10 Foods High In Saturated Fats You Must Limit Eating

Reviewed by Kristen Arnold, RDN, CSSD
Written by Charushila Biswas, MSc (Biotechnology), ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist

Foods high in saturated fat are bad for your health. Excess consumption of saturated fat can cause heart disease and stroke. According to the World Health Organization, coronary heart disease and stroke claim the lives of more than 14.1 million people each year (1). However, you should not fully avoid saturated fats. Saturated fats should account for roughly 5% to 6% of total calories, according to the American Heart Association (2). Basically, you should keep your saturated fat intake to a minimum. Check out ten common foods high in saturated fats, as well as nutritional recommendations and the best substitutions. Scroll down!

What Are Saturated Fats?

Saturated fats are fatty foods that are solid at room temperature. Due to the presence of single bonds – unlike the monounsaturated (one double bond) and polyunsaturated (multiple double bonds) fats – saturated fats have a higher melting point. Animal fat, cream, and cheese are a few examples of foods with saturated fats (3). So, how does saturated fat affect your health? Find out in the section below.

How Saturated Fats Affect Your Health?

Saturated fats affect the body by increasing the amount of bad or LDL cholesterol in it. High levels of saturated fats from burgers, pizza, excess amounts of butter, animal fat, and the like leads to it. LDL cholesterol gets deposited on the walls of the arteries, thereby preventing the free flow of blood to and from the heart to various parts of the body. If LDL cholesterol levels are not kept in check, it can lead to a clogged artery that can cause a heart attack.

So, you see, saturated fats are only good in small amounts. Want to know which foods are high in saturated fats? Scroll down.

10 Foods High In Saturated Fats

1. Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise has high saturated fat

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Saturated Fat (100 g) – 12 g; 1 Tablespoon (14 g) – 1.6 g; 1 Teaspoon (5 g) – 0.36 g

Who doesn’t love a dollop of silky smooth mayonnaise in salads, sandwiches, and wraps! It has a magical property of turning a boring salad into a delicious one. But the problem is the amount of saturated fats present in it. Plus, because of its creamy texture and feel-good taste, we all tend to overconsume it. The best way to consume it is to prepare low-cal salad dressing with olive oil, use cottage cheese in sandwiches and wraps, and to eat no more than 2 tablespoons of it per day.

2. Butter

Saturated Fat (100 g) – 51 g; 1 Tablespoon (14.2 g) – 7 g; 1 Teaspoon (4.7 g) – 2 g

Butter smells and tastes so great that it is almost impossible to eliminate it from our lives. But here’s the thing. Unless you start consuming it in limited amounts, you will end up paying for fixing your “broken” heart. If you look at the saturated fat content of butter, it is way higher than mayonnaise. That’s why you must consume as less butter as you can. Have 1-2 teaspoons of butter per day.

3. Animal Fats

Animal fats contain high saturated fat

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Saturated Fat (100 g) – 39 g; Per Tablespoon (14 g) – 4.55 g; Per Teaspoon (4 g) – 2 g

Meat drippings, lard, chicken fat, duck fat, goose fat, and lamb fat are all animal fats that apparently take the taste quotient of any dish to the next level. And if you are not careful enough, it has the full potential to take you to the upper level (if you know what I mean)! I know it does taste good, but why not find a substitute that’s lower in saturated fats and good for your health? Use herbed oils and homemade ghee instead of the animal fats mentioned above.

4. Cheese

Saturated Fat (100 g) – 21 g; 1 Cubic Inch (17 g) – 3.6 g; 1 Slice (1 oz) – 6 g

It’s easy to overconsume cheese. Especially when you can have it with bread, in salads, as a dip, fried, or just nibble it. Though cheese has many beneficial nutritional qualities, overconsuming it can put your heart health at risk. In just a slice of cheese, you get half the daily recommended amount of saturated fat! Now, think about the amount of cheese used in pizzas and burgers. Slash the amount of cheese you consume per day and workout regularly to keep your heart fit.

