Saturated fat can raise blood cholesterol and can put you at risk for heart disease and stroke. You should limit your intake of any foods that are high in saturated fat. Sources of saturated fat include whole-milk dairy products, like cheese, ice cream and butter. Animal fats such as beef, pork or chicken, but not most fish, are also a source of saturated fats. Vegetable sources of saturated fat include coconut and palm oils. When looking at a food label, pay close attention to the percentage of saturated fat. The American Heart Association recommends aiming for a dietary pattern that achieves 5% to 6% of calories from saturated fat. For example, if you need about 2,000 calories a day, no more than 120 calories should come from saturated fats, which equals about 13 grams.
Meagan Bridges, RD, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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