While she's training, tennis phenom Serena Williams refuses to eat red meat, opting instead to use ground turkey in her dishes. "I can't live without ground turkey," she has declared.
It seems Serena knows to avoid excess inflammatory, artery-clogging saturated fats. But is she as— and are you as — aware of saturated fat that shows up in unexpected places?
• A large blueberry muffin (you’d think it would be fat-free) contains as much sat fat as a serving of meat lasagna.
• That three-quarter cup of yogurt you enjoy? Five grams of saturated fat. The same amount of plain, nonfat Greek yogurt? Zero grams.
• A cup of instant noodles can pack more saturated fat than a medium-size order of French fries. Ramen noodles have 7 grams of saturated fat per serving; McDonalds small French fries have only 1.5 grams of saturated fat.
• Hidden tropical oils such as coconut and palm are in energy bars, baked goods, breads, margarine, pizza dough, and even Impossible Burgers (8 grams of saturated fat in 4 ounces). Palm oil has 7 grams of saturated fat per tablespoon. Coconut oil has 12 grams and is about 90% saturated fat, which is a higher percentage than butter (64%), beef fat (40%), or lard (also 40%).
But you can't and don't want to avoid all saturated fat. You get 6 grams in a 7-ounce serving of heart-healthy, omega-3-rich salmon. And there are 2.2 grams in 4 ounces of ground turkey.
For nonvegetarians, that's the healthy way to get the 13 grams or less a day that's recommended by the American Heart Association.