Healthy Natural Fats
Saturated fats are fats with a single carbon bond and are typically solid at room temperature. In the body, these fats play health positive roles, https://valeriegoldstein.wordpress.com/2018/03/26/nutrition-guidelines-feed-the-saturated-fat-myth/, and are necessary as part of a healthy balanced diet.
The slight difference between saturated fats and monounsaturated fats (MF) is one double bond. MF turn solid when chilled. Polyunsaturated fat contains two or more double bonds. Unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature. Each of these fats is contained in god-made natural foods.
We have been conditioned to avoid foods containing saturated fats or components of foods (such as egg yolks or beef). Real foods contain a balance of both saturated and unsaturated fat. Lard as an example is 60% unsaturated fat. Beef fat is composed of Fifty-five percent unsaturated fat. Please see the referenced table for more examples of this (1).
No one eats chicken with the skin on it, way too unhealthy, way too much fat. See for yourself, chicken skin only contains 35% saturated fat but it also contains healthy vitamins (choline and vitamin A) and minerals (selenium, potassium, phosphorous), http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/poultry. There is an excess amount of omega 6, may be due to chicken feed. Excess Omega 6 can be unhealthy.
Unhealthy Saturated Fats
Trans fat is commercially made and a byproduct of a process called hydrogenation. Healthy natural unsaturated oils are hydrogenated (solid at room temperature) to create trans fats and are considered saturated fats. On food labels, “partially hydrogenated oil” is what you will read. Trans fats are also found in French fries and other baked goods.
Trans fats cause inflammation an underlying cause of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other medical conditions and lower HDL and increase LDL cholesterol.
“For Every 2% of calories consumed from trans fat, the risk of heart disease rises by 23%” (2). This is a worthy discussion that should be included in the Dietary Guidelines For Americans 2010-2015.
Unfortunately, the experts lump all saturated fats together and have misinformed the public about the benefits of natural saturated fats. Glen Lawrence believes, “the lack of any clear evidence that saturated fats are promoting any of the conditions that can be attributed to polyunsaturated fats makes one wonder how saturated fats got such a bad reputation in the health literature”(3).
Natural Saturated Fats (NSF) Are Healthy
Unlike trans fats, natural saturated fats contribute to good health and do not cause inflammation. Saturated fats help the whole body thrive, https://valeriegoldstein.wordpress.com/2018/03/26/nutrition-guidelines-feed-the-saturated-fat-myth/.
“The adverse health effects that have been associated with saturated fats in the past are most likely due to factors other than saturated fatty acids” (3). Instead, increased health disease risks are likely the result of the oxidation of omega-6 polyunsaturated fats such as corn or soy oil and trans fats (2, 4).
Health Benefits of Saturated Fats
When you eat butter, coconut, steak or red meat and full-fat diary; these specific saturated fatty acids help better your health.
- MCT oil (weight loss, heart health, mood and memory, gut health, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral)
- Caprylic acid found in coconut and palm oil (antifungal, antiviral)
- Lauric acid is attained from palm, coconut, and butter (cavity and plaque fighter, antifungal)
- Stearic acid is derived from animal sources: cocoa butter, pork beef, lard, dairy (lowers cholesterol)
- Butyric acid mostly found in dairy products has been shown to help prevent colon cancer, reduce gut inflammation and constipation
Saturated Fat Wrap Up
NSFs are not the same as man-made trans fats or oxidized omega-6 fats. Primal tribes around the world (from New Zealand to Arctic Alaska) consume 60-75% of their calories from healthy natural saturated fat (5).
Saturated fat plays a powerful role in boosting: the immune system, weight loss, heart, gut, and brain health. It has also been shown to reduce cancer risk and inflammation associated with chronic health conditions (diabetes, heart disease). Next week I will start discussing the science supporting how saturated fat works to specifically improve health.