Healthy diet food should not contain saturated fat (aka the bad fat). Though some saturated fat in your diet is not necessarily going to harm you, you should take some steps to ensure that you are cutting out added saturated fats and consuming the more heart healthy unsaturated fats for the best results.
One of the major sources of saturated fats in the American diet comes from meat consumption. It is recommended by the American Heart Association that you should not eat more than six ounces of lean meat, poultry, fish or seafood daily.
Red meat should only be eaten once or twice a week to really lower your saturated fat. Select the leanest cuts such as sirloin, chuck, loin and round and choose the lean or extra lean ground meats for the lowest saturated fat content. When choosing pork, select tenderloin or loin chops, and when choosing lamb select leg, arm and loin cuts for the least amount of fat.
Poultry is one of the leanest meats available, but care must be taken to get the best cut. Remove all fat before cooking and remove the skin before eating. Choose the white meat for the lowest fat content. Grill, bake and broil chicken to allow the extra fat to drip off away from the meat.
Cut back on all processed meats, as they tend to be very high in saturated fat and sodium.
Eat at least two servings of either fatty or lean fish weekly. Either way, fish is low in saturated fats, and in the case of fatty fish, it is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids which are great for your body in numerous ways. Similar to poultry, be sure to bake, broil, grill or boil your fish instead of breading and frying it.
By minimizing your intake of full fat dairy products such as butter, whole milk and 2% milk, yogurt and cheese, you can greatly reduce your daily saturated fat intake. Gradually switch to fat free or low fat dairy products. Additionally, there are many low fat and fat free cottage cheese and other cheese products available that offer a good taste with half or less the saturated fat content.
Trans Fat Elimination
Any healthy diet should also cut back on trans fats. This includes cutting back on any foods that contain partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. Instead, use vegetable oil and soft margarines in the place of hard margarine and shortening. Strictly limit your consumption of any processed foods that generally contain high levels of saturated fats, including cookies, crackers, pastries, pies, muffins and doughnuts.
By decreasing the amount of saturated fat that you consume on a daily basis, you will greatly improve your heart health and increase the nutritional soundness of your diet. Slowly eliminate some of the culprits of high saturated fat from your diet until you are at a level that is more balanced (and providing better nutritional value to your body).