Healthy Saturated Fat?!

The Devil

Saturated Fat… The Devil?


We’re advised by experts to eat less foods containing high amounts of Saturated Fat, to some degree this is absolutely correct. However, for the uninformed; there are plenty of benefits of eating foods containing the healthy types of saturated fat.

Many try to cut out Saturated Fat by choosing semi skimmed milk instead of full fat, removing egg yolks and avoiding Steak! You must remember that there are always two sides to a coin. The original study, conceived in 1958, was called the “Seven Countries Study” and looked at the relation between diet and cardiovascular disease. In a nut shell, they had the data from 22 countries but chose to use seven as there was a correlation between those findings… something smells a little fishy!


Following the findings of this study, countries jumped on the bandwagon and made it a matter of public health which lead to the conception of the Food Pyramid born in 1992. The Pyramid then had a bit of a face lift in 2005 and became MyPyramid


Walter C. Willett, who chairs the department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, actually wrote a book claiming that the Food Pyramid’s contributed to unhealthy eating habits due to the lack of information. In 2011, the government then introduced MyPlate, attempting to introduce this to the American people like it was groundbreaking, like some sort of spaceship away from obesity! Well that was in the good ol’ US of A. Too far? 


This “New” idea was actually very similar to that used by here in the UK called the Eatwell plate.  


In 2010 an evaluation of 21 studies was done, which included a WHOPPING 350,000 subjects… What did they find? Well they found that the evil saturated fat had no relation to an increased risk of coronary heart disease! Beggars belief…

Alas, there’s always one who likes to disagree. Step up Dr James Hardeman, who believes that the studies were not extensive enough due to the subjects only being studied for on average 14 years, arguing that 14 years isn’t long enough to see the full extent of diet’s that are high in saturated fat. 


JUST TO BE CLEAR I AM NOT ARGUING THAT ALL SATURATED FAT IS HEALTHY… Just thought i’d ensure you were aware, you can continue reading now. 


The American Heart Association agrees that sugar is a far bigger contributor to heart disease, and they’re extremely anti Sat-Fats. Harvard did a study that found there was no association between heart disease and eating red meat BUT did find that there was an association between heart disease and processed food. 


The ENEMY is refined sugar and processed food! In a nut shell, don’t buy the cheap stuff pumped with ingredients you can’t even pronounce, spend a little more and treat your body to a better source of food. Your body will love the Saturated fats in coconut, eggs and butter. 


So… now you’re all clued up on the struggle our dear friend Saturated fat has been through, what are the benefits you ask?


Note: If you want to skip the info above and you’re just skim reading to prove somebody wrong start reading now!


Saturated fat found in coconut and butter help white blood cells to recognise and destroy invading bacteria and viruses aka Superman riding a unicorn (slight over-exaggeration). 


For people that like lifting heavy stuff in a closed (safe) environment, Saturated fat will help increase testosterone levels, as a result aiding the repair of tissue, preserve muscle and has also been known to improve sexual function (mental note, buy more coconut and butter).


Have you ever heard that you need Calcium to improve the strength of your bones? WELL what they forget to advertise is that Saturated fat helps the calcium to be effectively incorporated by your bones. 


Furthermore, our BFF Saturated fat also encourages our liver cells to remove fat cells, which results in the liver functioning better! Since the liver is a key player when it comes to a healthy metabolism, anything that is good for your liver is good for getting rid of that extra bit of pudding around the belly… I mean PADDING. In some research that came out in 2009, showed that when women diet, those eating the greatest percentage of the total fat in their diets as saturated fat lose the most weight.


So what it comes down to is, don’t be scared of Saturated fat like most things when used in moderation it has healthy benefits. It can help your liver, brain, cardiovascular system, immune system and bones. It also tastes fantastic, just make sure it’s from the correct source.


So next time you’re about to discard that piece of Steak, pick that bad boy up and enjoy it. Maybe even fry your vegetables in a bit of butter. Go on, treat yourself.



Some reading that could be useful for you if you want to know more…


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4532752/


Garfinkel M, Lee S, Opara EC, Akkwari OE. Insulinotropic potency of lauric acid: a metabolic rational for medium chain fatty acids (MCF) in TPN formulation. Journal of Surgical Research 1992;52:328-333.


Portillo MP, Serra F, Simon E, del Barrio AS, Palou A. Energy restriction with high-fat diet enriched with coconut oil gives higher UCP1 and lower white fat in rats. International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders 1998;22:974-9.


Sugano M, Ikeda I. Metabolic interactions between essential and trans-fatty acids. Current Opinions in Lipidology 1996;7:38-42. 


Awad AB. Effect of dietary lipids on composition and glucose utilization by rat adipose tissue. Journal of Nutrition 1981;111:34-39.


Enig MG, Atal S, Sampugna J and Keeney M. Isomeric Trans Fatty Acids in the U.S. Diet. Journal of the American College of Nutrition 1990;9:471-486.


Sands JA, Auperin DD, Landin PD, Reinhardt A, Cadden SP. Antiviral effects of fatty acids and derivatives: lipid-containing bacteriophages as a model system in The Pharmaco-logical Effect of Lipids (JJ Kabara, ed) American Oil Chemists’ Society, Champaign IL, 1978, pp 75-95.


Thormar H, Isaacs EC, Brown HR, Barshatzky MR, Pessolano T. Inactivation of enveloped viruses and killing of cells by fatty acids and monoglycerides. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 1987;31:27-31.


Enig, MG. Lauric oils as antimicrobial agents: theory of effect, scientific rationale, and dietary applications as adjunct nutritional support for HIV-infected individuals. in Nutrients and Foods in AIDS (RR Watson, ed) CRC Press, Boca Raton, 1998, pp. 81-97.


Isaacs CE, Thormar H. Human milk lipids inactivated enveloped viruses. in Breastfeeding, Nutrition, Infection and Infant Growth in Developed and Emerging Countries (Atkinson SA, Hanson LA, Chandra RK, eds) Arts Biomedical Publishers and Distributors, St. John’s NF, Canada, 1990.


Enig, MG. Lauric oils as antimicrobial agents: theory of effect, scientific rationale, and dietary applications as adjunct nutritional support for HIV-infected individuals. in Nutrients and Foods in AIDS (RR Watson, ed) CRC Press, Boca Raton, 1998, pp. 81-97.


Hostmark AT, Spydevold O, Eilertsen E. Plasma lipid concentration and liver output of lipoproteins in rats fed coconut fat or sunflower oil. Artery 1980;7:367-383.


Sugano M, Ikeda I. Metabolic interactions between essential and trans-fatty acids. Current Opinions in Lipidology 1996;7:38-42.


Nanji AA, Sadrzadeh SM, Yang EK, Fogt F, Maydani M, Dannenberg AJ. Dietary saturated fatty acids: a novel treatment for alcoholic liver disease. Gastroenterology 1995;109:547-554.






1 Comment

  • Jamie Posted 1st April 2016 3:53 pm

    I always thought it was bad!

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