Fat, also called lipid, is component of cell membrane and source of energy to the body. It is essential for brain development and production of cholesterol in the liver. However, when fat level in the body exceeds the normal level, it is associated with health complications such as heart diseases, high blood pressure and obesity.

The difference between saturated fats and unsaturated fats:

Saturated fat: are precursors for cholesterol and therefore, the level of their intake is positively associated with serum cholesterol level, especially low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Major sources of saturated fat are animal food-based products; check the table below for content.

Unsaturated fat: includes polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fat. Both types are predominantly found in plant products. Examples of polyunsaturated fat food sources include soybean, sunflower, fish and corn oils. Monounsaturated fat is found in high content in olive, peanut, and canola oils. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids are suggested to lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.

Several studies indicate that replacement of food high in saturated fatty acids with polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fat rich foods reduces the total cholesterol and low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.

In the following table is a list of fat food sources and their corresponding saturated fat and total fat content. With in each catagory, food items are listed from high to low total fat content.

Fat food sources Saturated fat (grams/100 grams food) Total fat (lipid) (grams/100 grams food)
Milk and related products
Milk, canned, condensed, sweetened 5.49 8.70
Milk, canned, evaporated, without added vitamin A 4.59 7.56
Milk, buttermilk, dried 3.60 5.85
Milk, chocolate, fluid, commercial, whole 2.10 3.39
Milk, whole, 3.25% milkfat 1.87 3.25
Milk shakes, thick vanilla 1.89 3.03
Milk shakes, thick chocolate 1.68 2.70
Milk, reduced fat, fluid, 2% milkfat, with added vitamin A 1.26 1.97
Milk, chocolate, fluid, commercial, reduced fat 1.18 1.90
Milk, chocolate, fluid, commercial, lowfat 0.62 1.00
Milk, lowfat, fluid, 1% milkfat, with added vitamin A 0.63 0.97
Milk, dry, nonfat, instant, with added vitamin A 0.47 0.74
Milk, canned, evaporated, nonfat 0.12 0.20
Milk, nonfat, fluid, with added vitamin A (fat free or skim) 0.12 0.08
Cream, fluid, heavy whipping 23.03 37.00
Cream substitute, powdered 32.55 35.50
Cream, fluid, light whipping 19.34 30.93
Cream, whipped, cream topping, pressurized 13.83 22.33
Cream, sour, cultured 13.05 21.00
Cream, fluid, light (coffee cream or table cream) 12.02 19.33
Cream, sour, reduced fat, cultured 7.47 12.00
Cream, fluid, half and half 7.16 11.53
Cream substitute, liquid, with hydrogenated vegetable oil and soy protein 1.94 10.00

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