However, recent research suggests that not all saturated fats belong in the same 'fat camp' and that one particular type of saturated fat, far from being public enemy number one, actually has heart health benefits.
It's name? Stearic acid. And the best news? Stearic acid is found in some of our guiltiest food pleasures such as cheese, olive oil, pork, skinless chicken, milk and, of course, steak and chocolate.
This hero sat fat has been proven to have no adverse effect on blood cholesterol levels nor to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. And if that wasn't enough, the latest study revealed that eating lean beef daily actually improved cholesterol levels in the volunteers, with stearic acid said to be responsible for the positive effects.
One of the study authors, Dr Michael Roussell from Pennsylvania State University, stated that, unlike processed meats such as ham and sausages, pure red meat, "brings a unique, heart-healthy blend of fats to the table".
Of course, it's important to bear in mind that foods which contain stearic acid often contain other forms of saturated fatty acids which do have all the nasty heart-health effects.
So before you binge on steaks dipped decadently in chocolate or devour cheese and bacon burgers to your heart's delight bear in mind the age-old adage of 'everything in moderation'.
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