Saturated Fat Definition

Saturated fats are usually solid or almost solid at room temperature. Saturated fats are the very unhealthy fats. They make the body produce more cholesterol, which may raise blood cholesterol levels. The American Heart Association recommends that you limit your saturated fat intake to 7-10 percent of total calories (or less) each day. If you have coronary heart disease or your LDL cholesterol level is 100 mg/dL or greater, your doctor should recommend the Therapeutic Lifestyle Change (TLC) Diet. It recommends 25-35 percent of calories from fat, with less than 7 percent coming from saturated fat. Cholesterol is limited to less than 200 milligrams a day.

Sources of fat

All animal fats, such as those in meat, poultry, and dairy products are saturated. Processed and fast foods are also saturated. Vegetable oils also can be saturated. Palm, palm kernel and coconut oils are saturated vegetable oils. (Fats containing mostly unsaturated fat can be made more saturated through a process called "hydrogenation." See the definition for hydrogenated/partially hydrogenated.") Saturated fat is found mostly in foods from animals and some plants.

Foods from animals These include beef, beef fat, veal, lamb, pork, lard, poultry fat, butter, cream, milk, cheeses and other dairy products made from whole milk. These foods also contain dietary cholesterol.

Foods from plants These include coconut oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil (often called tropical oils), and cocoa butter.

We have sorted our nutrition database to help you find foods high in saturated fat. So you can easily see how much fat is contained in different foods. You can also search through our database using the search box below or browse the fat content by food category.

saturated fat in foods - by food category

Baby Food      Baked Products
Beef Products    Breakfast Cereals
Cereal Grains and Pasta    Dairy Products
Drinks    Ethnic Foods
Fast Foods    Fats and Oils
Fish    Fruits
Lamb, Veal, and Game Products    Legumes and Legume Products
Meals, Entrees, and Sidedishes    Nuts
Pork    Poultry Products
Sausages and Luncheon Meats    Snacks
Soups    Spices and Herbs
Sweets    Vegetables
Cakes    Fruit Juices
Soy Products      Sauces
Shellfish      Candy
Spreads      Soda
Dried Fruits      Soups
Cookies      Biscuits


We have sorted our nutrition database by different fat content.

Total fat content in food
Saturated fat content in food
Trans fat content in food
Mono-unsaturated fat content in food
Poly-unsaturated fat content in food
Cholesterol content in food

Excess Fat

Excess saturated fat can cause cholesterol to build up within the arteries. Excess fat in the diet because of the high calorie content, can increase your chances of obesity, which increases the risk of heart disease and some types of cancer.

Excess Saturated Fat

Excess saturated fat is related to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The amount of cholesterol found in foods is not as important as the amount of saturated fat. Of all the fats, saturated fat is the most potent determinant of blood cholesterol levels. Saturated fats stimulates the production of LDL cholesterol ("bad" cholesterol) and therefore increases blood cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease. Saturated fats raise cholesterol levels and LDL-cholesterol levels more than dietary cholesterol itself.

Related Pages

Tips to lower fat intake can be found here to follow a low fat diet.

Nutrition Facts

calories, fat, carbohydrate, high protein foods, high fiber foods, low carb foods, calcium, iron, magnesium, chromium, phosphorus, chloride, potassium, sodium, fluoride, iodine, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, vitamins and minerals, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6, biotin (vitamin B7), Folic Acid (vitamin B9), vitamin B12, vitamin B13, vitamin B15, vitamin B17, vitamin K, folic acid, tryptophan, threonine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, cysteine, phenylalanine, tyrosine, valine, arginine, histidine, alanine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, glycine, proline, serine, cholesterol, essential fatty acids, trans fat, saturated fat, recommended daily allowance


saturated fat and Nutritional Values - Top 221 Foods

Vegetables

leeks, turnip greens, swiss chard, mustard greens, yams, fennel, artichokes, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, green beans, brussel sprouts, cabbage, sweet potato, a potato, carrots, lettuce, iceberg lettuce, spinach, shiitake mushrooms, celery, salad, mushrooms, potatoes, baked potato, onions, asparagus, pumpkin, radishes, taro, turnips, okra, rhubarb, sweet corn, cowpeas, seaweed, broadbeans

