Saturated Fat in Healthy Eating

saturated fatHave you ever sat down and tried to figure out what you can eat when you’re dieting and what you can’t? It’s always been thought that when dieting you should try to stay away from saturated fats, especially if you are a runner or someone who exercises regularly. Foods high in saturated fat has been linked to heart disease clear back to the 1960’s. Saturated fat raises your LDL (bad cholesterol) which causes a plaque build up in your arteries which leads to heart disease, However, eating polysaturated fats found in things like fish and veggies will cause your LDL to go down.

A new study by Annals of Internal Medicine dug into 76 previous studies on the relationship between saturated fat and heart disease. The new study reported on by Runner’s World says there were no relationship found between saturated fat and heart disease. The study may not be completely accurate because the participants were self reporting on their diet. The lack of saturated fat in a diet thought can cause the HDL (good cholesterol) to go down and eliminate LDL completely, which is just as bad as having too much.

What was found in the study is that saturated fat is good in moderation for a well balanced diet. There are also some significant benefits to eating some saturated fat in your diet such as it can be burnt immediately for energy instead of being stored for later. This benefit is especially important to runner’s. The moral of this story is it may be more harmful to cut certain foods out of your diet all together. It is important to remember the food triangle and what you should be taking in from each group.

food pyramid

Saturated fat foods you should include in a balanced diet:

  • eggs
  • chicken thighs
  • macadamia nuts
  • red meat
  • whole milk yogurt
  • cheddar cheese
  • coconut oil
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