Saturated Fat: Good or Bad?
Lets start with some of the questions I get asked on a regular basis...
Why are saturated fats bad? They are not bad perse, it depends on the source.
Which is best saturated or unsaturated? This one demonstrates the present depth of confusion over fats in general, we of course need both and so neither is saturated or unsaturated fat better or worse. Again it depends on the source, though the golden rule is if its highly refined steer clear, examples of which include margarine, buttery spreads, vegetable and sunflower oils.
Why are fats bad? They are not, they are in fact fundamental nutritional requirement for many biological functions and thus the right fats should form the greatest proportion of your diet.
What is saturated fat? or What are saturated fats? Saturated fat or more specifically "Saturated fatty acids have no double bonds between the individual carbon atoms of the fatty acid chain. That is, the chain of carbon atoms is fully "saturated" with hydrogen atoms. There are many kinds of naturally occurring saturated fatty acids, which differ mainly in number of carbon atoms, from 3 carbons (propionic acid) to 36 (hexatriacontanoic acid).
Various fats contain different proportions of saturated and unsaturated fat. Examples of foods containing a high proportion of saturated fat include animal fats such as cream, cheese, butter, and ghee; suet, tallow, lard, and fatty meats; as well as certain vegetable products such as coconut oil, cottonseed oil, palm kernel oil.
What are unsaturated fats?"An unsaturated fat fatty acid that has at least one double bond within it's chain. A fat molecule is monounsaturated if it contains one double bond, and polyunsaturated if it contains more than one double bond. Where double bonds are formed, hydrogen atoms are eliminated. Thus, a saturated fat has no double bonds, has the maximum number of hydrogens bonded to the carbons, and therefore is "saturated" with hydrogen atoms. That's it so nothing too alarming there about saturated fats is there?
Saturated fat and heart diseaseWell were told pretty often that saturated fat causes heart disease but is it true? Just because it says so on the telly, in the supermarket, at your doctors...does this make it true? Absolutely not! Did you know there is not one shred of evidence to support this hypothesis? However on the contrary there are many that point to a rather more controversial culprit. Though feel free to read for yourself - Saturated Fat and Cardio Vascular Disease.
I leave you now with a quote that pretty much sums up what were up against.
"The idea that saturated fats cause heart disease is completely wrong, but the statement has been "published" so many times over the last three decades that it is very difficult to convince people otherwise unless they are willing to take the time to read and learn what really produced the anti-saturated fat agenda"
A.F. HEINI and R.L. WEINSIER - "Divergent trends in obesity and fat intake Patterns: The American Paradox"
How many more lives will be lost, how many more will have to suffer because of misleading dietary advice? Well don't know about you but I think It's high time to put the record straight.