How to Reduce Saturated Fats

February 20, 2020   7 Comments

How do you reduce saturated fats in your diet? This is an important question because saturated fats are known to cause problems.

How to Reduce Saturated Fats

If anyone has attempted a diet ever, the subject of fat has come up. One theory on how to get thinner was that eating fat made you fat. Wouldn’t that have been so simple? FAT = FAT.

But, that theory has been debunked. In my piece, Meet Your New Best Friend: Fat, I discuss how a low fat diet did not lead to weight loss when compared to a low carb diet.

You need fat to be able to be healthy just like the rest of the macronutrients (protein and carbohydrates). You cannot live without it. But, some fats are healthier than others. Saturated fats are the bad boys of fats.

What is a saturated fat? I mean is it a fat soaked in water? “Saturated” is an organic chemistry term term and it means that the molecular composition of the fat has single bonds between the carbon molecules. Unsaturated fats have double bonds between the carbon molecules. That’s it! That is the entire difference.

Unfortunately, what seems like a minute chemical difference has big implications for our health.

A 2017 systematic review by the American Heart Association of randomized controlled clinical trials showed that reducing intake of dietary saturated fat and replacing it with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats could reduce cardiovascular disease by about 30%, similar to the reduction achieved by statin treatment for maintaining blood cholesterol within normal limits.

That is right - you don’t need statins (a pill that has side effects but maintains a lower blood cholesterol) if you can eat less saturated fat.

The simple list on how to get healthy included as its fourth goal to “replace saturated fats with unsaturated if you can.”

So how do you do it?

First, you have to identify the sources of saturated fat in your diet. Broccoli? HA! No, it is the stuff we all love - cheese, fatty meats, butter, deep fried fish, cake, cookies, muffins…… When you start looking at Saturated Fat on any processed food that you buy - you may in for a shock.

Unsaturated fats are in the foods are in the below photo - fish, nuts, avocados. Many are plant-based fats with a notable exception of coconut oil and palm oil (both saturated fats).

Second you need fat BUT you should avoid saturated fats. Time to eat more nuts, fish, avocados and olive oil. YUM! Hopefully, this is not a burden for you.

Third, when you are aware that you are eating saturated fatty food like that steak with butter - eat less. Bring you portion size down to 4 ounces of steak or hamburger. Bulk up the rest of your meal with vegetables. Enjoy your steak, hamburger, ribs, or deep fried fish BUT keep the amount you eat in check.

Have you tried to reduce saturated fats in your diet? How is it going? What tips would you give others on how to succeed?

Other posts you might like:

Is Fat Good For You?

Meet Your New Best Friend: Fat

Ahhhh, look at that beautiful butter. I can’t wait to smear it all over my steak....

A Simple List for How to Get Healthy

A Simple List for How to Get Healthy

I saw this list of 48 words posted by a Canadian doctor and I was inspired.....

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After traveling in Italy I developed a real appreciation for olive oil - it is NOT the enemy! A little drizzle of good quality EVOO over your prepared food enhances the taste and makes it more satisfying / filling. Thanks for this concise article , Lisa!

The quality of our saturated fat matters, too. There's a HUGE difference in eating a steak or butter from a healthy, grass-fed cow (where extra nutrients get stored in the fat!) versus conventional beef, which can be fed unhealthy diets. Unfortunately extra toxins are also stored in fat.

Totally agree with Jessica and Robin. I think if people stay away from hydrogenated fats they will see their cholesterol numbers go down, so that means little or no processed packaged foods. Remember Crisco? Many years a go I stopped using it and my husband and I have not had elevated cholesterol numbers since. When I make baked goods, not so much these days, I use butter or light olive oil.

Coconut Oil, characterized as a Medium-Chain Triglyceride (MCT), uniquely contains fatty acids. Consumed in moderation, it could have positive effects on your health, including encouraging fat loss, improved heart health, and imporved brain function.…

There are brilliant substitutions for fat in baked goods. I've had great success with flax eggs and applesauce [for oil]. Muffins come out fluffy and everyone is happy. Sauteing in broth or water is another way to avoid useless fat. Homemade creamy dressings [in a nutribullit] using sesame seeds [or tahini], cashews, or hemp seeds vs oil. OMGosh, hummus, homemade with no oil is genius. Can't figure out how or why I ever bought into so much FAT in my cooking or dining out for that matter. Yes, Lisa, I've worked on reducing bad fat over the past 3 years, its been worth the research with lots of good health success all around.

Amazing that I just received in my email, an awesome video on fat. Three years ago my family plus a few others were rescued from UC, obesity, HBP, Hi-cholesterol, pre-diabetes, and so far, advanced cancer [tests can't find it]. One of the things we switched to whole food sources, is fat.…

Great post about dietary fats. Unfortunately, not all people can meet their cholesterol goals through diet and exercise alone. As a pharmacist, I am asked daily how a patient can stop their Statin medication. Diabetes and family history may make it impossible.

Great post, Lisa!

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