While your body does need some fat to be able to function efficiently, some fats are better for you than others. For instance, the fat in nuts, olive oil, and avocados is good for your heart, and fatty fish supplies you with Omega-3 fatty acids which lower your risk of major medical conditions such as heart disease, cardiovascular disease, and high blood pressure (in limited amounts, of course).
However, having saturated fat in your diet doesn’t offer any positive health effects. On the contrary, it actually raises your cholesterol levels, putting you at increased risk of stroke and heart disease which can prematurely end your life.
With that in mind, here are the top 5 saturated foods to avoid if you want to enjoy a long, healthy life (as well as some healthier alternatives to replace them with):
#1: Fast food hamburgers – If you have a hankering for a hamburger, make one at home to save yourself a lot of fat. Use lean ground beef or turkey and broil it in the oven or cook it on the grill. Either way, it will taste great while being better for you.
#2: Deep fried chicken – There are tons of recipes available to make healthy chicken that tastes as if it has been deep fried without all of the added fat. There are quite a few on EatingWell.com so you might want to check them out.
#3: Processed meats such as bacon, luncheon meat, and sausage – While these types of foods are quick and easy, they aren’t good for your body. Instead, stick with natural proteins that aren’t processed with additives and other unhealthy fillers.
#4: Cheese – Cheese is very high in saturated fat, and the low-fat versions aren’t much better. Therefore, you are going to want to avoid eating it or, at a minimum, at least limit your consumption.
#5: Butter – Butter can be found in most any dessert and it is often used a lot when pan frying foods. Use applesauce in your sweet recipes as a healthier alternative and splash some olive oil in the pan when you’re sautéing veggies or meat.
These are just a few of the saturated fats you should avoid. What healthy alternatives do you use for these and other unhealthy fats?