Fruits

a banana, an apple, an orange, a peach, apricots, butternut squash, lemon, grapes, watermelon, strawberries, green grapes, kiwi, blueberries, zucchini, figs, honeydew, eggplant, dates, olives, a pear, coconut, cranberries, pomegranate, a mango, pineapple, cherries, cantaloupe, grapefruit, tangerine, nectarines, raisins, plums, tomatoes, chili peppers, chilis, peppers, avocado, cucumber, summer squash, winter squash, papaya, prunes, fruit salad, persimmons

Seafood

salmon, cod, sardines, shrimp, tuna, fish, tuna salad, halibut, sea bass, scallops, crab, lobster, oysters, herring, haddock, halibut, mackerel, pike, pollock, trout

Drinks

coffee, apple juice, cranberry juice, red wine, skim milk, white wine, wine, milk, beer, alcohol, coke, soy milk, whole milk, prune juice, tea, a shake, coconut milk, orange juice, energy drinks, soft drinks, grapefruit juice, lemon juice, lemonade

Nuts and Seeds

chia seeds, sunflower seeds, pecans, pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts, nuts, almonds, sesame seeds, walnuts, cashews, peanuts, chestnuts, coconut meat, ginkgo nuts, mixed nuts, macadamia nuts

Beans and Lentils

soybeans, pinto beans, kidney beans, lentils, black beans, lima beans, navy beans, beets, beans, garbanzo beans, baked beans

Meat

beef, steak, deer, bacon, chicken, fried chicken, turkey, turkey breast, chicken breast, meatloaf, ham, lamb, sausages, chicken light meat, chicken dark meat, chicken leg, fried chicken, roasted chicken, chicken thigh, chicken wings, duck, goose, pheasant, quail, pigeon, turkey light meat, turkey dark meat, turkey breast, turkey leg, turkey wing, emu, ostrich, frankfurter, pate, pork sausage, salami, bratwurst, pork loin, ground pork, lamb shank, veal, bison, beef liver, beef ribs

Fast Foods

french fries, pizza, a slice of pizza, hot dog, hamburger, a cheeseburger, a big mac

Dairy and Cheese

ricotta, yogurt, cottage cheese, an egg, egg whites, goats cheese, cheddar, cheddar cheese, cheese, hard boiled egg, feta cheese, mozzarella, low fat yogurt

Bread, Rice, Grains and Pasta

rye, millet, flaxseed, barley, buckwheat, whole wheat bread, a bagel, white bread, bread, quinoa, corn, spaghetti, rice, pasta, brown rice, white rice, cooked egg, mexican cheese, fruit yogurt

Spreads, Sauces and Herbs

hummus, mayonnaise, butter, peanut butter, soy sauce, thyme, basil, rosemary, pepper, coriander, dill, parsley, spices, chili sauce

Sweets, Desserts and Snacks

popcorn, chips, nachos, a granola bar, saltine crackers, cheesecake, jello, ice cream, doughnuts, chocolate, puddings, frozen yogurt, a snickers bar, croissants, danish pastry, english muffins, blueberry muffins, pie, pop tarts, coffeecake, crackers, potato chips, rice cakes, tortilla chips, fudge, puddings, syrups, dark chocolate, sundae, pretzels, pop tarts

Breakfast Cereal

granola, cheerios, oatmeal, kelloggs cereals, general mills cereals

Miscellaneous

spirulina, honey, sugar, brown sugar, tofu, olive oil, garlic, tempeh, oats, salad dressing, tomato soup, mushroom soup, chicken soup, vegetable soup, infant formula, cooking oil, shortening, fish oil, soybean oil, soy protein, gravy, raisins, currants, balsam pear, succotash, macaroni, egg noodles, japanese noodles, macaroni and cheese, burrito