Let Me Introduce You to Fat….

For the past fifty years, fat in particularly saturated fat, has been given a bad rap as being the number one cause for heart disease and obesity in the U.S..  Because of this, we have been told by many so called experts that we should be eating a low-fat, high carbohydrate diet to protect ourselves from weight gain and heart disease.  In that same time, both heart disease and obesity have skyrocketed among the U.S. population.

The truth is there has not been any link that conclusively points to saturated fats as the single cause of any disease or obesity.  What has been established is the so-called replacements for saturated fats,  trans fat or partially hydrogenated oils (vegetable oils and margarine) can be directly linked to heart disease.

The Science Doesn’t Lie

Human physiology has told us that our bodies need saturated fats to build cells and perform a myriad of functions to keep us healthy and alive.  Evolution has actually provided the human body the ability to make saturated fats when the need arises.  One such situation is the ability of a woman to produce breast milk (full of saturated fats) to feed a growing baby.

The body uses saturated fats for:

  • SF provides the building blocks for cell membranes throughout the body.
  • SF is the backbone for the production of a host of hormones in the body. (testosterone, estrogen, cholesterol, HGH)
  • SF carries the fat soluble vitamins A,D,E and K as well as is part of several biological conversions.
  • SF helps calcium absorption in bone formation.
  • Certain types of SF actually lower cholesterol levels and increases HDL’s (good kind)
  • SF is the preferred fuel for the heart and a solid source for energy.
Saturated fats from a dietary prospective, slows down the digestive process by slowing down absorption of food and promotes a longer feeling of satiety. Thus reducing your total food intake that can lead to weight loss.
The Best Sources of Saturated Fats
Where to find the best sources  of saturated fats can be confusing but the answer is quite simple. Look to nature for the best sources ( animal fats and vegetable fats) and avoid at all costs those found in processed foods.
Nature provides saturated fats in:
  • Grass fed animal meats
  • Butter made from organic milk
  • Organic pastured eggs
  • Coconuts and coconut oil
  • Olives and olive oil
  • Raw nuts such as macadamia nuts, almonds and pecans
  • Avocados
  • Also another important fat Omega 3 can be found in cold water fish.

As stated before these sources of fat are a preferred fuel source for the body for the slow and steady absorption rate, much more desirable then insulin spiking( fat storage) grain based carbohydrates.

How Much Should I Include In My Diet

Considering the benefits that saturated fats offer the human body when trying to lose weight the percentage of saturated fats should be kept quite high. The evidence that many indigenous tribes around the world have diets high in saturated fats, upwards of 50 -60% while still maintaining a low mortality rate from heart disease is proof enough.  As you change your diet from the traditional Standard American Diet to a more primal – low carbohydrate, high fat, high protein diet eating saturated fats (from quality sources of animal and vegetable sources) should range upwards to 45% of your intake while protein should make up another 40% and carbohydrates (primarily from vegetable/fruit sources) should make up 10%. High caloric grains and their processed counter parts (breads, pastas, flour and sugar) should be eliminated.

 

So to summarize, for far too long we have been told and are still being told by govt and so called experts that saturated fats are bad for us.  Science and human physiology tells us different. As a species, we have been eating and surviving off of saturated fats for a very long time and only recently with the advent of agriculture and processed foods has heart disease and obesity skyrocketed in our culture.  Saturated fats are needed by our bodies to produce hormones, as building blocks for our cells and a preferred fuel source for our heart.  Do not fear saturated fats, use common sense and educate yourself on the benefits they provide to your health.