Effects of Saturated Fat on the Body

Author: Staff Writer
Saturated fats raise blood cholesterol levels.

Medically referred to as a lipid disorder, high blood cholesterol can cause atherosclerosis, which is a disorder in which the inner lining of the arteries thickens and hardens resulting in fat buildup. Atherosclerosis is responsible for coronary heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.

Different Cholesterols

The body produces different cholesterol types, not all of them bad.  In fact, the body requires a small amount of cholesterol in order to function properly and is necessary for producing hormones, vitamin D, and the bile acids that break down fat. 

LDL (Low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol is the cholesterol that is considered "bad" and is affected by diet.  Your body produces LDL naturally, but certain dietary fats can also increase LDL including saturated fats, Trans fatty acids, and dietary cholesterol.

HDL (High-density lipoprotein) cholesterol is the "good" cholesterol and helps the body eliminate the bad cholesterol

How Does Saturated Fat Affect Blood Cholesterol?

According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, eating just one meal high in saturated fats affects the body's HDL, which works to protect the arteries from plaque build-up.  It also affects the arteries' ability to expand without which they are unable to efficiently carry blood throughout the body.

Is There an Alternative?

According to a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health, simply replacing the saturated fats in your diet with polyunsaturated fats, such as those found in vegetable oils like corn, safflower or soybean, can decrease your risk of coronary heart disease by 19%.


Works Cited

Harvard School of Public Health
Replacing Saturated Fat with Polyunsaturated Fat May Cut Heart Disease Risk

Cholesterol Basics: Types, Risk Factors, Levels, and Treatment

Journal of American College Cardiology
Consumption of Saturated Fat Impairs the Anti-Inflammatory Properties of High-Density Lipoproteins and Endothelial Function
Aug.48 (2006): 715 - 720. Print.

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"Effects of Saturated Fat on the Body." Sophisticated Edge. N.p., n.d. Web. . <http://www.sophisticatededge.com/effects-of-saturated-fat-on-the-body.html>.  

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to treat or diagnose any health problems or illnesses without consulting a physician. It is not meant to take the place of health care or services you may need. Please consult a physician with any questions you may have regarding your health.

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