Nutrition

Why Are Saturated Fats Bad For You ? – The Truth About Saturated Fats

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A few years ago eating fats were the worst thing you could do if your goal was to live a healthier lifestyle, but now it has changed from eating a small amount of fats to eating the right fats. What does eating the right fats mean though ? Well the wrong fats to eat would be trans/saturated fats because they have apparently been shown to increase you risk of heart disease and stroke. Although many recent studies have showed that there really isn’t enough evidence to link sat fats to both heart disease or stroke. On the other hand the right fats to eat would be unsaturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. The reason why these are the right fats to consume is because they have been shown to lower your risk of heart disease and cholesterol.

What Are Saturated Fats ?

Here is a little biology lesson about saturated fats with a few scientific terms explained. So saturated fats come from a fat molecule made up of the fatty acid saturated fat, there are also two other fatty acids known as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat. When the fat is saturated it means that the fatty acid contains no double bonds unlike the other two fatty acids which contain one or more bonds and it tends to be solid at room temperature (butter).

There are many foods that contain saturated fats and here is the full list:

  • Butter And Lard
  • Fatty Meats And Meat Products
  • Full Fat Milk
  • Cream, Sour Cream And Ice Cream
  • Cheese
  • Savoury Snacks
  • Coconut Oil And Palm Oil
  • Biscuits, Cakes and Pastries
  • Chocolates And Certain Types Of Sweets

saturated fat foods

Are Saturated Fats Actually Bad For You ?

Here is the bad claims about saturated fats; it raises LDL (bad cholesterol), but also HDL (good cholesterol) and causes heart disease.

This is what the research shows:

It is true that saturated fats raise both LDL and HDL, but it also changes the LDL from bad cholesterol to good because there are two different types of LDL. The first is the small and dense LDL which penetrates the arterial wall easily increasing your risk of heart disease. The second is the large LDL which is big and fluffy so it doesn’t have the ability to penetrate your arterial walls. When you eat saturated fats all the small and dense LDL particles changes to the larger LDL particle so it actually doesn’t harm your cholesterol in any way like others previously believed.

In 2010 a review of 21 studies with 350,000 test subjects was published. It showed that there was no link or association between saturated fat and heart disease, but they also found that replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats reduced the risk of heart attacks/disease by 14%. There has also been many other studies for decades showing no correlation between heart disease with the consumption of saturated fats and that it was just a neutral fat with no benefits or consequences after being eaten.

heart disease

To conclude saturated fats are not bad for you at all so you won’t need to think about quitting on your favourite steak or dairy products anymore. However, there is one kind of fat that you should avoid at all costs and that is trans fat because it will increase the amount of fat in your belly while substantially increasing your risk of getting heart disease.

If you have anymore questions about saturated fats then please feel free to leave a comment about it below.

10 thoughts on “Why Are Saturated Fats Bad For You ? – The Truth About Saturated Fats

  1. Hi Andrew,

    Really interesting article, thank you. I’ve always struggled with the amount of varying views on saturated/unsaturated fats and core areas you should avoid if you want to improve your BMI.

    This is a really clear overview and I fully agree in terms of trans fats being the key watch out.

    Great blog !

  2. I absolutely agree with you ! Trans fat is the worst thing to eat, although it might be delicious too ! We do not need to quit eating all these foods because they called them “fats”. As you mention ” When you eat saturated fats all the small and dense LDL particles changes to the larger LDL particle so it actually doesn’t harm your cholesterol in any way like others previously believed.”

    So maybe we should eat a little bit of these fats, in amounts that do not harm our heart.

    Thanks for sharing,

    Rebecca

    1. Yeah it really is about balance when it comes to trans fats since a lot of delicious foods especially when they are fried contain trans fat, but it’s best to eat them no more than once a week.

  3. I just love this topic. It is so important for people to truly understand what they are putting in their bodies as fuel. Our bodies need need so many different things to function properly, including fats ! Great post. What are some foods to eat with good fat in them?

  4. Hi there,

    Awesome article and I think it is most definately one I have to come back to and read again..and again to absorb the information correctly because we are not normally used to hearing that saturated fats are not at all that bad, or as bad as first thought.

    Thanks for sharing this article with us, it certainly has got me thinking !

  5. Hi Andrew,

    I work in a big box store (it rhymes with Frost-Toe). I often have to give out free samples of food, ranging from cheese to chicken nuggets to energy bars to ice cream to pulled pork, etc – and people are always asking about the salt, sugar and fat in these products. So, it’s nice to come across all this information about fats here, because it helps me when I can go to work armed with knowledge about the different types of fat and pass that knowledge on to my customers. Now I can also tell them to come here to andrewnganfitness dot com for information that they can read for themselves !

    Thank you for a great article,

    Hal

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