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The Skinny on Saturated Fats

Saturated Fats is a "hot" topic, here's why...

Background: There are 3 types of fat:

1) unsaturated (good-for-you)... but portion control is still important!

2) saturated (should be limited). Saturated fats are known to increase cholesterol and may contribute to heart disease.

3) trans (AVOID!!!)

The confusion: You'll find saturated fats in lots of healthy foods, such as eggs, cheese, dairy, and nuts. These foods also include good fats and other nutritional value. So, you shouldn't stay away from these entirely. However, saturated fats are also found in foods with lower nutritional value such as butter, baked goods, and fatty meats. These often have the highest levels of saturated fat and can be easily replaced with healthier options.

What you should do about this:

  • limit saturated fats to less than 20g for women and 30g for men per day (YES, read the label and watch portion size!!)

  • be mindful of making healthier choices:

    • eat eggs instead of a biscuit or baked goods

    • use extra virgin olive oil instead of butter

    • replace cream with lower-fat milks

    • replace whole-milk items with lower-fat milk products

    • use Greek yogurt in place of sour cream or mayonnaise

    • use avocado spread or guacamole to dress your sandwiches

    • choose lean meats

  • limit multi-ingredient foods like pizza, casseroles, and sandwiches; these tend to have ingredients high in saturated fats

  • stop eating a pound of sour cream with your cheddar-topped nachos, and stop eating all those nachos... OH WAIT, this one's for me

For my cheese lovers out there: check out the chart below, sourced from the USDA. Cottage cheese is king! Ricotta is also a healthier choice. Neufchatel cheese is a very nice alternative to cream cheese. Cheese has a lot of nutritional benefits, just watch your consumption.

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