Fat, also called lipid, is a component of cell membrane and source of energy. It is essential for brain development and production of cholesterol, which in turn is also essential. However, when fat level in the body exceeds the normal level, it is associated with health complications such as heart diseases, high blood pressure and obesity.

There are two types fat (fatty acids), saturated fats and unsaturated fats. Some of their differences are:

Saturated fats: are causes for blood cholesterol increases and therefore, the level of their intake is strongly positively associated with blood cholesterol level, especially low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Major sources of saturated fat are animal food-based products; check the table below for content.

Unsaturated fats: include polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fats. Both types are predominantly found in plant products. Examples of polyunsaturated fat food sources include soybean, sunflower, fish and corn oils. Monounsaturated fat is found in high content in olive, peanut, and canola oils. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids are suggested to lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.

Several studies indicate that replacement of food high in saturated fatty acids with polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fat rich foods reduces the total cholesterol and low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.

In the following table is a list of fat food sources and their corresponding saturated fat and total fat content. With in each catagory, food items are listed from high to low total fat content.

Saturated Fat and Total Fat Content in Milk

Fat food sourcesSaturated fat (g/100g food)Total fat (g/100g food)
Milk and related products
Milk, canned, condensed, sweetened 5.49 8.70
Milk, canned, evaporated, without added vitamin A 4.59 7.56
Milk, buttermilk, dried 3.60 5.85
Milk, chocolate, fluid, commercial, whole 2.10 3.39
Milk, whole, 3.25% milkfat 1.87 3.25
Milk shakes, thick vanilla 1.89 3.03
Milk shakes, thick chocolate 1.68 2.70
Milk, reduced fat, fluid, 2% milkfat, with added vitamin A 1.26 1.97
Milk, chocolate, fluid, commercial, reduced fat 1.18 1.90
Milk, chocolate, fluid, commercial, lowfat 0.62 1.00
Milk, lowfat, fluid, 1% milkfat, with added vitamin A 0.63 0.97
Milk, dry, nonfat, instant, with added vitamin A 0.47 0.74
Milk, canned, evaporated, nonfat 0.12 0.20
Milk, nonfat, fluid, with added vitamin A (fat free or skim) 0.12 0.08

Saturated Fat and Total Fat Content in Creams

Fat food sourcesSaturated fat (g/100 food)Total fat (lipid) (g/100g food)
Cream, fluid, heavy whipping 23.03 37.00
Cream substitute, powdered 32.55 35.50
Cream, fluid, light whipping 19.34 30.93
Cream, whipped, cream topping, pressurized 13.83 22.33
Cream, sour, cultured 13.05 21.00
Cream, fluid, light (coffee cream or table cream) 12.02 19.33
Cream, sour, reduced fat, cultured 7.47 12.00
Cream, fluid, half and half 7.16 11.53
Cream substitute, liquid, with hydrogenated vegetable oil and soy protein 1.94 10.00