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Sources of Saturated Fat, Stearic Acid, & Cholesterol Raising Fat among the US Population, 2005–06

Objective

The purpose of this research was to identify the contributions of specific foods to intake of saturated fat, stearic acid, and "cholesterol raising fat" (defined as saturated fat minus stearic acid) in the US population age 2 years and older.

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Methods

We used the 2005-06 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to determine the contribution of specific foods to intake of saturated fat, stearic acid, and cholesterol raising fat. The dietary intake data collected in the survey were catalogued according to discrete food codes. For this analysis, food codes representing similar foods -- such as the various types of pasta dishes -- were combined to provide an indication of the contribution of distinct food items to intake of the dietary component being studied. That is, the food codes were sorted into 96 mutually exclusive food categories, termed specific foods.

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Figure

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Tables

There are three tables for the percentage and cumulative percentage contribution of various foods for saturated fat, stearic acid, and cholesterol raising fat.

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Key Findings

For the most part, the major sources of cholesterol raising fat are the same as those of saturated fat and stearic acid, although the rankings varied somewhat across the three types of fats.

Saturated fat: The top five sources of saturated fat are regular cheese; pizza; grain-based desserts, dairy desserts; and chicken and chicken mixed dishes. Collectively, these sources contribute 31% of saturated fat.

Stearic acid: The top five sources of stearic acid are grain-based desserts; regular cheese; sausage, franks, bacon, and ribs; chicken and chicken mixed dishes; and pizza. Collectively, these sources contribute 32% of stearic acid.

Cholesterol raising fat (defined as saturated fat minus stearic acid): The top five sources of cholesterol raising fat are regular cheese; dairy desserts; pizza; chicken and chicken mixed dishes; and grain-based desserts. Collectively, these sources contribute 32% of cholesterol raising fat.

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Suggested Citation

Suggested citation for information contained on this page:

Sources of Saturated Fat, Stearic Acid, & Cholesterol Raising Fat among the US Population, 2005–06. Applied Research Program Web site. National Cancer Institute. http://appliedresearch.cancer.gov/diet/foodsources/sat_fat/. Updated April 11, 2014. Accessed October 31, 2014.

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Last Modified: 11 Apr 2014