SATURATED FAT: GOOD OR BAD?

 

We’ve been told that saturated fat is unhealthy. It is claimed to raise cholesterol levels and give us heart attacks. However... many recent studies suggest that the true picture is more complicated than that.

This article takes a detailed look at saturated fat and whether it is good or bad for your health.

What is Saturated Fat? “Fats” are macronutrients. That is. nutrients that we consume in large amounts and give us energy.

Each fat molecule is made of one glycerol molecule and three fatty acids... which can be either saturated, monounsaturated or polyunsaturated. What this “saturation” stuff has to do with, is the number of double bonds in the molecule.

Saturated fatty acids have no double bonds, monounsaturated fatty acids have one double bond and polyunsaturated fatty acids have two or more double bonds.

This picture bellow shows the difference: saturated fatty aCid ,Saturated vs Unsaturated Fatty Acids,  Another way to phrase this, is that H H saturated fatty acids have all their carbon (C) atoms fully “saturated” with unsaturated fatty acid hydrogen (H) atoms. a V} “a = 5” l7 H Foods that are high in saturated fat include fatty meats. lard, full-fat dairy products like butter and cream, {7 coconuts, coconut oil, palm oil and dark chocolate. Actually, “fats” contain a combination of different fatty acids. No fat is pure saturated fat, or pure mono- or polyunsaturated.

Even foods like beef also contain a significant amount of mono- and polyunsaturated fats (1). Fats that are mostly saturated (like butter) tend to be solid at room temperature, while fats that are mostly unsaturated (like olive oil) are liquid at room temperature.


Saturated fatty acids have no double bonds, mono unsaturated fatty acids have one double bond and polyunsaturated fatty acids have two or more double bonds. This picture here shows the difference. Another way to phrase this, is that H H saturated fatty acids have all their carbon (C) atoms fully “saturated” with unsaturated fatty acid hydrogen (H) atoms.

Foods that are high in saturated fat include fatty meats. lard, full-fat dairy, products like butter and cream, coconuts, coconut oil, palm oil and dark chocolate. Actually, “fats” contain a combination of different fatty acids. No fat is pure saturated fat, or pure mono or polyunsaturated.

Even foods like beef also contain a significant amount of mono and polyunsaturated fats. Fats that are mostly saturated (like butter) tend to be solid at room temperature, while fats that are mostly unsaturated (like olive oil) are liquid at room temperature.

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