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Foods High in Saturated Fat: Don’t Risk Your Heart

written by: Anurag Ghosh • edited by: Rhonda Callow • updated: 1/19/2011

High levels of saturated fat is a known risk factor for circulatory and heart diseases. The amount of saturated fat intake is not monitored and consumers are not aware about the different types of health risks of eating foods high in saturated fat.

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    We all know how saturated fats can be harmful to our body. Saturated fats raise ‘bad’ cholesterol and can block the arteries to the heart. This increases the risk of coronary heart disease - the biggest reason for premature deaths in the UK and US. But, most consumers do not know which diets are dangerous sources of saturated fats.

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    What Are the Risks of Eating Foods High in Saturated Fats?

    Consuming foods high in fat can lead to obesity, which has its own health risks. But, consuming foods high in saturated fat can pose a threat to our heart and circulatory system. High saturated fat foods are a known risk factor for coronary heart disease, angina, strokes and heart attacks.

    Eating man-made chemically-altered processed foods can impair your cellular function. Now, studies by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) revealed that high intake of saturated fats increases the risk of developing small intestinal cancer. The study found that those men and women with the highest intake of saturated fat were 3 times more likely to develop carcinoid tumors in the small intestines.

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    Dangerous High Saturated Fat Foods

    Saturated fats are mainly found in animal products like red meat, full-fat cheese and butter. These raise harmful Low-Density Lipoprotein cholesterol in your blood levels. Here are some more sources of high saturated fats:

    Most Common:

    White sauce (Homemade)

    Baked beans

    Cheesecake

    Chocolate

    Egg yolks

    Processed Foods with High Saturated Fat Content

    Tacos

    Milk shakes

    Fish sandwich (with cheese)

    Corndogs

    Tuna salad submarine sandwich

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    Other Foods to Avoid

    Refined oils and butter are generally high in saturated fats. Here's a list of foods high in saturated fat:

    Refined Oils: The supermarket shelves are filled with refined “healthy” oil. But the refining process destroys natural antioxidants, builds free radicals and produces an unhealthy and high-saturated fat product. Most refined oils undergo refining processes such as bleaching, deodorizing, high temperature and high pressure processes, which destroys the natural fats.

    So the next time you see colorfully labeled soybean oil, cottonseed oil or safflower oil, make sure you check whether the words “virgin” or “cold expeller pressed” are written on the label.

    Butter: Butter is primarily made up of saturated fat and has high cholesterol. A tablespoon of butter contains approximately 7 g of saturated fat and 30 mg of cholesterol.

    Margarine: Even margarine has its drawbacks. Some of them are high in Trans-fat and hydrogenated oils. This is because they undergo a process called hydrogenation. So buy only those margarine products that boast low trans-fat and hydrogenated oils.

    Fast Food Fries: Fast Food fries contain more saturated fat than hamburgers. According to Eric Schlosser’s book, Fast Food Nation, fries are cooked with 90 percent beef tallow. McDonalds fries were also cooked with beef tallow, but they have switched to vegetable oil in 1990. Still, McDonalds uses a secret ingredient and refers to it as “natural flavoring”. But, it won’t reveal the true ingredients in its French fries.

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    References

    (USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 18)

    (McDonald's USA Nutrition Facts)

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7878374.stm

    http://www.healthlife.com/resources/articles/?1400_2-The-Shocking-Truth-about-Dietary-Fats-and-Saturated-Fats

    http://www.qualityhealth.com/6-shocking-fast-food-secrets-139/featuredArticle

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/butter-vs-margarine/AN00835

    http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4582