SaturatedFat2Certain fats are good for us, nutrient dense and we absolutely need them to be healthy. We however have not been told the truth about fats and this fat phobia that has been sweeping the nation has done more harm than good. What most of us have been told is that processed vegetable oils and fats are good and animal fats are bad and this simply isn’t true. In this article I will be explaining why fats, even saturated fats are healthy,  the incredible benefits of consuming fat, the four different types of fats, and the three that we absolutely need and the one type we must avoid, and more

People have been consuming animal fats since the beginning of time with no ill effects. Most fats that come from animals and natural plants that are not over-processed are good for us. It was not until the invention of these so-called “healthy vegetable oils”, “aka” partially hydronated oils and transfats such as margarine, which are completely over-processed, that all the trouble began and saturated fat suddenly became evil. A portion of your diet needs to include saturated fats in order for you to be healthy.

Benefits of Consuming Healthy Fats:

  • Healthy fats provide a source of sustained energy. If you were building a fire, carbohydrates would be like the kindling and fats would be like the slow burning logs.
  • They are necessary, along with cholesterol, to make hormones.
  • They are a key ingredient in the composition of cell membranes. You are only as healthy as your cells and without healthy fat, you cannot build healthy cell membranes and you cannot be healthy. When your cell membranes are healthy, your cells can easily take in nutrients and water and excrete wastes.
  • They are necessary for healthy liver function as they help build healthy cholesterol and bile.
  • They are required for the absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins: A, D, E, K. Without these fat-soluble vitamins, the body is unable to absorb minerals. Even if you took a large amount of mineral supplements everyday, you would not absorb very much without a healthy level of fat-soluble vitamins.
  • Fats are good for your brain, mood stability and nervous system. Our brains are made up of 60% fat. People often become depressed when they go on low fat diets because our brains need fat.
  • They are required for the adequate use of proteins.
  • They provide a protective lining for the organs of the body.
  • They help to slow the absorption of food and keep blood sugar levels stable.  This is why people who go on low fat diets are hungry and tired all the time.
  • They help to manage inflammation.
  • Fats are good for healthy skin.
  • They simply make food taste better. Butter makes everything taste better, and salads are pretty blan without salad dressing.

Types of fats. There are 4 major types of fats.

Monounsaturated Fats.

  • Examples of these fats are olive oil, and oils from avocados, almonds, cashews, pecans, and peanuts.
  • These fats are relatively stable.
  • They do not go rancid easily.
  • They are liquid at room temperature.
  • These generally are not good to cook with as they do not hold up well when heated. Saturated fats generally are the best to cook with.
  • They are considered to be non-essential as the body can make them.

You need to be careful when buying olive oil.  There is an olive oil scam going on in the United States. In a recent study, major brands were tested and only 4 were what they said they were. Most were cut with canola and soybean oils, and many we rancid. You can read the article to learn which ones are safe here.

Polyunsaturated Fats.

  • These are the omega 3 and omega 6 oils. Examples of these are found flax, nuts and seeds, and fish oil.
  • These are relatively unstable.They go rancid easily and should therefore always be refrigerated.
  • These should never be used in cooking.
  • They are always liquid.
  • Of these types of fats, two are essential, meaning that the body cannot make them itself. They must be gotten from outside sources. These are linoleic acid (omega 6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega 3).

Saturated Fats.

  • These fats come from animals, such as butter and lard, and tropical oils. such as palm and coconut oil.
  • These fats are healthy.  People have been consuming saturated fat since the beginning of time with no ill effects.  Despite what we have been told in the media and by authorities, these fats actually are very healthy, as I will explain in more detail below.
  • These fats are highly stable.
  • They are great for cooking as they hold up under high heat.
  • They do not go rancid easily.
  • They are very satiating and will prevent you from getting hungry quickly.
  • They remain in a solid state at room temperature.
  • They are considered non-essential as the body can make them.

Adulterated Fats.

