Animal/Saturated Fats

Animal/Saturated Fats Avoidance: Overview

Saturated fat raises blood cholesterol more than anything else in the diet.  This type of fat is found in large quantities of animal products, including fatty meats, cold cuts, poultry skin, cheeses, butter, shortening, chocolate and coconut.

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Animal fat itself contains some cholesterol, but saturated fat (a large component of animal fat) stimulates cholesterol production in humans and so animal fat contributes in two ways to cholesterol levels.


Saturated fats are found primarily in animal products – meat and dairy products such as milk, butter and cheese.  Cutting saturated fat out of your diet is easy.

  • Eat lean meats such as fish and white meat in poultry.
  • Reduce the amount of red meat you eat.
  • Always cut fat off of your meat.
  • Avoid products made with cream (butter, whipped cream, sauces etc.)
  • Avoid whole dairy products, and switch to non-fat dairy or non-dairy alternatives instead.  You may prefer to switch gradually by first switching to low-fat then to non-fat.
  • There are now non-dairy alternatives to almost everything, from milk to cheese to ice cream.  Not only are these alternatives healthier in general, but many agree that they taste better too.  There really is no need to give up your favorites – have a look at what is available in your local health food store.

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Animal/Saturated Fats Avoidance:

Animal/Saturated Fats Avoidance can help with the following:


Allergic Rhinitis / Hay Fever

Do not eat foods that trigger your allergies: eat fewer foods and additives that are likely to cause inflammation and allergic reactions, such as saturated fats (meats and dairy products), refined foods, eggs, citrus, bananas, chocolate, peanuts, shellfish, food coloring, preservatives, caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, and sugar.


Multiple Sclerosis

This is part of the Swank Diet for Multiple Sclerosis sufferers.


Coronary Disease / Heart Attack

Where heart disease is concerned, animal fats are generally considered unhealthy due to their association with high cholesterol levels in the blood.


Effects of a Low Carbohydrate Diet

The best dietary strategy to reduce one's risk of dying from the number 1 killer in the U.S. is to reduce one's consumption of saturated fat and cholesterol.  The evidence backing this, according to the American Heart Association, is "overwhelming." [Circulation 98 (1998): p.935]


Lab Values

High Total Cholesterol

It should be noted that there is not necessarily a strict relationship between cholesterol intake and blood cholesterol level.  A properly functioning liver regulates the blood cholesterol level by storing, producing, releasing and excreting cholesterol as appropriate – primarily as bile.  Even vegans, whose dietary intake of cholesterol is by definition essentially zero, have cholesterol in their blood (usually at very healthy levels) because their bodies manufacture it.


Poor Bone Health

Reduce intake of animal fats and concentrate on the "good" fats found in fresh, cold-water fish, olive, canola, evening primrose, and flax oils.

Organ Health


Male Hair Loss

Researchers in one study noted that Japanese hair was thick and healthy, with a small gland and little scalp oil, until large amounts of animal fat crept into their diet after World War II.

Female Hair Loss

Researchers in one study noted that Japanese hair was thick and healthy, with a small gland and little scalp oil, until large amounts of animal fat crept into their diet after World War II.

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Animal/Saturated Fats Avoidance can help prevent the following:


Parkinson's Disease

American researchers have concluded that a high intake of animal fats is associated with a five-fold increase in the risk of developing Parkinson's disease.

Tumors, Malignant

Colon Cancer

Eat no more than 2-3 servings of red meat per week – the less red meat you eat, the better.  Choose chicken, fish, or vegetarian alternatives such as beans instead.

Ovarian Cancer

630 women aged 35-79 with ovarian cancer were studied.  Increasing saturated fat consumption was associated with an increasing risk of ovarian cancer.  No relationship was seen with the intake of unsaturated fats. [J Natl Cancer Inst 86( 18): pp.1409-15, 1994]

450 histologically confirmed new primary epithelial ovarian cancer cases aged 35-79 were compared to 564 randomly selected population controls.  Cholesterol from eggs was related to increased risk. [Am J Epidemiol 139(11): S37, 1994]

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