Saturated Fat is one of the most pervasive evils of the modern world. Everywhere one turns, there it is: Hidden under all sort of disguises - fancy food names, attractive packaging, irresistible snacks, etc. From underneath its cover, it works relentlessly to undermine our health, good looks, and weight control efforts.
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Here's a basic truth I firmly believe in: Any weight loss program that incorporates saturated fats in sizable amounts is not viable long-term, and will end up in failure. Moreover, it may do significant damage to one's health, especially to the cardiovascular system.
- Glycerol is a relatively simple molecule from the "alcohol" family. It has 3 binding spots for fatty acids, and can therefore combine with up to 3 molecules of fatty acids.
- Fatty acids can be of 2 types: saturated (containing no double bonds in their molecule) or unsaturated (containing one or more double bonds).
- If glycerol combines with 3 fatty acids of the saturated type, the result is a molecule of saturated fat - also called triglyceride.
- It predisposes to atherosclerosis (formation of plaque along the blood vessel walls, which progressively obstructs the blood flow through the respective vessel). As such, this type of fat is a major contributor to cardiovascular disease (including high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, and peripheral vascular disease).
- Additionally, constant excess of saturated fats promotes insulin resistance, contributing to the development of type 2 diabetes.
- Moreover, these fats are also known to increase LDL cholesterol ("bad cholesterol").
- And last but not least, saturated fats predispose to accelerated weight gain and obesity, particularly if consumed regularly and in combination with foods rich in sugars (carbs of high glycemic index). In a nutshell, this is quite likely the most detrimental diet from the point of view of weight control. Keep this in mind if embarking on a weight loss program.
Foods to Avoid
- Meats with high fat content - especially pork and beef. (Please note: The fat content also depends on the cut of meat. Therefore, if consuming such meats, make sure to pick a lean cut: There should be no visible fat interspersed with the meat.)
- Lard (saturated animal fat)
- Whole milk (this can be substituted with fat-free or low-fat milk)
(especially Cream Cheese, but also Swiss Cheese, Cheddar Cheese, American Cheese, etc). Low fat cheese products are available and can be used in a weight control diet.
(low-fat butter substitutes can be used instead)
- Cream and Sour cream (again, low-fat versions are available.)
- Ice Cream
- Eggs - if the serving exceeds 2 eggs. (Fat is contained primarily the egg yolk. As such, egg whites are acceptable in a weight control diet, and so are egg beaters.
- The coconut fruit and coconut milk (these contain saturated fat in a ratio of 90%)
- Pastries, Cakes, Pies (Guess why? - You guessed it: It's the butter and milk in the dough.)
- Cake Frosting and Butter Cream (these are loaded with fat)
- Cookies (e.g., 1 serving of Pepperidge Farm Milano Cookies, which amounts to 3 cookies, brings in 10 gram of fat - out of which 5 gram saturated)
- Chips (Pringles, Lays, Fritos, Nachos, etc) - especially if the recommended serving size is exceeded
- Pizza - most varieties bring in "industrial amounts" of fat. If there's one sure way to rapid weight gain, this is it!
- Fast Food, and overall Restaurant Foods - which bring in undisclosed (and unbelievable) amounts of fat of all types, among which the infamous trans fats.
Return from "Saturated Fat" to "Fat Facts"