What is Saturated Fat?
Fat is formed from two types of molecules, namely fatty acids and glycerol. It is this type and level of fatty acids that determine the impact of fat on your body. Saturated fat is a type of fat that generally comes from animals, such as poultry, red meat, and dairy products that are rich in fat. Saturated fats if consumed in excess can increase the risk of health problems, such as increased inflammation, plaque formation in blood vessels, and insulin resistance. This excess saturated fat is closely related to the risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. This occurs because of an increase in levels of 'bad' cholesterol (LDL) in the blood.
While fats from plants are generally unsaturated fats, although some of them also contain saturated fats, such as palm oil. Unsaturated fats are called good fats because these types of fats are fats that can increase levels of healthy fats (HDL) in the blood, and reduce levels of bad fats, such as cholesterol and triglycerides. Research shows that high levels of HDL in the blood can reduce the risk of heart disease, and excessive cell damage due to inflammation.
Guide to Avoiding Saturated Fat
How can we get used to eating less saturated fat and more unsaturated fat? Here are some guidelines that you can use.
- In general, men are advised not to consume more than 30 grams of saturated fat every day. While the maximum limit for women is 20 grams. With this guide, you can check and choose foods by reading the nutrition labels on the packaging.
- When going to buy meat, ask for cuts of meat with less fat. Discard the skin before processing and get rid of the fat that is still visible.
- Choose dairy products with low fat content, such as yogurt or low-fat milk, with 1 percent fat.
- When cooking, measure the oil with a tablespoon before pouring it into the frying pan to control how much to use.
- Change the method of cooking from frying to baking, boiling or steaming.
- Add fruits, vegetables, and nuts to your menu, and reduce consumption of fatty meat.
Specifically, you can use the following tips as a guide to updating your food choices to be healthier.
- Buffet meals: choose non-coconut milk to avoid saturated fat. Prioritize choices of vegetable, fish and chicken dishes over red meat.
- Pizza: choose pizza with healthier toppings, such as fish, shrimp, and vegetables, compared to cheese and red meat.
- Spaghetti: use low-fat minced meat as a blend.
- French fries: cut them into a larger version and use olive oil to fry them.
- Egg: rather than fried, it is better to boil it.
- Pasta: cheese or cream sauce has a higher saturated fat content than tomato sauce.
- Yogurt: choose low fat and low sugar levels.
- Coffee: choose regular packaging, not milk containing and large volumes.
- Snacks: instead of chocolate, donuts, or biscuits, it's better to choose fruits, nuts and yogurt.
In essence, to stay away from saturated fats, try to always choose unprocessed and more whole foods such as vegetables, fruit, fish, nuts, seeds, olive oil, cheese, and low-fat meat. In addition, the thing to remember is that illness does not only come from diet, but also from daily habits, including how to deal with stress, exercise intensity, and hours of sleep.