Diet and Nutrition: Which Has More Saturated Fat?

  • Reviewed By: Christine Mikstas, RD, LD
Reviewed on 1/21/2022

What Is Saturated Fat?

Saturated fat is solid at room temperature and too much can increase your LDL cholesterol.

It's a type of fat -- like lard, butter, or coconut oil -- that's typically solid at room temperature and is only good for you in small quantities. Too much can raise your LDL "bad" cholesterol, which can lead to heart disease. That's why you shouldn't get more than 10% of your calories from saturated fat. That's 200 calories in a 2,000-calorie diet, or 22 grams of saturated fat. The American Heart Association recommends even less fat--between 5% and 6% of your diet. In a 2,000 calorie diet no more that 120 calories should come from saturated fat.

Ice Cream or Greek Yogurt?

Does ice cream or Greek yogurt have more saturated fat?

Greek Yogurt

Choose low-fat or non-fat Greek yogurt to keep your saturated fat intake low.

That's compared to 4 grams for ice cream. But there's a catch. The serving size for ice cream is smaller -- a half cup. There are "low-fat" and "nonfat" Greek-style yogurts that get rid of all or most of the saturated fat.

Chicken Thigh or Salmon Filet?

Are chicken thighs or salmon filets lower in saturated fat?

Chicken Thigh

If you eat chicken, opt for skinless chicken breasts to keep your saturated fat intake low.

That's three times more than a serving of salmon. And that's without the skin, which adds more saturated fat. To cut back, try chicken breast instead. It has about 1 gram per serving.

Bison Patty or Beef Patty?

Does a bison patty or a beef patty have more saturated fat?

Beef Patty

Beef patties have more saturated fat than bison patties.

But that doesn't mean you can go wild with bison. It still has 3 or more grams per serving. In both cases, it pays to get patties made with leaner cuts of meat to cut down on saturated fat.

Beef Sirloin or 2% Milk?

Does beef sirloin or 2% milk have more saturated fat?

2% Milk

Beef sirloin with no visible fat has less saturated fat than 2% milk.

That's double the saturated fat of a 3-ounce serving of top sirloin that's been trimmed of all visible fat. Even if you leave 1/8 inch of fat on, it only gets up to just over 2 grams. That said, milk is a better source of nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin D, and calcium. Milk also has fewer calories.

Cheese Pizza or Potato Chips?

Does cheese pizza or potato chips have more saturated fat?

Cheese Pizza

Cheese pizza has 4.5 grams of saturated fat per slice.

Per slice? That's right. When was the last time you ate one slice of pizza and stopped? But that doesn't mean it's open season for potato chips. A serving -- which is only about 15 chips -- still has a gram or so of saturated fat.

Glazed Doughnut or Avocado?

Does a glazed doughnut or avocado have more saturated fat?


Doughnuts have more saturated fat and none of the vitamins and minerals avocados have.

A whole avocado, though, has a surprising amount at almost 3 grams. Of course, it's also loaded with vitamins and minerals and has other health benefits. Not so much with the doughnut -- just a whole lot of sugar and simple carbs that spike your blood sugar, which can be bad for your health.

Macadamia Nuts or Pork Tenderloin?

Does pork tenderloin or macadamia nuts have more saturated fat?

Macadamia Nuts

A quarter cup of macadamia nuts has 4 times as much fat as a dinner serving of pork tenderloin.

Surprised? Yup, nuts can be good for you, but they have lots of fat and sometimes it's the saturated kind. Just a quarter cup of macadamia nuts has 4 times as much as a full dinner serving of pork tenderloin. But not all pork is created equal, and some has a lot more saturated fat, so do your homework before you start cooking.

Bacon or Cole Slaw?

Does bacon or cole slaw have more saturated fat?

Cole Slaw

Traditional cole slaw made with mayonnaise has more saturated fat than bacon.

We're talking about the traditional, mayonnaise-based, creamy kind. It's got nearly double the saturated fat that's in a sizzling slice of bacon. It's a reminder that saturated fat hides in many foods that you may not suspect.

Caffe Latte or French Fries?

Does a caffe latte or Frech fries have more saturated fat?

Caffe Latte

Even small sizes of caffe latte have more saturated fat than a small order of French fries.

A small order of french fries still has 3 grams of saturated fat. It's just that a latte has a lot of saturated fat. And the 16-ounce size is not usually even the largest size on the menu. Want a fat-free alternative? Try coffee with skim milk or green tea.

Butter or Olive Oil?

Does butter or olive oil have more saturated fat?


Butter has three times more saturated fat than olive oil.

It's got more than three times the saturated fat of olive oil, which has just 2 grams per tablespoon. So try dipping your bread in a little olive oil instead of spreading on butter. Whichever you use, remember that both are loaded with calories, so it's best not to overdo it.

Coconut Milk or Half-and-Half?

Does coconut milk or half-and-half have more saturated fat?

Coconut Milk

Coconut milk has three times the fat in a cup of half-and-half.

That's about three times the fat in a cup of half-and-half, and it adds up to more than 2 days of the recommended amount. That's why it's a good idea to go easy. Just because coconuts grow on trees doesn't mean they are good for you in any amount.

Almond Milk or Soy Milk?

Does almond milk or soy milk have more saturated fat?

Soy Milk

Soy milk has 1.3 grams of saturated fat per cup compared to almost no saturated fat in a cup of almond milk.

That's more than almond milk, which has almost no saturated fat. Both have far less than you find in full-fat dairy products like milk, cream, and cheese.

Egg or Blueberry Muffin?

Does a blueberry muffin or eggs have more saturated fat?

Blueberry Muffin

A blueberry muffin can have double or more the saturated fat in a boiled or poached egg.

The exact amount depends on the size of the muffin and the recipe, but it can have double or more the saturated fat in a boiled or poached egg. A muffin is also loaded with sugar and other simple carbs. An egg, on the other hand, is full of high-quality protein and other important nutrients.

Diet and Nutrition: Which Has More Saturated Fat?

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