Saturated Fat vs Unsaturated Fat – What Fats Are Bad For You?
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Saturated Fat vs Unsaturated Fat – What Fats Are Bad For You?
Your food choices make you what you are. This why people are looking for answers to the question: Saturated Fat vs Unsaturated Fat – What Fats Are Bad For You?
This can be the difference between a healthy body, and one that is in danger of developing illness and a lot worse. This is why understanding what fats are to be avoided is so important.
They say that knowledge is power, so equip yourself with the power and give yourself the best chance of a healthy life by finding out more…
You are what you eat, right? Well, if this is the case, you want to be more aware of what you are. Here we outline the difference in fats and give some helpful tips to making positive changes.
What Are Saturated Fats?
According to Healthyforgood they are fat molecules that have no double bonds between carbon molecules, as they are saturated with hydrogen molecules. This also means that they are solid when at room temperature.
No double bonds means no gaps.
Typically thought of as bad fats because they raise your LDL cholesterol, this incidentally is considered to be the bad type of cholesterol. High levels of this can lead to heart-related diseases.
There have been some studies that try to prove that they are not as bad as everyone else seems to think. Stick to what the vast majority of some of the most important industry voices are saying, saturated fats are to be taken seriously.
What Are Unsaturated Fats?
Unsaturated fats are the good kind and in turn, will lower cholesterol levels if you are replacing saturated fats with these.
They are liquid at room temperature and have double bonds which break up the hydrogen molecules and make gaps. This is why they are labeled as unsaturated.
There are two types of good unsaturated fats, Monounsaturated fats, and Polyunsaturated fats.
The difference? The American Heart Association advise that Monounsaturated fats are fat molecules that have one unsaturated carbon bond in the molecule, otherwise called a double bond. They are good because they can help to reduce the amount of bad cholesterol you have, this gives you a better chance of not suffering a stroke or from heart disease.
They even give your body nutrients that are great for your body’s cells.
Polyunsaturated fats, on the other hand, you guessed it, they have more than a single unsaturated carbon bond. Again, they are good for cell health and give your body something it cannot produce on its own. Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.
Saturated Fat Vs Unsaturated Fat: What Foods Are They Found In?
Examples of Saturated Fats
- Full Fat Milk
- Fat in Meat
- Coconut Oil (Not all Saturated Fats are created equally unhealthy!)
- Palm Oil
Examples of Unsaturated Fats
- Nuts and Seeds
- Oily fish
- Olive oil
- Canola Oil
Ideas For Swapping Saturated Fats With Unsaturated Fats
Just by adding a few of these unsaturated fats can make a difference. Try replacing your usual snack with some nuts and seeds which are a great source of unsaturated fat.
When you start looking at Saturated Fat Vs Unsaturated Fat you might not realize how easy it is to get a good balance. Some other healthy replacements are eating lean meat, the less fat the better and if you had to choose, poultry is a safer option. As always, a balanced diet is essential for overall health so make sure you have plenty of fruits and nonstarchy vegetables.
If you want to go one step further with meat, why not replace it altogether for some meals and go for beans or chickpeas as your protein of choice.
When choosing dairy, go for a low-fat option or even a plant-based replacement – there really are a lot of great tasting alternatives to choose from.
There are other simple swaps you can make, instead of choosing a cheesy pasta sauce, go for a tomato based option.
Cut out sugary foods and beverages if you want to reduce your saturated fats and in turn cholesterol. During the day just go for water instead of a fizzy, high in sugar option. This is one of the easiest swaps you can make.
Saturated Fat vs Unsaturated Fat: How Much Of Each Should I Consume?
This varies depending on where you get your information from. The guidelines are similar in some ways though, keep your saturated fat levels down and don’t neglect your daily intake.
Turning a blind eye to something as important as this only hurts your chances of leading a healthy life.
In the US, the American Heart Association advise that if you take on around 2,000 calories a day, up to 13 grams of that is considered to be an upper limit for saturated fat. This fluctuates depending on whether you eat more or less per day.
In the UK, the NHS advises that the UK health guidelines are that the average man between 19-64 years should consume no more than 30g of saturated fat a day and 20g for women ages 19-64.
Advice For Eating Less Fat
Now we know more about Saturated Fat Vs Unsaturated Fat, here are a few ideas that you can implement into your diet to ensure you are consuming less fat.
Always check the label when buying food. Some might surprise you with their high saturated fat content and there are often some healthier replacements. Whether it be a different brand or food choice as a replacement.
- When it comes to milk, go for a lower fat or even a plant-based alternative to dairy.
- Remove any visible fat from meat before preparing it. Also, take the skin off of poultry.
- Don’t overdo it when it comes to oil, use as much as you need, not more.
- Try fish or beans as a protein source instead of red meat.
- Pay attention to the label as we mentioned previously, look out for the percentage of your daily saturated fat allowance. This information should be made clear and anything too high should be avoided.
- Substitute mince for a meat-free alternative, trial it once a week to begin with to make a healthy change.
- When it comes to bacon, if you really have to eat it, go for the back bacon and not streaky. This will reduce the amount of fat you are dealing with.
- Avoid sugary foods and drinks.
- When it comes to snacks, go for something healthy to fill you up until your next meal such as nuts, whole grain bread, fruit, vegetable, and hummus.
- Avoid frying your food where possible.
Saturated vs Unsaturated Fats Conclusion
The key is to get into the habit of reading the nutrient profile on everything you buy.
This will give you an indication as to how much saturated and unsaturated fats are in each serving. You will find that most products these days give you what you are looking for here, look for the fat content and then how much of that is saturated.
Check to see if the saturated fat level is within the daily allowance to maintain healthy levels.
It might be challenging at first. However, by being conscious enough to check and avoid foods high in saturated fats can be the first steps towards a healthy body.
It’s easy to fall into poor eating habits and once the ball is rolling. You can find yourself snowballing into an unhealthy state.
By making the changes we have suggested, you just might start to shift some excess fat, sure. But it is on the inside that you will really benefit. Although you can’t see these benefits, they give you the best chance of not suffering from some serious illnesses.
Why not share this article with someone you care about to make a positive difference in their habits as well.
To end this Saturated Fat Vs Unsaturated Fat article, there are all sorts of dietary trends that try and make something out of nothing, not all of them are bad. But something almost everyone can agree on is that your saturated fats should be monitored and taken seriously.
Professional b-boy (breakdancer) and all-round health, fitness, weightlifting, calisthenics, climbing and movement addict since childhood! Raised by health and nutrition obsessed parents, he’s keen to research and question everything. Oliver absolutely loves learning, optimizing and improving himself and his performance and has a passion for helping others to achieve the same!