Saturated Fat

Can they be part of a healthy diet?


Saturated fats have gotten a lot of bad press in recent years because certain types of these fats can increase your total and “bad” LDL cholesterol. Although diets should remain low in saturated fat, small levels of saturated fat as part of an overall healthy diet are needed to help balance monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids in the diet and to maintain a healthy ratio of LDL to HDL cholesterol.


Typically, saturated fats are found in high amounts in animal products—meat, butter, full-fat dairy—and in many fats and oils, especially coconut oil, cocoa butter and butterfat. Cocoa butter is used to make chocolate, and a high butterfat content is what makes super-premium ice creams so rich. Limiting these foods to special occasions is a good idea.


Not all sources of saturated fat are the same; in fact some sources, like the palm fruit oil found in most Smart Balance® products, when balanced with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats to levels found in those Smart Balance® products, have essential acids that can help to support healthy cholesterol levels already within the normal range. Palm fruit oil contains both saturated and unsaturated fats, and in conjunction with polyunsaturated oils like soy and canola can help support healthy cholesterol levels1 when eaten as part of the Smart Balance™ Food Plan.


The body needs fats to process vital nutrients, so it’s wise to stick with healthier blends of polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and saturated fatty acids, like those in Smart Balance® spreads and olive, canola and vegetable oils.


1. The right blend of fats may improve your cholesterol ratio when at least 2/3 of fat intake comes from this product or our food plan; limit fat to 30% of calories and saturated fats to 10% of calories. Limit cholesterol to 300mg/day. Avoid foods with partially hydrogenated oil. Exercise regularly.

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