What Exactly is Saturated Fats? Good or Bad?

Did you know that overeating saturated fats can raise ‘bad cholesterol’ levels (LDL) and can increase the risk of developing heart disease and stroke?

What Exactly is Saturated Fats ?

Saturated fats are one of the types of fats in your diet. Saturated fats are known as ‘bad fat’, along with trans fats.

Mostly saturated fats are in solid form at room temperature. Foods like margarine, baked goods and palm oil are examples of foods with high amounts of saturated fats.

Eating a diet high in saturated fat is associated with raised levels of non-HDL (bad) cholesterol. This is linked to an increased risk of heart and circulatory disease.

What foods are high in saturated fats?

Saturated fats can be found in many foods such as: 

  • Baked goods: Cookies, cakes
  • Pastries: Croissants, pies, doughnut
  • Butter, coconut oil and palm oil
  • Ice cream
  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Pork
  • Whole-fat dairy products (butter, whole milk)
  • Chocolate and chocolate spreads
  • Oil: Coconut oil, palm kernel oil

How much can you eat?

According to Malaysian Dietary Guidelines, limit the intake of saturated fats to less than 10% of total daily calorie intake.

The government recommends that:

  • men should not eat more than 30g of saturated fat a day
  • women should not eat more than 20g of saturated fat a day
  • children should have less

If you want to reduce your risk of heart disease, it’s best to reduce your overall fat intake and swap saturated fats for unsaturated fats.

How to reduce the intake of saturated fat?

According to Malaysian Dietary Guidelines,

  1. Limit the use of oils and fats such as coconut milk (santan), palm kernel oil and butter when cooking and baking.
  2. Trim the fat from meat or poultry before cooking.
  3. Remove skin of poultry before cooking.
  4. Use low or skimmed dairy products.
  5. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and other foods with low or no saturated fat.
Open chat