Does reducing the amount of saturated fat in your diet help?
Reducing the amount of saturated fats in your diet could somewhat lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. Saturated fats are mainly found in animal food products.
Food products contain different types of fat, which affect our metabolism in different ways. Basically, there are three categories:
- Saturated fats increase the level of LDL cholesterol in our blood more than other fats. Large amounts of saturated fats are considered to be bad for the heart and blood vessels.
- Unsaturated fats are considered to be healthy because they don't affect the level of LDL cholesterol as much.
- Trans fats are sometimes produced when vegetable fats are used in industrial food processing or for deep-frying. Small amounts of them can also be found in animal food products.
Saturated fats are mainly found in animal food products, especially in
- meat (mainly fatty meats like pork),
- butter and lard,
- cheeses with a high fat content, and
- cream and related food products, such as sour cream.
Unsaturated fats are mainly found in fatty fish, vegetable fats and vegetable-based foods, including
- salmon, tuna and mackerel,
- vegetable oils, such as sunflower oil or olive oil,
- nuts and seeds, and
Trans fats produced in the food-processing industry or as a result of heating vegetable fats are particularly bad for the heart and vessels. That is why the total fat content in food products isn't allowed to include more than 2% industrially produced trans fats. But higher levels can occur, especially when food is deep-fried.