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Donít Let Saturated Fat Saturate Your Health

Submitted by Serena Mason on July 8, 2010

Fats are divided into different categories based on their composition. Saturated fat is one classification of fats and it is the consumption of this type of fat that increases an individual’s cholesterol level. Saturated fat should only be limited to 10% of your total calories. The following foods contain saturated fats: beef, butter, milk and milk related products, whole egg, pastries, croissant, pork, fried chicken, cashews, salmon, dark chocolate, and coconut oil. There is a high amount of saturated fat in popular foods like such as French toast, doughnuts, corn toast, Danish pastries, croissants, and hash brown potatoes.

Fast foods such as burgers, pizza, and cakes are also very high in saturated fats.

Saturated fats are the main cause of heart diseases and because of its high calorie content it increases the risk of obesity. Obesity, in turn, brings with a whole number of risks such as diabetes, gout, hypothyroidism, and gallstones.

It also decreases insulin sensitivity, which causes the body to store more fat that required.  A diet rich in saturated fats causes the formation of a waxy substance in the walls of the arteries called ‘cholesterol’ to form. This is one of the worst effects of saturated fat as it increases the chances of a heart attack as well as heart disease. Dietary fats are also said to increase the risk of certain kinds of cancer such as colon, prostrate and breast cancer but there is no hard evidence to support these theories.

However, it should be noted that there is a link between a high intake of red meat and colon cancer. Research has indicated that dietary fats also have an effect on conditions such as osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, infertility, and age related memory loss.

Saturated fats do have some vital functions as they control the activity of the thyroid gland.

Breast milk contains high levels of saturated fats and cholesterol and if both these substances were not meant to be in the baby’s body, the infant would start to develop heart diseases. Both these substances are needed for healthy brain development. Saturated fat is also a preferred fuel for the heart even though it is regarded as harmful. During stress, the heart draws on this reserved fat around the heart.

A diet that eliminates fats completely is not a balanced and healthy diet. The health of the hair and the skin are also maintained by a regular supply of fats to the body. Fats also help the body process certain vitamins such as vitamin K, vitamin A, and vitamin D. Hence, it is essential that the body gets its share of fats. It is important to follow a healthy and balanced diet that contains an adequate amount of fats. It is important to know the saturated fat health risks so that you can make healthy food choices.
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