22 foods that are high in saturated fat

Some fats are healthy, but nutrition experts recommend avoiding or seriously limiting saturated fat. This type of fat can raise your LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol and lead to weight gain, heart disease, and other cardiovascular diseases. You can look up the exact amount of saturated fat on nutrition labels and websites or use this handy guide as a reference. Here are 22 foods that are high in saturated fat. 



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In addition to being packed with sodium, bacon is also high in saturated fat. In fact, 40% of the fat in bacon is saturated fat. It’s also delicious, so we’re not suggesting you should never eat bacon…just try to consume it in moderation, as each slice contains a little more than a gram of saturated fat.


Baked goods

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Saturated fats are most often associated with animal byproducts, so baked goods can be a sneaky source. This is due to the generous amounts of butter and oil used, especially in store-bought treats that use extra butter and oil to stay moist and extend the shelf life. A single brownie, for instance, can contain 10 grams of saturated fat — and even breakfast items like muffins may feature similar amounts!



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Beef is a well-known source of saturated fat, and the exact amount can vary based on the type and cut of beef. A leaner variety, like top-round steak, has about 1 gram of saturated fat per ounce, while a fattier ribeye can pack three times that amount. Burgers — which often weigh around 8 ounces — can pack some 20 grams of saturated fat!



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As we previously mentioned, butter boasts a boatload of saturated fat. Each stick (about the amount in a batch of cookies) has nearly 60 grams of saturated fat. Even if you just spread some on bread, a single tablespoon still serves up more than 7 grams!



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The amount of saturated fat in cheese can vary widely based on the type, but generally, most cheeses clock in quite high. On the upper end, a 100-gram (or 3.5-ounce) serving of mascarpone masks 29 grams of saturated fat. Keeping the serving size consistent, cheddar has about 20 grams, blue cheese has 19 grams, brie has 17 grams, and feta and mozzarella both have 15 grams. But it’s not all gloom and doom in the cheese world: a half-cup of cottage cheese only contains 2 grams of saturated fat!



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All chocolate is made with cocoa butter, and cocoa butter contains saturated fat. That’s why every variety — dark, milk, and white — all contain high amounts of saturated fat. Surprisingly, dark is actually the worst culprit! A 1-ounce serving of dark chocolate contains 8 grams, while white has 6 grams, and milk has 5 grams. However, not all saturated fats are created equal, and nutritionists say the type in cocoa butter is not as unhealthy as the kind found in meat.



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You don’t often think of fruits, nuts, or seeds as sources of saturated fat, but that’s the case with coconuts (which are technically all three). A 2-ounce serving of fresh coconut contains about 12 grams of saturated fat, and a tablespoon of shavings still has about 2 grams.


Coconut oil

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Fresh coconut is delicious, but nowadays, coconut is most often consumed in the form of oil. Although coconut oil is good for your skin, high in antioxidants, and may raise your good cholesterol levels, it is also 92% saturated fat, and just one tablespoon contains a whopping 12 grams!



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The thickest of all milk products, heavy cream also contains the most total fat as well as the most saturated fat. Even just a half-cup serving still has a startling 28 grams of saturated fat — keep that in mind if you regularly add cream to your coffee.


Cured meats

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If you’re making a sandwich or platter with cured meats, the saturated fat can add up quickly. A single ounce of salami, mortadella, or capicola, for instance, contains at least 2.5 grams of saturated fat, while pepperoni has 4 grams!



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Frosting is mostly sugar, but most types — including cream cheese frosting, buttermilk frosting, and simple icing — also include milk, butter, cheese, and/or chocolate, too. The exact amount of saturated fat varies based on the frosting variety, but a thick layer slathered on a piece of cake or cupcake (which are already loaded with fat) can pack a seriously unhealthy punch.



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A popular ingredient in Indian cuisine, ghee is similar to butter, and similarly, it is also quite high in saturated fat. In fact, it is 50% saturated fat, which adds up to about 60 grams per 100 grams of ghee. (That’s more than 10 grams of saturated fat per tablespoon!)


Ice cream

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Ice cream is made from cream, so it likewise contains a significant amount of saturated fat. It’s basically unhealthy across the board, as most ice cream is also high in calories, carbs, and sugar. That being said, we eat it almost every day. 



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You might not think of lamb or mutton as an obvious source of saturated fat, but since they are red meat, they do contain a bit more than their fair share. Even just a small 3.5-ounce lamb chop packs about 8 grams of saturated fat. 



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Nuts are known as a healthy snack, but don’t overdo it — nuts contain high levels of saturated fat. Cashew, macadamia, pecan, and Brazil nuts are especially high, but there are some saturated fat-friendly nuts out there. A big handful of cashews (about 2 ounces) contains 4.5 grams of saturated fat, but the same amount of almonds has half of that.


Palm oil

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Palm oil has less saturated fat than both palm kernel oil and coconut oil — a trio included in the group dubbed “tropical oils” — but that doesn’t mean they’re healthy, so you should still consume them in moderation. Whenever possible, your best oil options are still olive and canola. 



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In the 1980s, the National Pork Board ran an ad campaign that referred to pork as “the other white meat.” While fatty cuts of pork do contain less saturated fat than fatty cuts of beef, pork is still a red meat — contrary to what the commercials say — and thus it’s still less healthy than chicken or turkey. (For reference: A 4-ounce serving of pork loin has about 5 grams of saturated fat, which doesn’t include the butter or oil it is often cooked in.)



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We’re suckers for sausage and peppers, but this dish isn’t in our regular rotation because sausage is high in fat, saturated fat, calories, and sodium, among other things. Your average 2.67-ounce pork and beef sausage link contains about 7 grams of saturated fat — and jumbo sausages can contain as much as 10 grams!


Turkey bacon

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Turkey bacon can save you some serious calories and is lower in total fat, but it’s still high in both saturated fat and sodium. Each 2-ounce serving of turkey bacon contains about 4 grams of saturated fat, compared to 8 grams in regular pork bacon.


Whipped cream

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Whipped cream is just heavy cream that’s been whipped up to double its volume, so it’s also a source of saturated fat. And when it’s that light and airy, whipped cream just feels like empty calories, so we often skip it on our coffee drinks and sundaes. (After all: The latter can be the perfect saturated storm of ice cream, chocolate, whipped cream, and nuts.) Or try a lighter version, like Reddi-Wip!


Whole milk

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Milk is a significant source of protein, vitamin D, and calcium, but it also has a significant share of saturated fat. A glass of milk, which is an 8-ounce serving, has 5 grams of saturated fat. On the other end of the spectrum, skim milk has no saturated fat — in fact, it’s totally fat-free!



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There’s a reason yogurt — both regular and Greek — is available in fat-free/nonfat varieties: yogurt can contain a surprisingly high amount of saturated fat. A ¾-cup serving of whole milk Greek yogurt contains a whopping 10 grams of saturated fat, and the same size serving of regular whole milk yogurt still has 4 grams.

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