Many have avoided saturated fats in their diet because for years we were told that they were bad for us. Recent research, however, shows we actually NEED certain types of saturated fats and here’s why:
- Stronger bones – saturated fat is required for calcium to be effectively incorporated into the bone.
- Improved liver health – saturated fat has been shown to protect the liver from alcohol and some medications.
- Healthy brain – your brain is made mostly of saturated fat and cholesterol and these fatty acids are essential for optimum brain function.
- Proper nerve signaling – High quality fats function directly as signaling messengers that influence metabolism and hormone function.
- Strong Immune System – Without fatty acids, white blood cells are not as efficient at recognizing and destroy foreign invaders, such as viruses, bacteria, and fungi.
But which type of saturated fat is best to use?
Butter – raw, grassfed, unsalted is the best. Omega 3 is highest when animals graze on grasses (instead of feedlot forced GMO corn and soy). Second choice would be organic and raw unsalted butter made from raw organic milk. One tablespoon of butter contains 11 grams of total fat. A whopping 7 grams is saturated with 30 mg of cholesterol and is 10% of your recommended daily fat allowance! Pasteurization kills all of the beneficial enzymes found in raw milk, so use raw unpasteurized where possible.
Coconut Oil is an important oil for vegans who don’t consume any animal saturated fats. Health conscious eaters will enjoy this oil for the health benefits linked to MCT (medium chain triglycerides). A type of fat that helps feed the brain. This oil is also considered antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal and antibacterial. It has a high smoking point so many people enjoy using it as their primary cooking oil.
Palm Oil or palm fruit oil comes from the pulp of the palm fruit. It contains a significant amount of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, vitamin E, and antioxidant compounds. Research now indicates that palm oil behaves like an unsaturated fat in the body—that is, it may help reduce blood cholesterol levels.Caution should be taken though as many of the commercial palm oils are highly processed.
In future articles, I will discuss the other types of fats that are beneficial, even crucial to yoru diet, including unsaturated fats and trans fats / hydrogenated fats.