What is saturated fat? Know its health effects

Saturated fat is a type of lipid or natural fat found in some foods of animal origin and its derivatives . Among them are beef, pork, cheese, whole milk, crackling, sausage, cream, butter, margarine and egg yolk.

In addition to these foods of animal origin, saturated fats are also found in foods of plant origin, such as coconut oil and heart of palm.

This type of fat can bring health benefits, since we need to consume a certain amount of it for the proper functioning of the body.

However, if consumed more than recommended, it can lead to health problems, including serious cardiac complications.

But how to deal with this type of fat that is very common on our tables?

It is important that there is a balance in the intake of this type of substance. Mainly to prevent heart disease from appearing throughout life.

The recommendation is that the percentage of saturated fat does not exceed 10% of all calories ingested per day.

What are saturated and unsaturated fats?

Saturated and unsaturated fats, despite the somewhat similar name, have very significant differences. One is where each can be found.

For example, saturated foods, as we have already said, are mostly present in food from animals. The unsaturated ones, on the other hand, are mostly of vegetable origin.

Foods such as soybean, corn, sunflower, cotton and rice oils can be sources of unsaturated fats. However, this type of fat can also be present in margarines and nuts.

However, the main difference between the two fats is in their chemical form.

Unsaturated is healthier and can be consumed more often. In addition, it also helps to improve cholesterol levels.

On the other hand, saturated should be consumed in less quantity, although it is also important for our organism.

What is the role of saturated fat?

Saturated fats have a fundamental role in our body. They act in the production of sex hormones, in the maintenance of cell membranes and also in the processes of transport and storage of vitamins in cells, such as vitamins A, D, E and K.

When eaten in a balanced way, and also within a balanced diet with other foods necessary for our body, fats are transformed into nutrients and are a source of energy.

What are the benefits of saturated fat?

Consumption of fatty foods correctly and without excess can be important to protect some vital organs of the body, such as the heart.

In times of stress , saturated fat can generate energy necessary for the heart to beat and pump blood. Therefore, it is important that there is no overload of this organ.

Another benefit is that this type of fat may also be able to increase HDL levels, known as the good cholesterol, in small amounts.

Generally, when we talk about fats, we automatically think about the harm they can bring to our health.

However, we forget that for a good functioning of the organism and to lead a healthy life it is necessary to keep these foods in our diet, in the correct amount.

Why is saturated fat bad for your health?

Saturated fat can actually harm your health, but it depends on the amount consumed. A person with a diet based on animal foods, rich in saturated fat, is more likely to suffer a premature death, as excessive consumption can contribute to an increase in LDL (bad cholesterol).

This is because saturated fat is more stable and has more difficulty being oxidized in the body, that is, it takes longer to be metabolized.

Therefore, it can accumulate more easily on the inner walls of blood vessels, causing the fatty plaques and also the clogging of the veins.

The appearance of these problems can cause serious diseases such as atherosclerosis , obesity , myocardial infarction, high blood pressure, cholesterol and other heart problems.

Saturated fat is fattening?

To date, there is still insufficient evidence to state that saturated fat directly causes obesity. But because it is a type of fat, the ideal is that people have a balance when it comes to consuming these products.

Because, like any other types of food, if it is consumed in excess, it can increase the chances of overweight problems.

In general, saturated fats should be part of our diet, but they should be in the appropriate amount and also in conjunction with a balanced diet and exercise.

That way, saturated fats won’t make you fat.


Saturated fats are examples of substances necessary for the healthy functioning of our body, but we must be careful with the amount we are going to eat.

It is essential to maintain a balance, so that saturated fats are part of our diet, without damage to our health.

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