A saturated fat is a fat or fatty acid in which there are no double bonds between the carbon atoms of the fatty acid chain. Saturated fats tend to be solid at room temperature. Diets high in saturated fat correlate in some studies with an increased incidence of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease. Dehydrogenation converts saturated fats to unsaturated fats, while hydrogenation accomplishes the reverse.
Common saturated fats include butter, ghee, suet, tallow, lard, palm oil, coconut oil, cottonseed oil and palm oil. Saturated fat is found in dairy products, especially cream and cheese and in meat as well as in many prepared foods.
Many studies suggest replacing saturated fats in the diet with unsaturated fats will increase one's ratio of HDL to LDL serum cholesterol.
Alternatives to saturated fats include monounsaturated fats such as olive oil and polyunsaturated fats such as canola oil and corn oil .
It has been alleged that the many studies of saturated fat in the diet did not distinguish between saturated fat and trans fat. Some claim that saturated fat (in the absence of trans fat) is healthful; example foods include peanuts and peanut butter that has no added partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.