is still crucial: Trans fats can be found in any product that says “partially hydrogenated oil.”

If your health is a priority, you should limit or avoid using these goods as much as possible. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that adults consume no more than 1% of their daily calories from trans fats. 5

Note that ruminant trans fatty acids, such as conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and vaccenic acid, are naturally occurring trans fats (VA).

Because bacteria in the stomachs of “ruminant” animals like cows, sheep, and goats produce trans fatty acids, they’re given that term. Ruminant trans fatty acids, unlike industrially generated trans fatty acids, have no harmful health impacts. 6

Which foods contain a lot of saturated fat?

As previously stated, most fat-rich meals have a combination of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats.

Even meals that are classified as “fats” are made up of a variety of nutrients. (Avocados, walnuts, and most other whole-food fat sources, for example, contain carbs and protein in addition to lipids.)

Fat is frequently the major macronutrient in foods we label “fats.” Similarly, the major fat type in items labeled as “saturated fat sources” is saturated fat.

Saturated fat sources in the diet

Saturated fats are found in a larger proportion in the following foods:

  • Butter
  • cream whipping
  • Yogurt, whole-fat milk, and cheese
  • Coconut is a delicious fruit (oil, milk, flesh)
  • Butter made from cacao (dark chocolate)
  • Beef, lamb, and pig cuts with more fat
  • Palm oil

1626000961_783_Saturated-Fat-Is-It-Good-or-Bad-for-You

Foods high in unsaturated fats (but still containing some saturated fats) include:

  • Salmon
  • Eggs
  • Olive oil is a type of oil that comes from
  • Flaxseeds
  • Avocado
  • as well as others

1626000962_933_Saturated-Fat-Is-It-Good-or-Bad-for-You

Okay, but is butter going to kill me faster or slower?

Finally, a response to your vexing query.

Saturated fats aren’t necessarily bad.

Because saturated fats are found in many healthful foods, a healthy diet will naturally include some saturated fats (such as seeds and nuts, animal products, coconut, and avocado).

Saturated fats, like other foods, should be consumed in moderation.

Here’s why…

Cardiovascular disease, saturated fats, and cholesterol

Those Mediterraneans, as seen by Ancel Keys, may have had something on their minds. They had very low rates of heart disease because to diets rich in vegetables, complete grains, fruits, seafood, olives, nuts, and a small amount of dairy.

In contrast, the Americans in that research had some of the highest rates of heart disease in the world, thanks to a diet high in saturated fat, meat, dairy, and dessert, and low in vegetables.

We now have a greater understanding of such observations thanks to science.

Here’s what we’ve learned so far:

Excess saturated fat consumption (more than 10% of daily calories) raises LDL (bad) cholesterol, as well as the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular events. 7,8

The risk of cardiovascular events decreases when saturated fat consumption decreases. 8

Saturated fats, on the other hand, do not raise your chance of death. They also don’t seem to affect cancer risk, diabetes, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, or blood pressure. 8

Trans fats, on the other hand, raise your chances of developing cardiovascular disease and dying. 9

Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat consumption, on the other hand, is linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and death. 10

What does all of this imply?

So, when it comes to fats, we should do the following:

  • Foods high in mono- and polyunsaturated fats, such as most nuts and seeds, shellfish, olives and olive oil, and avocado, should be prioritized.
  • Saturated fat-rich foods in moderation, such as fatty cuts of meat, high-fat dairy products and dishes produced from them, palm oil, and coconut.
  • Foods high in trans fats, such as processed foods, vegetable shortening, and margarine / cooking oils manufactured with hydrogenated oils, should be reduced or eliminated.

So, should everyone simply reduce their saturated fat intake?

The majority of people in Western countries consume a high percentage of saturated fats. Many people might consider limiting their saturated fat consumption.

(Also, as far as we know, lowering saturated fats has no negative consequences.) 8

But…

Saturated fat reduction isn’t always beneficial because it relies on what you replace it with.

