How can foods containing saturated fat be healthy?

Angela Lemond
Nutrition & Dietetics
The short answer is, yes. Olive oil is a great example, as it is very high in monounsaturated fat which a heart healthy fat. But it also contains about 15% saturated fat. Should you avoid olive oil? The answer is no because it is higher in the healthy fats. However, you do want to control how much you consume due to the saturated fat and calorie content (all fat, gram for gram, contains the same amount of calories). Overall, you want to keep saturated fat under 10% of total calories (under 7% if you have a history of heart disease or diabetes) for optimal health. For more information on heart health, head to the heart health and diet section of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly American Dietetic Association): 
Amy Jamieson-Petonic
Nutrition & Dietetics

A small amount of saturated fat can be put into a healthy diet, but the key is to limit it. Foods such as lean protein, which contain saturated fat, provide iron for healthy blood flow. Iron deficiency can occur in both men and women.

Continue Learning about Fats

Why Too Much Bad Fat Makes You Fatter
Why Too Much Bad Fat Makes You Fatter
In 2013 when the world’s tallest horse, a 20-hand, two-and-three-quarter inches tall (that’s 6′ 11″) Belgian gelding named Big Jake weighed in at 2,60...
Read More
Why should I limit my intake of saturated fat?
Samantha Heller, RDSamantha Heller, RD
Saturated fat has been associated with an increased risk of atherosclerosis and diabetes and may inc...
More Answers
Is all body fat the same?
Reza Yavari, MDReza Yavari, MD
All body fat is not the same; belly fat (visceral fat) is different and more dangerous than subcutan...
More Answers
What are good sources of odd omega fatty acids 3, 5, 7 and 9?
Dr. Michael Roizen, MDDr. Michael Roizen, MD
Each of the odd omega fatty acids 3, 5, 7 and 9 have healthy food sources you should include in your...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.