Foods with high saturated fat: 9 food types

Foods with high saturated fat: 9 food types

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.

A reviews from 2020 reinforces that a diet low in saturated fat is important for reducing the risk of heart disease. plus, research from 2021 shows that the source of saturated fat matter. Some sources of saturated fats appear to raise the risk of heart disease more than others.

Here are some sources of saturated fats and tips for people trying to reduce their intake.

One ounce of cheddar cheese contains around 5 grams of saturated fat. This can significantly contribute to a person’s total saturated fat intake.

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. A 2021 studies found that saturated fat from cheese intake was associated with a lower incidence of heart disease.

Learn about the healthiest cheeses.

The amount of saturated fat in beef varies depending on the type and cut of beef. The cattle’s food will also change the type of fat in the meat.

The meat from grass-fed cattle has less saturated fat and more omega-3 fatty acids than the meat from grain-fed cattle. Omega-3 fatty acids are associated with improved heart health.

Cuts such as beef short ribs, T-bone steaks, and rib-eye steaks are typically higher in saturated fat than other cuts.

Learn more about red meat and health.

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 type of fat in pork. Research suggests that adding ground flaxseed to pigs’ diet increases the amount of an omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) in the meat. The downside is that the modified fat profile may change the meat’s flavor and shelf life.

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 associated with a greater risk of cardiovascular disease.

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.

One randomized trial from 2018 showed that coconut oil did not increase levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol — sometimes called “bad” cholesterol — as much as butter did. Both butter and coconut oil are very high in saturated fat, but they contain different types of saturated fat, so they act differently in the body.

For now, it is still recommended that people who need to reduce saturated fat intake eat less coconut oil.

Compare different cooking oils and their health benefits.

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 associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

There are many types of yogurt with different amounts of fat. Milk-free, 1%, and 2% yogurt is a lower saturated fat alternative to full-fat yogurt.

in a 2021 studies, researchers looked at several sources of saturated fat, including butter, and their effects on heart disease. They found that saturated fat from butter was associated with increased heart disease risk.

another comparison study of butter, coconut oil, and olive oil showed that butter increased LDL cholesterol levels more than coconut oil did.

There are several types of cream that contain different 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 helps maintain the integrity and fluidity of cells.

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 5–6% of a person’s daily calories come from saturated fat.

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.

Read our guide to understanding nutrition labels.

Some animal products are the 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.

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