  • These are the unhealthy fats.
  • These are hydrogenated fats, trans-fats, partially hydrogenated fats, highly processed vegetables oils, and fried fats.
  • Examples of these are margarine, shortening, canola oil, cottonseed oil, corn oil and soy oil.
  • The process of hydrogenation turns liquid polyunsaturated oils into fats that are solid at room temperature. Manufacturers take the cheapest, unhealthiest oils, such as soy, corn, cottonseed and canola, and them even more unhealthy by mixing them with nickel and then subjecting them to high pressure, high temperature hydrogen gas. They are left with an unpleasant odor so the mixture is subjected to high temperatures once again remove the odor, otherwise no one would consume them. Dyes and strong artificial flavors then have to be added to make them palatable, and then finally they are packaged into tubs and sold as a health food. Does this sound like something you want to be eating? And yet, we are told that margarine is healthier than butter and that hydrogenated oils are healthier than saturated fats, fats that human beings have thrived on since the beginning of time!
  • These fats are toxic and interfere with the essential roles fatty acids play within the body.
  • Our bodies unfortunately do not recognize these fats as being unhealthy. Our bodies incorporate these bad fats into our cell membranes and once that happens, our cell membranes which are supposed to take in nutrients and excrete wastes, no longer can function properly. We are only as healthy as our cells, and once our cells become unhealthy, we become unhealthy.
  • Keep in mind that these adulterated fats are contained in almost every processed food, and most restaurants use them to cook with because they are so cheap.
  • Consumption of these adulterated fast has been linked to cancer, atherosclerosis, diabetes, immune system problems, obesity, birth defects, and more, yet these fats continue to be promoted as health foods!
  • Prior to 1910, Americans consumed 26 pounds of saturated fat per year and 9 pounds of omega 6 oils. In 1998, Americans consumed less than 9 pounds of saturated fat and 66 pounds of omega 6 oils. In 1910, heart disease, cancer and diabetes were almost non-existent, and have now become an epidemic. Clearly, it is the bad omega 6 oils that are the problem, not saturated fat!
  • Your best defense against all of this is to make it a top priority to cook your own food from scratch with natural, life-giving, healthy fats and other natural ingredients, or pay someone to do it for you, and avoid processed and convenience foods like the plague. Also, limit the number of times you go out to eat each month. If you think you don’t have time, think about how much time you spend watching TV and really consider which is more important to you.

How much fat do we need to consume and which types.

As a general rule, we should be consuming in our diet, 40% complex carbohydrates, 30% protein and 30% fat. Of this 30% fat, 10% should be polyunsaturated, 60% should be monounsaturated, and 30% should be saturated fat.

Another way to figure out how much protein, carbohydrates, and fats that you personally should be eating is to keep a food journal. Take note of the amounts of protein, carbohydrates, and fat that you eat at each meal and how you feel. The ideal ratio is when you finish eating that you feel satisfied, emotionally stable and have no cravings. You can just keep adjusting the ratios until you feel your best. You will notice that you feel very different after eating a mainly protein, fat and vegetable meal versus a meal that is mostly simple carbohydrates.  I recommend making several versions of the same meal, except modify the amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fats until you find the one that works best for you.

Which fats are healthy and which ones are not:

Saturated fats, monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are the healthy fats. Adulterated fats, which includes trans-fats or partially hydrogenated oils, are very unhealthy and we do not need to consume any of these.  Basically, fats and oils that come from animals and plants that contains fats, such as avocado and olives, are the healthy fats, and also most oils that come from nuts are good.  Healthy fats are the ones that your grandparents and ancestors ate.  You want to avoid highly processed fats like margarine, canola oil, soy oil and corn oil.

Why do the Government and Health Experts say that saturated fat is bad?

It all started in 1911 with the invention of Crisco oil. Things really went downhill in the 1950s with a Biochemist by the name of Ancel Keys. Ancel Keys ran a study where his goal was to make a correlation between countries that ate a lot of fat and the incidence of heart disease. Ancel Keys set out to prove that the countries that consumed the highest amount of saturated fat had the highest levels of heart disease. He had data from 22 countries, but the data was all over the place and did not form any kind of correlation.

What Ancel Keys did was cherry pick the countries that fit what he was trying to prove. There were 7 countries who had a high consumption of saturated fat and a high incidence of heart disease and these were the only countries that he used in his study to prove his theory. The problem is that he left out countries like Holland and Norway where people ate a lot of fat and had no heart disease and countries like Chile where people eat very little fat and have high amounts of heart disease.

He became very famous and known for creating the Lipid Hypothesis that stated that heart disease is caused by consumption of saturated fat and cholesterol, and this is why we are told fat is bad for us. This flawed study shaped the entire nutrition policy in the United States for the last 65 years and is still going on today and it is a major cause of the health crisis in America.

To learn more about Ancel Keys flawed study, click here.

Weston A. Price Foundation. Weston Price was a Dentist who was highly interested in nutrition. In the 1930s he traveled all over the world and visited with and studied indigenous cultures who were isolated from modern society. They consumed whole, unprocessed foods and large amounts of saturated fat. He observed that they were much healthier than modern people. Weston Price set out to prove that veganism was healthier than an omnivore diet, but he could not find a single culture that was thriving on a vegan diet, although there were a few that completely thrived on semi-vegetarian diets where meat was eaten once a week and raw dairy and insects were consumed. To learn more about the Weston A. Price foundation, click here.

