Saturated fats are a form of dietary fat. These fats are usually solid at room temperature, and the recommendation is to consume them as low as possible.

Functions of Saturated Fats?

The human body can synthesize saturated fats, and therefore, there is no need for them from dietary sources.

When consumed, like all fats, saturated fat provides calories for the body, absorbs fat-soluble vitamins, and supports many body processes.

Recommendations for Saturated Fat consumptions

Saturated fatty acids are known to be ineffective in preventing any chronic diseases. Since the human body can synthesize the adequate level of saturated fats needed for their physiological and structural function, no daily value is defined for saturated fats. (FNB, 2005)

There is also no upper level of intake defined because any incremental increase in saturated fat intake increases cardiovascular disease risk. Diets with high saturated fats are associated with high LDL cholesterol. However, since saturated fats are found almost in all fat content in different ratios, it is near impossible to zero the intake level without causing deficiencies in other essential nutrients. (FNB, 2005)

Within foods, saturated fats and unsaturated fats are found as a mixture. So it is not possible to target zero consumption. However, you can minimize it. In general, animal foods other than fish are high in saturated fat, and plant-based foods are high in unsaturated fat.

In Europe, it is advised to consume saturated fats as low as possible within the context of a nutritionally adequate diet. In the U.S., the advice is to consume less than 10% of calories per day from saturated fat and replace saturated fats with unsaturated fats when possible. (FDA, 2021) (EFSA, 2010).


* U.S Food & Drug Administration (FDA), 2021, Total Fat, Accessed at: 06.01.21, Accessed from:
* European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), 2010, Scientific Opinion on Dietary Reference Values for fats
* Food and Nutrition Board (FNB), 2005, Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids


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