We know that substituting certain saturated fats with unsaturated fats can improve health when saturated fats are consumed in excess. 11

However, when people consume fewer saturated fats and replace them with refined carbs, their risk of heart attack increases. 12

Furthermore, not all saturated fatty acids in the saturated fat family have the same effect on the body. Stearic acid, a saturated fatty acid present in beef and cocoa butter, for example, appears to lower LDL cholesterol or has no effect on it. 13

The truth is that a variety of factors determine how saturated fat affects the body, including:

  • Other fats in the diet, their amounts and types
  • Consumption of fruits, vegetables, and fiber
  • Excess calories
  • Frequency and intensity of exercise
  • Stress levels and their management
  • Genetics

And more.

As a result, it’s complicated.

Based on the information, it appears that there are two aspects to consider when it comes to keeping dietary fats in a healthy range:

  1. Amount: It shouldn’t be too much or too little. Various types of fat should account for roughly 30% of your daily calories (saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated).
  2. Saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats should be in nearly equal quantities.

Aside from the specific figures, the take-home lesson is this: If you eat a well-balanced whole-foods diet and don’t overeat, you probably don’t need to be concerned about saturated fat intake.

However, increasing your saturated fat consumption for ostensibly “therapeutic” reasons is usually not a good idea (example: the butter coffee trend).

Saturated fats fall into the “enjoy in moderation” category as a result.

I’m not sure how much saturated fat I should consume.

The answer is, as always, it depends.

However, a good general rule is that saturated fats should account for no more than 10% of total daily calories. 14

That means that saturated fats can account for around 200 calories (or 22.2 grams) in a 2,000-calorie diet. (Adjust the amount of energy you use according to your needs.)

Here are a handful of examples of how this could be done:

  • 12 g saturated fat per 7 oz sirloin steak
  • 6 grams saturated fat in a 1 oz slice of cheddar cheese
  • 5 grams saturated fat = 3 big eggs

= 23 g saturated lipid

Or:

  • 5 g saturated fat per 6 oz salmon
  • 12 grams saturated fat per tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 4 grams saturated fat per avocado

= 21 g saturated lipids

As you can see, meeting this 10% goal is simple.

It’s also simple to go above 10%, especially if you eat a lot of fattier kinds of meat and cooking fats like butter, coconut oil, or palm oil.

However, if you’re consuming these saturated fat sources in addition to…

  • Unsaturated fats in a healthy proportion (from extra virgin olive oil, nuts, and seeds)
  • A variety of minimally processed natural meals provide adequate protein, carbs, and colorful fruits and vegetables. (For more information, see “What foods should I eat?”)
  • Stretching, walking, resistance training, dancing, and old-fashioned butter churning are all examples of daily movement.

…you don’t have to be concerned about saturated fats.

Check out our handy Nutrition Calculator to see how much fat, carbs, protein, and vegetables your (or your client’s) body need for your preferred eating style.

Don’t get too caught up in (or overwhelmed by) the numbers in your daily life, according to our big-picture counsel.

Instead, concentrate on the four things below.

1. Gather a variety of fats.

Humans evolved to consume a diverse, seasonal diet. We flourish best when we eat a variety of fats in nearly equal amounts from various sources.

This equilibrium occurs naturally when we eat a wide variety of fat-containing foods that are complete and minimally processed, such as:

  • nuts and seeds
  • avocados
  • dairy
  • eggs
  • seafood that is high in fat
  • Beef, hog, and lamb are some of the most popular cuts of meat.
  • poultry
  • game in the wild
  • extra-virgin olive oil and olives

If you eat one or two of the following fat sources at each meal, you’ll likely meet your fat requirements.

2. Stay away from trans fats.

Refined and processed foods containing industrially generated fats and artificially hydrogenated fats should be avoided or minimized (read: trans fats).

The more you focus your diet on whole foods, the more this happens naturally. (Here’s how to do it: The 5 Nutritional Principles.)

3. Take into account the full individual.

Above all, tailor your saturated fat consumption to your (or your clients’) individual physique, preferences, and requirements.

People with a family history of cholesterol or cardiovascular disease may be (genetically) more sensitive to the detrimental effects of saturated fats and should limit their intake.

However, it is sometimes necessary to consume somewhat more saturated fat. Consider the following scenario:

  • People who are bigger, stronger, and more active can eat more in general, including more saturated fats. However, it’s still a good idea to limit saturated fats to about 10% of total daily calories.
  • People who are bigger, stronger, and more active can eat more in general, including more saturated fats. However, it’s still a good idea to limit saturated fats to about 10% of total daily calories.
  • A higher fat diet can make some people feel wonderful. More fats (particularly saturated fats) may be beneficial for some people. If saturated fats are a major source of calories, talk to your doctor about getting your cholesterol and blood lipids checked on a regular basis to be sure they’re within acceptable limits.

