Saturated Fat & Weight Loss

Beginning a weight-loss program requires changing many habits that contribute to your current weight. One such habit is consuming saturated fat, which is chiefly found in animal products. Knowing how and why saturated fat can keep you from losing weight can help you to make healthy choices that contribute to your weight loss.


Saturated fats are considered the bad form of fats, according to This is because saturated fats affect your total blood cholesterol and your low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, which contributes to heart disease. Dietary sources of saturated fat include animal products, such as meat, dairy, eggs and seafood. Plant sources, such as coconut oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil, also contain saturated fats.


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When you are trying to lose weight, eating foods high in saturated fats can have a detrimental effect on your weight-loss efforts. This is because foods high in saturated fats often are high in calories and dietary fats, which can contribute to weight gain, according to the American Heart Association. Examples of high-saturated fat, high-calorie foods include beef fat, lard, cream, butter and many processed baked goods or fried foods. Having these foods in your diet can keep you from achieving the weight loss you desire.

Intake Recommendations

The amount of saturated fat you consume each day should be as minimal as possible. The American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 7 percent of your total daily calories from saturated fat food sources. If your weight-loss program involves consuming 2,000 calories per day, this would translate into 140 calories or 16 g from saturated fats. However, if your weight-loss plan has you eating fewer calories, this number would be reduced.


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When you are trying to lose weight, consuming saturated fats can be detrimental to your diet. Instead of consuming high-fat animal products, substitute these foods with healthy sources of fat, which are known as monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats, according to the American Heart Association. These foods include vegetable oils, fish and nuts. Instead of eating high-fat meats, substitute these products with beans or legumes, which serve as low-calorie, high-protein sources. You also can carefully monitor the saturated fats you eat by reading the food labels for saturated fats and ensuring you do not exceed the American Heart Association’s recommendations.


In addition to affecting your weight-loss efforts, increased intake of saturated fats can contribute to heart disease, according to the National Cholesterol Education Program. This is because high blood cholesterol levels cause deposits to build up on the heart’s arteries, restricting blood flow -- an occurrence that can lead to a deadly heart attack. A blood test at your physician’s office can test your cholesterol levels. If your levels are high, a weight-loss program that includes healthy fat sources can help.