Saturated Fat DefinitionSaturated 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 fatAll 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 content by food category:
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 FatExcess 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 FatExcess 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.