4. Experiment when in doubt (but still inquisitive).

We recommended that saturated fat consumption be limited to roughly 10% of total daily calories.

That’s a sensible, conservative suggestion for most people, especially if you have a family history of high cholesterol or cardiovascular disease.

But what if you want to adopt a higher-fat diet, such as the keto diet, and raise your overall fat consumption?

Just give it a shot.

Simply adopt the following mindset to determine whether or not this type of diet is right for you: Consider yourself a scientist. 

Decide what you want to achieve by eating a higher fat diet: Cravings are lessened? Is it possible to lose weight? Are you looking for more energy? (Learn more about 3 diet experiments that can help you improve your eating habits—and your body.)

Take some baseline measurements after that:

  • Photos, weight, and girth measurements
  • Energy levels, sleep quality, digestion, and mood are all factors to consider (you can simply gauge these on a scale from 1 to 10)
  • Triglycerides, fasting blood sugar, and cholesterol (LDL, HDL, and total) (work with your medical doctor to get and interpret these measurements)
  • Anything else you’d like to keep note of, such as hunger or meal satisfaction.

Begin your experiment by increasing your fat intake.

Every week or two, “check in” to analyze (most of) the above measurements. (Repeat a blood test after about three months if you’re working with a medical doctor to assess cholesterol and other blood markers.)

Continue if things appear to be going well for you. Evaluate your overall performance every several months.

Do you feel and look better? Shakes with avocado and coconut are still delicious, right? The doctor approves of blood tests? Cool! Continue on and re-evaluate in six months or so. (Try our Best Diet Quiz for a quick and easy method to see how well your diet is working for you.)

Do you have a bad feeling and your blood lipids are rising? So, there you have it. Reduce your fat intake, especially saturated fat.

Play around with the settings until you (and your doctor) are satisfied.

Ignore the marketing claims for butter coffee, as well as the claims for celery juice, and listen to your body.

That stick of butter isn’t a grenade, most likely. It’s also not a magical health potion.

It’s simply butter, really.

References

To see the information sources mentioned in this article, go here.

1. “Mechanisms of Action of Trans Fatty Acids,” by Antwi-Boasiako and Sander Kersten, published in 2020. Advances in Nutrition, vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 697–708.

2. Russell J. de Souza, Andrew Mente, Adriana Maroleanu, Adrian I. Cozma, Vanessa Ha, Teruko Kishibe, Elizabeth Uleryk, et al. 2015. Souza, Russell J. de, Andrew Mente, Adriana Maroleanu, Adrian I. Cozma, Vanessa Ha, Teruko Kishibe, Elizabeth Uleryk, et al. “A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies on Saturated and Trans Unsaturated Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of All-Cause Mortality, Cardiovascular Disease, and Type 2 Diabetes.” h3978 in BMJ 351 (August).

3. Vandana, Neelam Gulia, Kulveer Singh Ahlawat, and Bhupender Singh Khatkar (Dhaka, Vandana, Neelam Gulia, Kulveer Singh Ahlawat, and Bhupender Singh Khatkar). “Trans Fats: Sources, Health Risks, and Alternative Approaches — A Review,” published in 2011. 534–41 in Journal of Food Science and Technology.

4. “Trans Fat,” Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, n.d. On the 13th of January, 2021, I was able to get this information.

5. “Trans Fat Nutrition.” n.d. On the 13th of January, 2021, I was able to get this information.

Sarah K. Gebauer, Jean-Michel Chardigny, Marianne Uhre Jakobsen, Benoît Lamarche, Adam L. Lock, Spencer D. Proctor, and David J. Baer. 6. Gebauer, Sarah K., Jean-Michel Chardigny, Marianne Uhre Jakobsen, Benoît Lamarche, Adam L. Lock, Spencer D. Proctor, and David J. Baer. “Effects of Ruminant Trans Fatty Acids on Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer: A Comprehensive Review of Epidemiological, Clinical, and Mechanistic Studies” was published in 2011. Advances in Nutrition, vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 332–54.

