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Saturated Fats Needed by Your Body

Posted by Ir. Adhi Hartono on 25 October 2009

Saturated fat is fat that consists of triglycerides containing only saturated fatty acid radicals. There are several kinds of naturally occurring saturated fatty acids, which differ by the number of carbon atoms, ranging from 3 carbons (Propionic Acid) to 36 (Hexatriacontanoic acid). Saturated fatty acids have no double bonds between the carbon atoms of the fatty acid chain and are thus fully saturated with hydrogen atoms.

Fat that occurs naturally in living matter contains varying proportions of saturated and unsaturated fat. Examples of foods containing a high proportion of saturated fat include dairy products (especially cream and cheese but also butter and ghee), animal fats such as suet, tallow, lard and fatty meat, coconut oil, cottonseed oil, palm kernel oil, chocolate, and some prepared foods[1].

Serum saturated fatty acid is generally higher in smokers, alcohol drinkers and obese people.[2]

Fat profiles

While nutrition labels usually combine them, the saturated fatty acids appear in different proportions among food groups. Lauric and myristic acid radicals are most commonly found in “tropical” oils (e.g. palm kernel, coconut) and dairy products. The saturated fat in meat, eggs, chocolate, and nuts is primarily the triglycerides of palmitic and stearic acid.

Saturated fat profile of common foods (Esterified fatty acids as percentage of total fat )[3]
Food  ↓ Lauric acid ↓ Myristic acid ↓ Palmitic acid ↓ Stearic acid ↓
Coconut oil 47% 18% 9% 3%
Butter 3% 11% 29% 13%
Ground beef 0% 4% 26% 15%
Dark chocolate 0% 0% 34% 43%
Salmon 0% 1% 29% 3%
Eggs 0% 0% 27% 10%
Cashews 2% 1% 10% 7%
Soybean oil 0% 0% 11% 4%

Examples of saturated fatty acids

Some common examples of fatty acids:

Stable deepfry and baking medium

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It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Polyunsaturated fat. (Discuss)

Deepfry oils and baking fats that are high in saturated fats, like palm oil, tallow or lard, can withstand extreme heat (of 180-200 degrees Celcious) and is resistant to oxidation. A 2001 parallel review of 20-year dietary fat studies in the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Spain[6] concluded that polyunsaturated oils like soya, canola, sunflower and corn degrade easily to toxic compounds and trans fat when heated up. Prolonged consumption of trans fat-laden oxidized oils can lead to atherosclerosis, inflammatory joint disease and development of birth defects. The scientists also questioned global health authories’ wilful recommendation of large amounts of polyunsaturated fats into the human diet without accompanying measures to ensure the protection of these fatty acids against heat-and oxidative-degradation.

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4 Responses to “Saturated Fats Needed by Your Body”

  1. You should avoid Saturated fats, and avoid Trans fats at all costs, since all they do clog arteries and have 0 beneficial results in your body. Gourmet Meal

  2. luke said

    Hello, I have created a website about fish oil, I have contacted many other webmasters in this niche and have seen if they want to get a “group” together in order to help all of us rank high in google for specific keyword phrases. Basically everyone in the group will link to each others websites thus increasing our rank in google, we don’t care about your Pagerank all we care about is that the pages that link are relevant, for this is what google is looking for when it ranks websites….thanks and hope to talk to you soon

    • Adhi said

      Hi Luke, I was surprised, but very glad, receiving a comment from folk like you because this humble blog of mine basically not in English and the purpose of this blog just as my collection of great articles about health & nutrition. I have another 2 great blogs: http://www.BlogOfHeallth.co.cc and http://www.1001HealthSecret.com in which in the later one I’ve made some articles regarding food fats, incl. fish oil too. I agree to be a member of the group as proposed by you. For further discussion please comment on 1001HealthSecret via this link:http://www.1001healthsecret.com/?p=207#more-207.

      I’m honest guy and still learning to be good webmaster; I don’t mind if you teach me what to be done next in order for our group to achieve our goal succcesfully. I live in Java, how about you.. from which state of US? Awaiting you in http://www.1001HealthSecret.com

      Best Regards

  3. The cost of fish oil products has risen significantly. I am giving my child 2 capsules a day to help him with math. Does anybody know where I an find an affordable solution? By the way, it is great. His grade went up 2 points after consuming fish oil capsules.

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