Saturated fat doesn't have a great reputation, that’s for sure!
But is the notoriety deserved?
Or has saturated fat been given a bad rap?
Read on to learn whether saturated fat is healthy, harmful or somewhere in between.
What is Saturated Fat?
Saturated fat is a type of fat that's typically found in animal products like meat and dairy, as well as in some plant-based oils such as coconut and palm oil.
Unlike some other types of fat, saturated fat remains solid at room temperature, making it a common ingredient for cooking, or in processed foods.
How does Saturated Fat Affect Your Body?
Saturated fat, like any other fat, provides your body with essential energy and nutrients. Also like any other fat, when eaten in excess it can lead to weight gain and health conditions like heart disease and cancer.
With that said, saturated fat has earnt itself a controversial reputation for being worse for you than other fats. While some fat is essential as part of a healthy diet, many people will tell you that you should reduce your consumption of saturated fats to zero.
But does that mean saturated fats are always bad for you, or is there more to the story?
The science is inconclusive, with evidence for positive effects from saturated fat, but also negative examples of saturated fat health effects.
Some data indicates that saturated fat has a positive effect on the body in a few different ways. These include:
- Saturated fats reduce the levels of lipoprotein in your blood, increasing your HDL cholesterol, which is the good kind of cholesterol
- Lauric and stearic acids improve blood circulation by lowering LDL, or bad cholesterol
- When consumed in excess can cause obesity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes and a host of other associated health conditions
- Some evidence suggests saturated fat (meat in particular) can cause inflammation
So is Saturated Fat Good or Bad?
As frustrating as this is, the answer is we’re just not sure. But the reality is you might be asking the wrong question.
Rather than focusing just on whether the fat you consume is saturated or unsaturated, consider your overall diet.
If you’re eating a lot of takeaway, fried or sugary foods, you know that is unhealthy, regardless of the type of fat used.
This is an important thing to think about if you are considering replacing the saturated fat in your diet. If you eat something with a higher overall unsaturated fat content as a substitute, it may well still be worse for you. The same goes for replacing it with something high in sugar.
5 Common Foods that are High in Saturated Fats
Who doesn't love a juicy steak? Well be careful, meat is one of the most common foods that are high in saturated fat. If you're watching your intake, try leaner cuts of meat or consider plant-based, vegan or vegetarian alternatives.
Milk is probably a staple in your diets, but did you know that it's also high in saturated fat? If you're looking to cut back, try nonfat or low-fat options, or even switch to a plant-based milk alternative like almond or soy milk.
Cheese is a fan favourite, but it's also a prime example of a common food that is high in saturated fat. Be mindful of your portion sizes and consider lower-fat options like feta or cottage cheese.
Butter is great for adding flavour, but it also adds saturated fat as well. If you use it for greasing pans when cooking, you’d be surprised how much extra fat that can add to your meal! If you want to limit your intake, use avocado or nut butter instead.
5. Coconut & Palm Oil
Coconut and palm oil are popular in cooking and baking, but they're both high in saturated fats. If you're looking for a healthier option, consider using olive oil or another type of oil that's lower in saturated fats.
Have You Considered Delicious Ready Made Meals?
If you’re looking for a convenient and delicious way to control your saturated fat intake, we’ve got the perfect solution.
At Activate Foods, our range of fresh, homemade ready meals cater to all sorts of dietary conditions, like gluten-free. All our meals have their ingredients clearly outlined on the packaging, including their saturated fat content. This makes controlling your intake a breeze!
Simply visit our website to learn more about our fantastic range, and to make managing your consumption easy and delicious!
To begin shopping, register at Activate Foods today.