From a chemical standpoint, saturated fats are simply fat molecules that have no double bonds between carbon molecules because they are saturated with hydrogen molecules. Saturated fats are typically solid at room temperature.
- The American Heart Association recommends aiming for a dietary pattern that achieves 5% to 6% of calories from saturated fat. That means, for example, if you need about 2,000 calories a day, no more than 120 of them should come from saturated fats. That’s about 13 grams of saturated fats a day.
- Saturated fats occur naturally in many foods. The majority come mainly from animal sources, including meat and dairy products.
- Examples are
- fatty beef,
- poultry with skin,
- beef fat (tallow),
- lard and cream,
- cheese and
- other dairy products made from whole or reduced-fat (2 percent) milk.
- Examples are
- In addition, many baked goods and fried foods can contain high levels of saturated fats. Some plant-based oils, such as palm oil, palm kernel oil and coconut oil, also contain primarily saturated fats, but do not contain cholesterol.
- It is now understood that saturated fats do not create high cholesterol, do not contribute to heart disease, are not cancer-causing, do not draw from the body’s reserves of antioxidants, and do not clog arteries.
- On the contrary, it’s now known that saturated fats play many vital roles in the body to help strengthen the immune system, promote healthy bones, provide energy and structural integrity to the cells, protect the liver, and assist the body’s metabolism of essential fatty acids.
- Most importantly, saturated fats actually have cholesterol lowering properties and are the perfect dietary adjunct for a strong, healthy heart. As well, the short and medium chain fatty acids inherent in saturated fats have important antimicrobial properties, protecting us against harmful microorganisms in the digestive tract.
- Below are commonly held misconceptions regarding the health benefits of saturated fats in the body. Whether you gravitate toward a raw food vegan lifestyle, or you prefer to include eggs, dairy and meat in your diet, it is important to understand the new (yet old) scientific research and decide for yourself what feels right in your own body.
- Truly consider the wisdom of the traditional diets referenced throughout our most revered spiritual texts, that have stood the test of time and proven themselves to be not only healthful, but life-sustaining across generations.
While some types of saturated fatty acids may be healthier for you than others, eating too much saturated fat puts you at risk for developing chronic health conditions.
None are known.