Saturated fats: Moderation is the key

While saturated fats are labeled unhealthy and bad for us, the reality is a little bit different. Although it can cause a number of problems when consumed in excess, such as coronary artery disease, it aren't that bad as it seems to be.

When consumed in moderation, it can actually help improve our health and decrease the risk age related disease, including heart disease. Even some healthy foods, containing plenty of good fats, have certain amount of of this "bad" fat, in them.

FOOD SOURCES OF SATURATED FATS

There are several foods containing these fats, some good and some bad. They are:

  • Cheese
  • Meat
  • Diary products and cream
  • Ice cream
  • Butter
  • Palm oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Nuts and Seeds
  • The amount of fat in the foods listed above, varies. For instance nuts and seeds contain an average of 10 percent of fat per 100 grams. On the other hand, butter contains 51 grams, coconut oil about 90g, fish 25g, bacon 40g while dark chocolate contains 32 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams.

    HOW IT AFFECTS CHOLESTEROL AND HORMONES

    This type of fat increases LDL, HDL and total cholesterol. By increasing HDL and LDL at the same time, it ensures the proper ratio between them since HDL helps remove excess LDL cholesterol from the bloodstream. By increasing both of them, total cholesterol also increases, obviously.

    This increase in total cholesterol gives body more raw material for production of hormones. Hormones which are produced from cholesterol are essential for our well-being and healthy cardiovascular system. However, we must ensure that our endocrine system works properly, in order to keep our heart healthy but that is another story.

    HOW MUCH

    Fats should account for approximately 20 to 30 % of your daily macro nutrients from which saturated fats should make 15-20 % of your total daily fat intake. Too much of anything can reflect negativly on our body as well as on the heart muscle and blood vessels. Also, this type of fat contains a couple of fatty acids which can't be found in polyunsaturated or monounsaturated type fats and that have some positive effects on our body.

    HOW TO LIMIT THE AMOUNT OF SATURATED FATS

    By eating nuts, seeds and fish you are getting good fats, along with just enough quantity of this "bad" fats. Avoid butter, cream and milk or at least limit their intake. You don't need to avoid meat but make sure that you are getting lean cuts of meats such as round steak or chicken breasts which contain low amount of fat.

    Almost every cheese, besides cottage cheese, has moderate to high amount of fat thereby limit its consuption. Although palm and coconut oils have some benefits, they are too high in fat because of which you should consume them rarely.

    When it comes to dark chocolate and egg yolks, although they are both very healthy and nutritionally dense foods, eating too much of them, will supply your body with a little bit too many of saturated fats.

    CONCLUSION

    In the end, it is a natural substance which is produced by our body and found in meat as well as in some plants. According to that, it ain't that bad as everyone are proclaiming it to be, provided that it is consumed in moderate amounts.

    On the other hand, the real culprits are simple refined carbohydrates and trans fat which is the real bad fat. So, don't be afraid to add some saturated fat into your diet, it may actually improve your health.

    However, if you have high cholesterol, then eliminating this type of fats, besides trans fats, from your diet until your cholesterol values improve, should help you.





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