Saturated fat is a type of fat that is solid at room temperature. Meat and dairy products are the main sources of saturated fat. Coconut and palm oils also contain it.
Here are some sources of saturated fats and tips for people trying to reduce their intake.
One ounce of cheddar cheese contains around
However, newer research suggests that the saturated fat from cheese does not contribute to heart disease in the same way as saturated fat from red meats.
The amount of saturated fat in beef varies depending on the type and cut of beef. The cattle’s food will also change the types of fat in the meat.
The meat from grass-fed cattle has
Cuts such as beef short ribs, T-bone steaks, and rib-eye steaks are typically higher in saturated fat than other cuts.
Cuts of pork with the most saturated fat include pork ribs, pork shoulder, and pork belly. Leaner cuts of pork include loin chops, pork tenderloin, and Canadian bacon.
Scientists are trying to change the types of fat in pork.
Processed meats are meats that food scientists modify to preserve them. Preservation may involve the use of salt, extra ingredients, or a smoking process.
Processed meats include sausage, bacon, deli meats, and hot dogs.
Many of these foods are sources of saturated fat. They are also high in sodium, which can increase blood pressure. High blood pressure is another contributor to heart disease.
A higher intake of processed meats is
Coconut oil is a very solid and stable fat used for frying and baking. It has gained popularity in recent years, especially among people following ketogenic or vegan diets.
For now, it is still recommended that people who need to reduce saturated fat intake eat less coconut oil.
The saturated fat content of yogurt depends on the percentage of milk fat in the product. As with cheese, the saturated fat from yogurt is
There are many types of yogurt with different amounts of fat. Milk-free, 1%, and 2% yogurt are lower saturated fat alternatives to full-fat yogurt.
There are several types of cream that contain differing amounts of fat.
Clotted, heavy, and whipping cream have the most saturated fat. Light cream, half-and-half, and sour cream contain less saturated fat.
Foods such as pies, croissants, Danishes, cookies, cakes, muffins, and scones fall into this category.
The ingredients in these foods can vary widely, but many contain saturated fats. Baked goods that contain lard, shortening, and butter will contribute saturated fat to a person’s diet.
Baked goods made with liquid oils will have less saturated fat.
A high intake of saturated fat may increase heart disease risk. Saturated fat can increase the amount of LDL cholesterol in the body.
The body naturally makes some cholesterol. Cholesterol is important because it
However, excess cholesterol can build up in the arteries, hardening them and increasing the risk of heart disease.
Learn more about the difference between LDL and HDL cholesterol.
The American Heart Association recommends that no more than
That means a person who consumes an average of 2,000 calories per day should aim to consume 13 or fewer grams of saturated fat daily.
If a person is trying to reduce saturated fat intake, it may be helpful to compare products to find one with less saturated fat.
Here are some other ways to reduce saturated fat intake:
- Choose leaner cuts of red meat.
- Trim off excess fat or marbling from meat.
- Eat fewer processed meats.
- Choose skinless chicken and fish more often.
- Eat more meat alternatives such as nuts, seeds, soy products, beans, and legumes.
- Use liquid oils such as olive, peanut, or canola oil for cooking instead of butter, coconut oil, or lard.
Some animal products are a main source of saturated fat in the diet. Palm and coconut oils also contain saturated fat.
There are many ways to reduce saturated fat intake as part of a heart-healthy diet. These include choosing more liquid oils instead of solids, eating leaner meats, and using meat alternatives.
It is also important to eat an overall heart-healthy diet, which includes plenty of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.