Here is a summary of what the diets of these indigenous cultures had in common:

1. The fat content of their diets was very high and varied from 30 – 80% of total calories (only four percent from polyunsaturated fatty acids) and most of it being from saturated fats.
2. Their diets contained no processed foods.
3. They consumed some type of animal products, with some being raw such as dairy products.
4. Their diets were four times as high in calcium and other minerals, and contained 10 times the amount of fat-soluble vitamins as the modern diet.
5. Their diets included foods with high enzyme content.
6. They prepared their seeds, grains, and nuts by soaking, sprouting, or fermenting them.
7. Their diets contained almost identical amounts of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.
8. They all ate a good amount of salt.
9. They all made use of bones, usually as broth.

The China Report. What about the China Report, you might ask? Wasn’t it proven that both saturated fat and animal protein are really bad for us? No, it absolutely was not. There is now evidence that the author cherry picked the groups that fit what he was trying to prove and omitted groups that disproved his theories. The whole study has been completely debunked. Please read this report here.

Human beings have thrived on saturated fats for centuries.

It is just completely illogical that human beings have thrived on saturated fats for centuries and as soon as transfats and partially hydrogenated vegetables oils were invented and brought to market, suddenly the rate of heart disease increased and that is because of saturated fat? And now saturated fat is suddenly bad for us?

If you find it hard to believe that saturated fat is good for us, listen to this interview of 8 respected Medical Doctors about the truth about fat and how we got into this mess.

Then watch the very humorous and informative documentary film, Fat Head which explains why fat is good for us and why we have been told it isn’t.

Next, read this article which talks about two men who ate nothing but meat and fat for an entire year and who were extremely healthy at the end. I don’t recommend this kind of extremism but I am posting this link to help people open their minds and see that meat and fat actually are healthy and what we have been taught simply isn’t the truth, Two Brave Men Who Ate Nothing But Meat.

Lastly, listen to this talk by Sally Fallon, author of Nourishing Traditions, The Oiling of America, which gives further information about how we have been lied to about saturated fat.

In this talk, she reads from a cookbook from 1895. Every other ingredient was either butter, lard or cream. These are the only fats that people consumed and rates of heart disease and other illnesses were very low. Then she said something that I found to be completely profound. She said that she feels that the health crisis in America has been caused by lettuce. That’s right, lettuce. She said that in 1895, lettuce was a luxury, it wasn’t available during winter months, and none of the salads in the 1895 cookbook contained any recipes with lettuce. Now, everyone is eating salads made from lettuce and the problem is what they are putting on the lettuce, canola, corn oil, soy oil and other “healthy oils” which are actually partially hydrogenated, highly processed, unnatural, and very bad for us and definitely did not exist in 1895 when no one was suffering from heart disease and other modern illnesses.

What did you learn about health and nutrition from this article?

Did it change your view of fats?

What types of articles would you like to see more of here?

Sources:

Nutrition Certificate: Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Institute
Nutrition Certificate: Nutritional Therapy Association (In Progress)
Book: Know Your Fats
Book: Nourishing Traditions
Book: Introduction to the Human Body
Book: The Mood Cure
Documentary: Fat Head

Related posts:

11 Thoughts on “Why Fat (Even Saturated Fat) Is Good for You

  1. Barb R on May 12, 2015 at 4:50 pm said:

    Hi Susanne,

    You wrote a great article explaining the different kinds of fats. I really learned a lot. I never heard the information about Crisco and how it came to be promoted. My mother always cooked and baked with it. Good job.

    Barb R.

  2. Great article! Good fats are so important to health and I hope more people start to get on board with this!

  3. I ALWAYS feel best when I eat plenty of healthy fats. My family always looks so shocked at the amount of butter I use in my meals….but guess what? I’m the leanest and healthiest out of all of us! Go figure!

    • Tash, It is so true. For years, people thought I was completely nuts for eating butter instead of margarine, and I have always eaten plenty of it, and I never gain weight because of it. I really consider butter if it comes from grass fed cows to be a health food.

  4. Mmmmm not to mention that fats are tasty! I mean did anyone ever complain about adding a little butter to your veggies? Fat is also so important for prego moms and babies to eat! Makes me sad when I see so many people buying the fat free and fake stuff honestly thinking they are being more healthy. It makes me cringe thinking that we used to buy the margarine in a tub!

    • Hi Erin, I know what you mean. Sometimes I walk through the Supermarket and I feel so sad when I not only see what people are buying, but also realize that they think that those things are healthy. The amount of misinformation about Nutrition is astounding.

  5. Thanks, Susanne– what a wealth of information! This is a great post. I LOVE fat and have found it to help me SO SO much- curbing my sweet tooth, satisfying me, helping my gut to heal and my hormones to regulate. Cheers!

  6. Thank you so much for writing such an informative article! This information really needs to become for widespread. I had “fat phobia” for so long, but now I eat lots! My food tastes better and my cravings are much less.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post Navigation