Updated: Jun 3, 2021
Saturated fats are fats that do not have double bonds between their carbon molecules. They are found naturally in foods such as pork, beef, and dairy products. Consistently eating foods high in saturated fat will cause an increase in blood cholesterol levels, which further increases the chance for heart disease or stroke.
While many of us eat a diet that includes a high level of saturated fats, cutting down on those levels can be amazingly simple. Below are some tips to follow in reducing your saturated fat levels to a minimum and maintaining lowered cholesterol levels.
1. EAT MORE FRESH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
Fruit is often overlooked as a snack or dessert food, but it provides a sweet taste without any saturated fat. Vegetables are also an excellent snack food but may be a better fit as a side dish at mealtime. In addition, fruits and vegetables are antioxidants and contain many of the vitamins and minerals our bodies need.
2. ADD MORE LOW-FAT DAIRY PRODUCTS
You may already buy the skim or low-fat alternative milk at the store; but there are additional low-fat alternatives to many of the dairy products you currently use. Start incorporating low-fat cheeses whenever possible; and, if a recipe calls for sour cream, replace it with plain non-fat Greek yogurt.
3. CUT DOWN ON BUTTER
Butter is a particularly versatile dairy product that is often overused. Whether spread across toast or used in baking and frying, many of us tend to overdo it when it comes to adding butter. Make a concerted effort to use less than what a recipe calls for, and less than what you feel is necessary. Consider eliminating butter from your cooking by substituting things such as Greek yogurt, peanut or almond butter, or mashed avocado.
4. AVOID FRYING YOUR MEAT
Frying meat allows for absorption of the fat in the oils you are cooking it in. While some oils may be touted as 'healthy,’ many are not; when possible, it is best to simply avoid them altogether. Fortunately, there are several ways to prepare meat that do not involve frying at all. The simplest alternative is to bake the meat and the roasted flavor is delicious. Grilling is always a good choice for reducing fats, in addition to giving food a satisfying grilled taste.
In summary, consuming too much saturated fat can be a serious issue, especially if you are already experiencing problems related to high cholesterol. If you are searching for more information to keep cholesterol levels in check, it may be best to speak with a healthcare professional. They can offer education on the effects of cholesterol on your body and the steps that will assist in working towards a healthy diet.