Young People Are Eating More Animal Fat

Posted 12/20/2016 | By HealthCorps

This past year there’s been an uptick in animal fat consumption among younger Americans.  Overall, thirteen percent of young consumers are open to foods with animal fat, up nine percent from just one year ago.  Current research continues to suggest that animal fat (saturated fat) is associated with heart disease risk, so what’s going on?

When we talk about foods that are rich or higher in saturated fat, we are mostly referring to foods that come from animals.  That would include whole or 2% fat milk, full fat yogurts and cheeses, butter, and meats.  There has been a very successful campaign to highlight the dangers of trans fats.  These are the partially hydrogenated fats that we see in many processed foods.  With a downturn in use and consumption of those dangerous fats, “real foods” have made a comeback.  People have started to cook more at home and food “kits” have also become more popular, offering all the ingredients, pre-measured and fresh so you can prepare quick and fresh meals at home.  Home cooking has also come to mean the use of so-called wholesome ingredients including butter.

The American Heart Association stresses that saturated fats, when consumed regularly, can increase the risk of heart disease.  So the key is to view saturated fats as “treats.”  Treats should not be every day foods, and in some cases should be enjoyed as a very occasional specialty.  If you use butter in one recipe then you might consider cutting the fat in other recipes by using pureed fruit instead of oil, for example, in a home-baked cake or muffins.  If you want to have BBQ ribs for dinner, then that should be your once-a-week red meat treat.  There is no compelling research right now to suggest that saturated fats are somehow healthier or safer.  So the prevailing mantra held by most dieticians and nutritionists is that a little goes a long way and that a balanced diet does allow for small servings of these somewhat rich ingredients or foods.

It is however a problem if you decide to have bullet coffee (coffee and butter) or a hamburger or pizza loaded with cheese on a regular basis, even if prepared from fresh ingredients.  That food philosophy can elevate your risk of developing obesity and heart disease.  We also know that the same artery-clogging fat that causes heart disease can also clog the arteries of sexual organs and the arteries that supply blood to our brain.  Hence the need to scale back on saturated fats.

Here are some smart food hacks for saturated fats:

  • Sometimes use a small pat of butter and sometime replace butter with olive oil
  • Sometimes use a smear of cream cheese and sometime use fresh ground nut butter
  • Sometimes enjoy beef tenderloin and sometimes enjoy top round steak
  • Sometimes enjoy a spoon of cream cheese and sometime enjoy hummus
  • Sometimes enjoy a two egg omelet and sometimes enjoy a one egg, plus two egg white omelet
  • Sometimes enjoy a hamburger and sometimes enjoy a bison or vegetable burger
  • Sometimes enjoy a tuna and cheddar cheese sandwich and sometimes enjoy a tuna and avocado sandwich
  • Using this type of food attitude allows you to have special food moments amidst a mostly healthy and balanced diet. That is living a healthy lifestyle!!

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