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This Month In Diet
  • Best Low-Carb Vegetables
    Unfortunately, carb-conscious dieters can’t just cut out bread, pasta, and cereal. They’ve got to also watch their vegetable intake. Because believe it or not, vegetables have carbohydrates, and some have more carbs than others. Read >>
  • Skip the Saturated Fat
    Healthy fats provide energy, help your body absorb vitamins and minerals, and are needed for cell growth, muscle movement, blood clotting, and healthy inflammation. But other fats, like saturated fats, should be avoided at all costs. Read >>
  • Spice Things Up with Ginger
    In addition to being delicious, ginger is one of the healthiest spices you can eat. Here’s how it can improve your health. Read >>
  • Grass-Fed, Free-Range, Organic, Cage-Free, or Pasture-Raised
    As you decide which eggs, poultry, and beef to purchase, you may wonder what it means when the packaging says, “grass-fed,” “free-range,” “organic,” “cage-free,” or “pasture-raised.” Wonder no longer. Read >>
Health and Fitness News

Skip the Saturated Fat

Knowing which foods are especially high in saturated fats is a step in the healthy direction.

For years, all fat was the enemy, and there was no fat that was good fat. Today, health experts have changed their minds. Now, they agree that dietary fat is an essential part of a healthy diet. The key is to eat the good kind of fat and avoid the bad.

What’s the difference? Healthy fats provide energy, help your body absorb vitamins and minerals, and are needed for cell growth, muscle movement, blood clotting, and healthy inflammation. These include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

But other fats should be avoided at all costs. While the worst offender is trans fat, saturated fat should be consumed at a minimum level.

What’s so bad about saturated fat and what are the main sources? Look below to find out.

Solid at Room Temperature

You can tell a food contains saturated fat when it hardens at room temperature. Notice the consistency of grease from fried bacon, leftover gravy from a roast, coconut oil, and lard when left out at room temperature.

The reason saturated fat is bad for you is because it raises bad cholesterol levels. Over time, high cholesterol leads to blocked arteries that affect the health of the heart. Eating a diet high in saturated fat puts you at risk for heart disease. Substituting saturated fat with healthy fats, however, will lower your cholesterol level.

Because too much saturated fat can lead to health problems, it’s recommended that only 5 to 6 percent of your total daily calories come from saturated fat. For someone on a 2,000-calorie diet, that’s 120 calories or 13 grams each day.

Food Sources

Saturated fats are naturally found in a lot of plant and animal foods, but the majority comes from animal sources. Meats and dairy products are the main foods that contain saturated fats.

Fatty cuts of meat are generally high in saturated fats. A serving of beef short ribs contains 15 grams, pork ribs contain 6 grams, and a pork chop 4 grams. Add pepperoni to your pizza and you’ll gain 0.3 grams of saturated fat per round slice of the processed meat. It’s not much, but it adds up. When deciding what to eat for dinner, choose fish, poultry without the skin, or lean cuts of meat.

Many sweets and desserts aren’t just high in calories, but they’re high in saturated fat as well. A chocolate mousse dessert or a cup of vanilla ice cream will cost you 9 grams, a slice of frosted cake 6.7 grams, and a 1-ounce serving of dark chocolate has 7 grams.

Full-fat dairy products are often high in saturated fat. A 1-ounce slice of cheddar cheese contains almost 6 grams of saturated fat, half a cup of ricotta cheese has 10 grams, and a cup of whole milk 5 grams. Toss a cup of whipped cream on your pie or milk shake, and you’ll pile 30 grams of saturated fat into your body. And delicious as butter is, there’s more than 7 grams in a single tablespoon.

You may be surprised to learn that some plant foods need to be eaten in moderation because of their high saturated fat content. Coconut is particularly high. A tablespoon of coconut oil contains more than 11 grams of saturated fat and just 1/3 cup of dried coconut will give you 17 grams of saturated fat.

Because food manufacturers are avoiding trans fat, they’re turning to palm oil as a replacement fat. While healthier than trans fat, palm oil is still high in saturated fat. One tablespoon of palm oil contains nearly 7 grams, so beware!

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