A lot of folks got acquainted with one kind of “sat fat” during the sedentary days of the pandemic. They sat and added fat.
But today, we're looking at the often-confusing relationship between cholesterol and another sat fat — saturated fat, that is.
One recent meta-analysis of data on up to 1.9 million people found that consuming whole milk, which contains 5 grams of saturated fat and 24 milligrams of cholesterol per cup, doesn't increase your bad LDL cholesterol, although it does up your weight and body fat.
Another study found that drinking half a liter of whole milk a day for three weeks actually increases your good HDL cholesterol level and doesn't spike LDL.
Does that mean that you can go cow-wild? No. If you take in more than a small amount of saturated fat, you can disrupt your gut biome, boost inflammation, impair your immune system, damage the lining of your arteries and blood vessels, and increase your risk for everything from dementia and heart disease to diabetes and arthritis.
You can’t avoid sat fat completely, but limit it to 10% of your daily calories. You'll get a safe level if you eat a 3- to 6-ounce serving of broiled salmon or skinless chicken a day and take butter, full-fat dairy, and all red and processed meats off your plate.
Stand up for your health (literally and symbolically), and show sat fat the door.
And raise your heart-healthy HDL cholesterol levels by managing stress, enjoying fruits and veggies, not smoking, exercising regularly, and cooking with olive oil.