Saturated Fatty Acids
Saturated fats are a type of fatty acid that is solid at room temperature and contains long-chain carboxylic acids that contain only single hydrogen bonds. Saturated fatty acids are more calorie dense and they are less susceptible to lipid peroxidation or becoming rancid.
Saturated fats are commonly found in processed foods are they more solid at room temperature than unsaturated fatty acids and because they are less vulnerable to rancidity. Most foods contain both unsaturated and saturated fats. The fat that is listed on labels is typically only one or the other, depending on which one makes up the majority. Foods with a high amount of saturated fat include:
- animal foods such as beef, chicken, lamb, pork and veal
- oils such as coconut, palm and palm kernel
- dairy products (like butter, cheese and whole milk)
- Choosing lower-fat meat and dairy products can help reduce the amount of saturated fat in your diet.
- Choose vegetable oil or soft margarines that are low in saturated and trans fats instead of hard margarine, lard and shortening.
- Saturated fats raise LDL cholesterol levels and are associated with atherosclerosis, hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases.