Saturated fats are fats that don't have double bonds between their carbon molecules. They are found naturally in foods such as pork, beef and dairy products. Regularly eating foods that are high in saturated fat will cause your blood cholesterol levels to increase, which means an increase in the chance that you might suffer from heart disease or a stroke.
But, while many of us eat a diet that includes a high level of saturated fats, cutting down on those levels is simple. Here are some tips you can follow in order to keep your saturated fat levels to a minimum and your cholesterol levels low.
Eat 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 dinner time. In addition, fruits and vegetables are antioxidants, and many of them contain vitamins and minerals that our bodies need.
Use Low-fat Dairy Products
You may already buy the skim or low-fat alternative milk at the store. But, there are low-fat alternatives to many dairy products. Start using low-fat cheese whenever possible. And if a recipe calls for sour cream, use plain non-fat Greek yogurt instead.
Cut Way Down on Butter
Butter is a particularly versatile dairy product that is often overused. Whether it’s spread across toast, or used in baking or frying, many of us tend to overdo it when it comes to adding butter. Whatever you're using butter in the kitchen, use less than what the recipe calls for, or than you feel that you need. You might even cut butter out of your cooking entirely by substituting it with things such as Greek yogurt, peanut or almond butter, or mashed avocado.
Avoid Frying Your Meat
Frying meat means giving it a chance to absorb the fat from the oils that you cook it in. While some oils may be touted as 'healthy', others are not. When possible, it's best to just avoid them altogether. Fortunately, there are several ways to prepare meat that doesn't involve frying at all. The simplest alternative is to bake the meat. The roasted flavor is more than delicious. If you have access to a grill, use that instead of frying so that you can stay away from fats and give your food a satisfying grilled taste.
Consuming too much saturated fat can be a serious issue, especially if you are already experiencing problems related to high cholesterol. If you’re looking for more ways to keep cholesterol levels in check, it may be best to speak with a healthcare professional. They will be able to tell you more about what effects cholesterol have had on your body, and the steps you can take to work toward a healthy diet.