What are Solid Fats?

You should all be aware that fats are a component of many foods, but it may not be the case that everybody can define between the different types of fat that make up your diet. So what are solid fats, and which foods can they be found in?

Solid fats definition

Solid fats turn solid at room temperature. They come primarily from animal foods and can also be made from vegetable oils through the dehydrogenation process. Foods that are high in solid fats are termed as containing empty calories due to their low or null nutritional value, to find out more click here.

Here are the main examples of solid fats:

  • Beef fat
  • Butter
  • Chicken fat
  • Coconut oil
  • Cream
  • Hydrogenated oils and partially hydrogenated oils
  • Lard (pork fat)
  • Milk fat
  • Palm oil
  • Shortening
  • Stick margarine

Please note that the oils noted on this list derive from plant sources, and even though they are oils they are still considered as solid fats because they have a high volume of trans fatty or saturated acids.

Why should you avoid foods containing solid fats?

Saturated fats and trans fats increase cholesterol levels in the blood, which increases the risk of heart disease. Solid fats are high in these types of bad fats, and low in fats that are deemed as good for you such as monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats.

List of foods with solid fats in:

  • Cakes
  • Cookies
  • Croissants
  • Donuts
  • Pastries
  • Cheese
  • Pizza
  • Sausauges
  • Ribs
  • Bacon
  • Hotdogs
  • Ice cream
  • Frozen yogurt
  • Fries/chips
  • Regular ground beef
  • Fried chicken
  • Chicken with the skin
  • Anything cooked in solid fat or hydrogenated oil
  • Cuts of meat with visible fat or marbling

If any of these foods have a prominent place in your diet, we suggest that you think very carefully about your long term health, as it could likely suffer unless you cut back on them.

Further advice and information

The following advice was sourced from: www.choosemyplate.gov

In some cases, the fat in foods is not visible. For example, the fat in fluid milk is a solid fat. Milk fat (butter) is solid at room temperature but it is suspended in the fluid milk by the process of homogenization.
In contrast to solid fats, oils are fats that are liquid at room temperature, like the vegetable oils used in cooking. Oils come from many different plants - such as corn and peanuts - and from fish. A few plant oils, including coconut oil and palm oil, are high in saturated fats and for nutritional purposes are considered solid fats.
Solid fats and oils provide the same number of calories per gram. However, oils are generally better for your health than solid fats because they contain less saturated fats and/or trans fats. Foods containing partially hydrogenated vegetable oils usually contain trans fats. Trans fats can be found in many cakes, cookies, crackers, icings, margarine, and microwave popcorn.

Counting the solid fats that you eat is the best way to ensure that you are keeping them to a minimum. To discover how much solid fat is in each of the foods deemed as having a high content, check out the chart on this link:

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We hope that you have a clear understanding of what solid fats are, and also why you should be reducing their appearance in your diet.

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