What are Saturated Fats?



Saturated fats are a type of dietary fat associated with raising LDL cholesterol levels when overconsumed, increasing heart disease risk. They are found in animal products.


  • Saturated fat is solid at room temperature due to chemical structure. Major sources include red meat, full fat dairy, coconut oil, palm oil and egg yolks.
  • Overconsuming saturated fats can negatively impact blood cholesterol levels by increasing LDL and raising inflammation.
  • Saturated fat is not entirely bad – it provides fuel, aids hormone production, and supports vitamin absorption. But excess intake contributes to heart disease.
  • Limit saturated fat to no more than 10% of total calories according to recommendations. Substitute unsaturated fats when possible.


  • Replacing red meat with fish or legumes a few times per week.
  • Opting for low fat dairy products over full fat versions.

Related Terms

  • Trans fats, unsaturated fats, cholesterol, lipids

Common Questions

  • Are all saturated fats unhealthy? No, but overdoing intake from red meat and high fat dairy seems to increase disease risks.
  • Can I still eat some saturated fat? Yes, moderate amounts as part of an overall healthy diet is fine. Just limit excess intake.

Do Not Confuse With

  • Unsaturated fats – Offer benefits and can reduce cholesterol levels.
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