Before and after each of the meals, the researchers obtained blood samples from the participants so they could evaluate whether the anti-inflammatory properties of the so-called good HDL cholesterol had decreased.
The anti-inflammatory properties did decrease after the saturated fat meal, the researchers said, but improved after the healthier polyunsaturated fat meal.
The effects may be temporary, Celermajer said. However, he's still concerned because the effect may be occurring over and over, each time a person eats a high-fat meal.
The study was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
The message is clear, Celermajer said: It's important to limit saturated fat intake as much as possible.
To do that, you've first got to know where saturated fat lurks, said Jeannie Moloo, a Sacramento, Calif., dietitian and a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.
She suggests cutting down on meat, full-fat milk and full-fat dairy products as a way to reduce saturated fat. Those foods are all major sources of saturated fat, Moloo said. So are processed foods and snacks.
Switching to low-fat or non-fat dairy products can minimize your total saturated fat intake, Moloo said. Choosing foods wisely by reading the Nutrition Facts label can help, too. For instance, Moloo said, an ounce of regular cheddar cheese contains 6 grams of saturated fat, while an ounce of part-skim mozzarella contains less than half that, or 2.9 grams.
Ice cream contains a lot of saturated fat, Moloo tells her patients. For instance, she said, one cup of vanilla soft-serve ice cream has 13.5 grams of saturated fat. But some low-fat ice cream bars contain just 1.5 grams of saturated fat.
How much saturated fat per day is too much? Aim for 10 percent or less of your daily calories from saturated fat, Moloo suggested. The Americ
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