It’s found in many foods deriving from animals, such as fatty meats, butter and full-fat dairy – including cheese.
However, it can also be present in popular health foods such as coconut oil.
According to Heart UK, consuming too much saturated fat increases levels of “bad” – or LDL – cholesterol in the blood.
They recommend keeping it to a minimum, or replacing it with plant-based “good” fats such as nuts, seeds and avocado.
However, this doesn’t mean you need to give all the foods you enjoy.
Cheese may be a source of saturated fat, but it’s also very nutritious.
Frida Harju, nutritionist at health app Lifesum (www.lifesum.com), said: “Cheese contains many nutrients and vitamins that are crucial for overall good health such as calcium – which is vital for bones – zinc, vitamin B12 and Vitamin A.
“It is also a great source of protein – particularly if you’re vegetarian.”
But if you want to keep saturated fat to a minimum, there are particular cheeses that contain less of it than others.
Amar Lodhia, founder of meal delivery service Fit Kitchen (www.fitkitchen.uk.com), said: “Cheddar, parmesan and halloumi contain the highest amounts of saturated fat.
“The lowest are feta and cottage cheese – both are also packed with calcium and vitamin D.”
She explained that if you’re looking for a great cheese-based protein source, try goats cheese, and if it’s a probiotic effect you’re after, give gouda a go.
Fiona Hunter, nutritionist and spokesperson for Healthspan, added: “Marscarpone and cream cheese are high in saturated fat, whereas ricotta and light soft cheese are low.
“In the saturated fat middle-ground, you’ll find stilton, roquefort, edam, brie and camembert.”
But since most cheeses have not insignificant amounts of fat and salt, she recommended consuming it in moderation.
Hunter explained: “A portion is actually about 30g, which is a piece about the size of a small match box. But because it’s so delicious we tend to eat…