I’m sure you’ve heard that saturated fat is something that needs to be limited, but the question is, what’s the science behind it? And is it really as bad as it’s made out to be? In this article, we will look at what the latest research has to say about saturated fat. And where it fits into a generally healthy diet. However, before we get to it, first allow me to introduce myself.
My name is Tony Stephan, and I’m a dietitian business coach. I help RDs make more IMPACT and more INCOME through nutrition coaching. However, before becoming a dietitian business coach, I was an RD nutrition coach. I served thousands of nutrition coaching clients over a time span of 12 years. My successful nutrition coaching business is what led me to where I am today. Now let’s talk about saturated fat and whether it’s actually good or bad for you.
Saturated Fat: Two Sides To One Coin
I am sure you’ve heard before that saturated fat is the cause of heart disease. And that it’s going to clog your arteries and give you a heart attack. However, just like most nutrition topics, there are always two sides to one coin. If you search on the internet, “Is saturated fat good for me?” you will likely find 100 different contradicting opinions that may leave you even more confused than before.
So whether you are a nutrition coach or just looking for what’s best for your general health, it’s okay if you’re a little confused on what stance to have regarding saturated fat.
In this article, we are going to get to the bottom of whether it is actually good or bad for you.
Is It Bad For Me?
Let’s start with why you hear so many bad things about saturated fat.
One of the reasons you may have heard that it is bad for you is due to the findings of a study in the late 70’s called the 7 countries study. The 7 countries study found that heart disease was the highest in countries where the saturated fat intake was the highest. And it found that heart disease was lower in countries where the consumption of saturated fat was the lowest.
Although it might be tempting to label saturated fat as bad, the real question is, what does this study actually mean? It’s always important to remember that there really are no “good foods” or “bad foods” in nutrition. Certain food can be okay in moderation for some that may not be okay in moderation for others. For some people, increased saturated fat intake could be detrimental to their health, whereas, for others, it could have little to no effect at all.
What’s The Truth Behind It?
The truth is, even foods that are normally considered healthy usually contain some saturated fat. For example, nuts, seeds, fish, meat products all contain some saturated fat.
It’s also true that saturated fats increase LDL cholesterol, heart attack, and CVD-related events when consumed in excess, over 10% of total calories.
However, saturated fats don’t increase the risk of you dying.
Approximately 30% of your caloric intake should come from fats, based on the evidence. And a general guideline is 10% or less of your calories should come from saturated fats.
Should I Cut Saturated Fat Out Of My Diet?
So should you cut it out of your diet?
The take-home message is that if you eat a well-balanced diet from a variety of whole foods and you’re following the nutrition guidelines, you should have little to no stress about your consumption of saturated fats.
If you’re a dietitian nutrition coach dealing with clients, you always want to be considerate of your client’s past medical history and family history. Ultimately, you should always use a personalized approach with your clients. And you should always encourage sustainable nutrition habits.
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