The 2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines recommend reducing intake of saturated fat (eg. cheese, ice cream, pizza, and chicken) (see also here). The original Guidelines directly stated that saturated fat should be avoided; this was later softened to accommodate agribusiness. In Finland, the use of science based dietary guidelines that reduced saturated fat intake resulted in a major improvement in general health. The number one source of artery clogging saturated fat in the American diet is dairy products. Any intake of saturated fat above zero raises bad cholesterol (see also here); cutting down on animal products is the best way to avoid eating saturated fat and cholesterol. A single egg yolk usually contains 215-275 mg of cholesterol; a Hardees Monster Thickburger contains only 210 mg of cholesterol (see also here). Other foods high in saturated fat: coconut oil, and coconut milk. Cocoa butter is another one of the few plants fats that raises our cholesterol; eating cocoa powder, thus, is the best way to get the benefits from cocoa without the fat (see also here). A cow’s burger has 500% more saturated fat than a veggie burger. And similarly, chicken can have infinitely more saturated fat than veggie chicken.
Saturated fat in the diet can lead to hardening of our arteries; taken to an extreme, this can result in an abdominal aortic aneurysm (see also here). In terms of cancer, a study found that simply cutting down on saturated fat improves cancer free survival. In one breast cancer survival study, women who ate the most saturated fat after diagnosis increased the risk of dying by 41% (see also here).
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