5. Whipped Cream

Whipped cream among foods high in saturated fat

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Saturated Fat (100 g) – 23 g; 1 Tablespoon (15 g) – 3 g; Per Teaspoon (5 g) – 0.36 g

Ahh, this must be a tough list for you! Everything delicious is on this list. But hey! Sometimes, it is better to hear the bitter truth and correct yourself than regretting later. The much-loved whipped cream has high saturated fat content and can make you gain weight quickly. Consume sour cream instead of whipped cream or avoid it to prevent your health from going down south.

6. Processed Meat

Saturated Fat (100 g) – 14.9 g; 1 Ounce (28 g) – 1.6 g; 3 slices (5 g) – 6 g

Processed meat like sausage, salami, bacon, and chorizo are high in sodium and saturated fats. Additionally, processed meats contain animal fat, which also puts them on the unhealthier side when consumed in excess amounts regularly. Consume mushrooms, boiled lentils, tofu, beans, and lean meat like chicken breast to get protein instead of processed meats.

7. Brazil Nuts

Brazil have high saturated fat

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Saturated Fat (100 g) – 15.1 g; 1 Cup (133 g) – 20.1 g; 1 Ounce (28 g) – 4.2 g

Brazil nuts have the highest amount of saturated fats. Though they have good nutritional qualities, you can easily overconsume them because they taste buttery and yummy. Consume other healthier nuts like almonds, walnuts, macadamia, pine nuts, and pistachios. Be sure to consume just a handful of these nuts per day.

8. Dried And Sweetened Coconut

Saturated Fat (100 g) – 57 g; 1 cup (93 g) – 29 g; 1 Ounce (28 g) – 16 g

Do you like to top your smoothie bowl with a generous amount of dried and sweetened coconut shavings? Or do you regularly have delicious sweets made of dried coconut? Well, dried coconut may not be as healthy as tender coconut or even coconut oil. Especially because it contains a high amount of saturated fat. You may consume about 1-2 tablespoons of dried coconut once or twice a week to prevent saturated fat overload in your body.

9. Deep Fried Foods

Deep-fried foods contain high saturated fat

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Saturated Fat (100 g) – 17 g; 1 Ounce (28 g) – 4.6 g; Per Teaspoon (5 g) – 0.36 g

Here comes your worst nightmare – NO FRIED FOODS! Kidding. We all crave fried, crunchy, comfort food once in a while. But the problem arises when you make them your breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack! Fried foods are known for their high saturated and trans fats content and the ill effects they have on health. Fried foods like French fries, fryums, fried chicken, and batter-fried foods are not at all healthy and should be avoided. If you have cravings, make guilt-free shallow-fried foods and use olive oil to make them healthy and super tasty.

10. Cake

Saturated Fat (100 g) – 5-15 g; 1 cake (1 kg) – 62 g; 1 piece (14 g) – 6 g

This is my worst nightmare! Cakes and pastries may be instant mood lifters, but they are also LDL or bad cholesterol level lifters. Of course, if you have them once or twice a month and follow a good lifestyle, your heart will not be at risk. But if you are sedentary and eat a piece of cake very often, you are in trouble. Limit your cake intake, especially the ones that have icing on top. If possible make a healthier version of cakes at home by using low-cal dark brown sugar, multigrain flour, and natural sweeteners like honey.

So, it is quite clear from this list that you have to be careful while consuming foods that you know in general are not so healthy. And it is here where portion control comes into the picture. Now, there are other fatty foods that are actually good for you. These have one or many double bonds and are mostly liquid in room temperature. Take a look at the next section to know which healthy fats you can consume.

Healthy Fats You Can Consume

Here’s the list of healthy fats that are beneficial for your health:

  • Fish oil
  • Flax seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Olive oil
  • Ghee
  • Avocado
  • Sesame seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Salmon
  • Mackerel
  • Full-fat milk
  • Homemade ricotta cheese

Our body requires many nutrients for its healthy functioning. However, certain components in our foods may do more harm than good. One such component is saturated fat. It may increase LDL or bad cholesterol levels, elevating the risk of cardiovascular disorders. Foods high in saturated fats include mayonnaise, butter, cheese, deep-fried foods, and cakes. Reduce their intake and substitute them with their healthier plant-based counterparts for better overall health.

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Kristen Arnold

(MS, RDN, CSSD)
Kristen is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and a board-certified specialist in Sports Dietetics. She also has a Master’s in Human... more

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