7. “World Health Organization (WHO) | Effects of Saturated Fatty Acids on Serum Lipids and Lipoproteins: A Systematic Review and Regression Analysis.” August of that year.

Lee Hooper, Nicole Martin, Oluseyi F. Jimoh, Christian Kirk, Eve Foster, and Asmaa S. Abdelhamid. 8. Hooper, Lee, Nicole Martin, Oluseyi F. Jimoh, Christian Kirk, Eve Foster, and Asmaa S. Abdelhamid. “Reduction in Saturated Fat Intake for Cardiovascular Disease” will be published in 2020. CD011737 (August) in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

Zhuang, Pan, Yu Zhang, Wei He, Xiaoqian Chen, Jingnan Chen, Lilin He, Lei Mao, Fei Wu, and Jingjing Jiao are among the nine Zhuang, Pan, Yu Zhang, Wei He, Xiaoqian Chen, Jingnan Chen, Lilin He, Lei Mao, Fei Wu, and Jingjing Jiao. “Dietary Fats in Relation to Total and Cause-Specific Mortality in a Prospective Cohort of 521 120 Individuals With 16 Years of Follow-Up,” according to a study published in 2019. 757–68 in Circulation Research, vol. 124, no. 5.

Marta Guasch-Ferré, Nancy Babio, Miguel A. Martnez-González, Dolores Corella, Emilio Ros, Sandra Martn-Peláez, Ramon Estruch, et al. 2015. Guasch-Ferré, Marta, Nancy Babio, Miguel A. Martnez-González, Dolores Corella, Emilio Ros, Sandra Martn-Peláez, Ramon “Dietary Fat Intake and Cardiovascular Disease Risk and All-Cause Mortality in a High-Risk Cardiovascular Disease Population.” 102 (6): 1563–73 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

“Association of Specific Dietary Fats With Total and Cause-Specific Mortality.” Wang, Dong D., Yanping Li, Stephanie E. Chiuve, Meir J. Stampfer, Joann E. Manson, Eric B. Rimm, Walter C. Willett, and Frank B. Hu. 2016. JAMA Internal Medicine, vol. 176, no. 8, pp. 1134–45.

Marianne U. Jakobsen, Claus Dethlefsen, Albert M. Joensen, Jakob Stegger, Anne Tjnneland, Erik B. Schmidt, and Kim Overvad. 12. Jakobsen, Marianne U., Claus Dethlefsen, Albert M. Joensen, Jakob Stegger, Anne Tjnneland, Erik B. Schmidt, and Kim Overvad. 2010. “Carbohydrate Intake vs. Saturated Fatty Acid Intake and the Risk of Myocardial Infarction: The Importance of the Glycemic Index.” 91 (6): 1764–68 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

“Food Ingredients That Inhibit Cholesterol Absorption,” Elliot D. Jesch and Timothy P. Carr, 2017. 67–80 in Preventive Nutrition and Food Science, vol. 22, no. 2.

Ann G. Liu, Nikki A. Ford, Frank B. Hu, Kathleen M. Zelman, Dariush Mozaffarian, and Penny M. Kris-Etherton published “A Healthy Approach to Dietary Fats: Understanding the Science and Taking Action to Reduce Consumer Confusion” in 2017. Nutrition Journal, vol. 16, no. 1, p. 53.

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Saturated fat is a type of dietary fat that contains mostly long-chained fatty acids and has the highest percentage of saturated fat of all dietary fatty acids.* Saturated fat is found in foods such as meat, eggs, dairy products, and coconut oil. Some foods that contain saturated fat are fried foods, dairy products, and meat.. Read more about unsaturated fat and let us know what you think.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why is saturated fat good for you?

Saturated fat is a type of fat that has all the carbon atoms linked to hydrogen atoms. This makes it solid at room temperature and highly stable, which means it doesnt go rancid easily.

What kind of fat is bad for you?

Bad fats are those that are saturated, trans fats and hydrogenated oils.

Is it better to have saturated or unsaturated fats?

Saturated fats are found in animal products such as meat and dairy, while unsaturated fats are found in plant-based foods such as vegetables.

Related Tags

This article broadly covered the following related topics:

  • saturated fat good or bad
  • which fat is good saturated or unsaturated
  • rda saturated fat
  • how much saturated fat per day
  • saturated fat examples

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