Saturated fats are found in meats and whole dairy products like milk, cheese, cream and ice cream. Some saturated fats are also found in plant foods like tropical oils (coconut or palm kernel oil). When margarine or vegetable shortening is made from corn oil, soybean oil or other vegetable oils, hydrogen atoms are added making some of the fat molecules "saturated". This also makes the fat solid at room temperature. It's important to read food labels to see how much saturated fat is in the food product.
When we eat too much saturated fat, it increases our chances of getting heart disease. When we reduce the amount of saturated fats in our diets, it may reduce the blood cholesterol level and reduce our chances of developing heart disease.
We can reduce the saturated fats in our diets by using skim milk and low fat cheeses instead of whole milk and cheese. We can also use less fat, oil, butter, and margarine. At the table, use tub margarine instead of butter. Another way to cut down on fat is to drain and trim meats and take the skin off poultry. Simply reducing the total amount of fat we eat goes a long way toward reducing saturated fats.
To find more about fat, read the files "Fat" and "Unsaturated Fats" or send a message to "Ask the Nutritionist."
To test what you know, take the Quiz on Saturated Fats.
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