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Your Health & Wellness, Iss #035 -- Good Saturated Fat/Bad Saturated
July 15, 2008
(Guide to a Healthy Lifestyle)
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Week of July 20, 2008
Table of Contents
* Good Saturated Fat/Bad Saturated Fat*
"The major kinds of fats in the foods we eat are saturated, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and trans fatty acids. Saturated fats and trans fats raise blood cholesterol. Dietary cholesterol also raises blood cholesterol. A high level of cholesterol in the blood is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease, which leads to heart attack, and also increases the risk of stroke" (http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4582.)
Based on the American Heart Association's belief that saturated fat can pose a risk for heart disease, they caution a limit to foods such as whole-milk dairy products (ice cream, butter), red meats, and tropical oils such as coconut.
There is no rock-hard, scientific, or conclusive evidence to support the American Heart Association's mantra of saturated fat/cholesterol leads to disease. (Read...) It's merely a theory not an established fact.
What is saturated fat? It is the type of fat found in animal foods, dairy products, and tropical plants such as coconut and palm. Saturated fats are solid or semi-solid at room temperature.
Common saturated fats are butyric acid (found in butter), lauric acid (breast milk, coconut and palm oils), myristic acid (cow's milk, dairy products), palmitic acid (palm oil), and stearic acid (meat, cocoa butter.)
Saturated fat has gotten a bad reputation. Not so well known is that it raises your good (HDL) cholesterol as well as the bad (LDL.)
But here's the caveat. It would be disastrous if only LDL was increased. The fact that HDL is also increased is beneficial. HDL cholesterol transports LDL cholesterol for removal from the body.
This is the reason some health practitioners believe that a HDL/LDL ratio is a better marker for heart disease than total cholesterol alone.
A healthy, normally-functioning body needs saturated fat. Saturated fat fights viruses, bacteria, and protozoa. It also supports your immune system.
Saturated fat makes up 50 percent of your cell membranes. It takes this amount to effectively place calcium into your skeleton. Saturated fat is crucial for the proper utilization of essential fatty acids (EFAs.)
Truth be told, there are bad saturated fats-though not the way the American Heart Association looks at it. Bad saturated fat comes from factory-farmed animals and non-organic coconuts.
Non-organic coconuts and palm oil and factory-farmed meat contain toxic chemicals like hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides. Pesticides are linked to cancers.
Look for my new down-loadable book Beating Cancer early next month.
Good Saturated Fats
The saturated fats which come from organic produce and free-ranged, organic meat are good for you. Like anything else, you must be mindful of your caloric intake.
The meat which comes from free-range animals has up to 500 percent less saturated fat than their factory-farmed counterparts. Did you know that Argentinian grass-fed (free-range) beef has 2.5 grams of saturated fat per 4 ounces versus American grain-fed beef which contains 10.8 grams of saturated fat per 4 ounces?
Saturated fats can be short, medium, or long-chained. Short and medium-chained saturated acids are rapidly absorbed, and used for energy. The much maligned tropical oils coconut and palm kernel oils are medium-chained.
Beef contains long-chained saturated fatty acids.
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