- hard fats in which all the carbon atoms are attached to the maximum number of other atoms, usually two carbon and two hydrogen atoms. Unsaturated soft fats and oils are converted to harder fats by hydrogenation, a process which can produce the trans fatty acids which some suspect to be harmful for pregnant and nursing mothers. Saturated fats are said to be unhealthy but fashions in health change from time to time. Small amounts of natural saturated fats (suet, lard, butter, etc.) are probably beneficial.
- noun a type of fat that is typical of animal-derived fats, is not essential in the diet and is thought to increase blood cholesterol.