Protect Your Heart: Limit Saturated Fats

By: Catherine G., RDN, LD


Research shows that if we eat too much saturated fat it can raise LDL or “bad” cholesterol. High levels of LDL can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 5-6% of calories from saturated fat. For example, if you eat 2000 calories a day, then the goal would be no more than 13 grams each day. One quarter-pound burger has around 10 grams of saturated fat!

What are Saturated Fats?

These are fats that are typically solid at room temperature. They are commonly found in foods from animal sources like meat and dairy, and tropical oils. Examples include:

  • Beef
  • Poultry with skin on
  • Butter
  • Pork
  • Lard
  • Bacon
  • Coconut oil
  • Palm oil
  • Full-fat dairy
  • Cream cheese
  • Regular cheese
  • Ice cream
  • Creamer
  • Some baked and fried foods

Simple Changes to Decrease Saturated Fat

Instead of…

Try …

Using butter to cook your vegetables

Olive oil

Ribeye, rib  roast, t-bone

“loin” and “round” versions

Prime cuts of beef or pork

Choice or select

Eating ground meat right after cooking

Drain after cooking and/or rinse with hot water

Meat at every meal

Meatless meals or seafood

Regular Mayonnaise

Olive oil-based mayonnaise


Turkey bacon or Canadian bacon

Crackers and chips for a snack

Mixed nuts and/or seeds

Full fat dairy products like milk, cheese, etc

1%, low fat or fat free

Topping a waffle or pancake with butter and syrup

Fat-free whipped cream and fresh berries

Making toast with regular cream cheese or butter

Peanut butter, avocados, fat-free cream cheese

Regular, buttered, or cheesy popcorn

Air-popped popcorn

Regular burgers

Turkey burgers or a mix of beef and turkey


Decreasing saturated fats is just one part of the health journey. By applying some of these small changes, you can help protect your heart. Talk to your DayTwo team for personalized recommendations.


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