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Saturated fat-rich foods and daily consumption guidelines

Saturated fat-rich foods and daily consumption guidelines Illustrative photo (Photo: Freepik)
Author: Daria Shekina

Saturated fats are present in many products we consume daily. They belong to the class of macronutrients that can affect blood lipid levels. Their consumption is traditionally linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Nutritionist Olha Bezuhla on Instagram, talks about the foods highest in saturated fats and how much of them can be consumed daily.

Why are saturated fats harmful?

Saturated fats are harmful because they increase the levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDL), known as bad cholesterol.

Excessive consumption of saturated fats causes numerous health problems, particularly related to the cardiovascular system.

Where are saturated fats found the most?

Saturated fats are primary lipids in many animal-derived products, including processed meats, hard cheeses, whole milk, and creams. They are also present in certain plant-based fats like palm and coconut oil.

Most notably, high-fat products like fast food cooked in oil, confectionery, and various sauces contain saturated fats.

"Recent scientific research shows that the impact of saturated fats on cardiovascular health can depend on their source and the context of the overall diet. It is recommended to limit the consumption of saturated fats within dietary guidelines and replace them with unsaturated fats where possible to maintain optimal blood lipid levels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular events," emphasizes the expert.

How much can one consume of such products?

According to the recommendations of the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association, it is advised for most adults to limit saturated fat intake to less than 10% of the total daily calorie intake.

Some organizations, such as the American Heart Association, suggest further restrictions to 5-6% for individuals with high cholesterol or those at risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.

This recommendation is especially crucial for individuals with existing cardiovascular diseases, high cholesterol levels, or risk factors such as hypertension or obesity, as this group may significantly benefit from a more substantial reduction in saturated fat consumption.

Previously, we discussed whether all vegetables are genuinely beneficial and covered the products that are most detrimental to blood vessels.