It seems like just about every other week, new research is released either praising saturated fatty acids for their health-boosting benefits or classifying them as artery-clogging and unhealthy.
The confusion surrounding saturated fat can be traced back to 1958, with the release of the Seven Countries Study. Physiologist Ancel Keys set out to study different dietary patterns around the world to try to determine how what we put on our plates could impact heart health and the development of chronic disease.
Saturated fat is a type of dietary fat found in a variety of different foods. The main difference between saturated and unsaturated fats is their chemical structure. While saturated fatty acids don’t contain any double bonds between carbon molecules, unsaturated fats contain at least one double bond in their chain.
Other foods like processed meat, deep-fried foods, baked goods, and convenience meals may also contain high amounts of saturated fatty acids, along with other types of fat like trans fat.