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Posts Tagged ‘Fats’

Why Saturated Fat is Good for You

October 24th, 2010 No comments
WHY SATURATED FAT IS GOOD FOR YOU

Although we don’t normally consider saturated fat as an essential nutrient, it is just as essential to good health as the essential polyunsaturated fatty acids. We need saturated fat for proper digestive function, growth, and a host of other processes. In fact, saturated fat is an essential component of every single cell in our bodies. It is so important to proper function and good health that nature has incorporated saturated fat into almost all of the foods we eat both of animal and plant origin. Even the so-called polyunsaturated oils like safflower oil, corn oil, and even flaxseed oil contain saturated fat. The World Health Organization and even the American Heart Association recommends that we get saturated fat in our diet to maintain optimal health. This type of information is usually ignored because saturated fat is considered a health hoodlum lurking in our food just to cause problems, and the less we eat the better. But this is simply not true. Nature doesn’t put saturated fat in vegetables, mother’s milk, and other foods for kicks. It’s there for a reason.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), two international committees, recommend a polyunsaturated to saturated fat ratio (P:S) of 0.6:1.0. Or almost twice as much saturated fat as polyunsaturated fat in the diet. The membrane of our cells preferentially chooses saturated and monounsaturated fat for incorporation into its structure. Only in a few specialized structures are the polyunsaturated fats preferentially selected over saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids.

Saturated fat has been tagged a dietary monster, sneaking into our foods to cause untold health problems. Isn’t it interesting that saturated fat has been a staple part of the human diet for thousands of years and yet only recently has it turned bad, or so they say. In reality, saturated fat isn’t as bad as it has been portrayed; most of this negative publicity is profit motivated.

Cholesterol and saturated fat have been tagged as the biggest dietary villains of all time. Scientists are now discovering that cholesterol is not as bad as it has been made out to be. It is, in fact, vital to good health. Cholesterol is so important to the basic operations of life that without it, every cell in our body would become dead masses of fat and protein. Cholesterol is found in all body tissues and comprises an integral part of the cell membrane. Nine-tenths of all the body’s cholesterol is located in the external and internal membranes of cells. It is essential in the production of nerve and brain tissue. It is used by the body to make bile acids necessary for digestion of fats and fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K). Our bodies transform cholesterol into a variety of important hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, cortisol, and others. Simply put, without cholesterol we would be dead.

As knowledge of dietary cholesterol has increased, its status as a troublemaker has fallen. As a result, more heat has been placed on saturated fat, which is now considered a much more serious problem. According to the cholesterol theory, coronary artery disease is caused by cholesterol buildup in arteries, so why is saturated fat condemned? Saturated fat is attacked because our bodies can turn it into cholesterol. We get more cholesterol from saturated fat than we do from the cholesterol in our food. But this native cholesterol, which is made by our liver, is the naterial used to build healthy cells and is not the “oxidized” or damaged cholesterol that finds its way inside artery walls. So eating saturated fat contributes little, if anything, to the development of atherosclerosis and heart disease. Since ordinary cholesterol is not a factor in the development of heart disease, saturated fat, likewise, is not the problem it is made out to be.

History has proven this fact. Our ancestors lived on a diet rich in grease, lard, and butter. Those were the only oils they ever used. It wasn’t until the 20th century that vegetable oils became widely available. Use of oils rich in saturated fat have declined over time while vegetable oils have skyrocketed. Along with the greater use of vegetable oil and the decreased use of saturated fat has come a plague of degenerative diseases that the world has never known before. To blame cholesterol and saturated fat for the heart disease, cancer, and other degenerative diseases does not fit the facts and is inconsistent with the historical record.

There have been many studies that demonstrate that saturated fat is not nearly as bad as it has been made out to be. If saturated fat consumption caused heart disease then eliminating it from the diet would prevent the illness. The Lancet reported a study of 2,000 men who went on a low saturated fat diet to see how that would affect cardiovascular health. The study found that those participants who went on diets low in saturated fat didn’t experience any reduction in heart attack death risk over a two year period. If eliminating saturated fat didn’t stop heart disease from developing, it is logical to assume there is another cause.

Researchers have shown in animal studies that saturated fatty acids actually help to prevent stroke rather than cause it. In particular, Dr. Yamori reported decreased stroke incidence among rats fed a high-fat, high cholesterol diet. In addition, Dr. Ikeda demonstrated a dcreased stroke risk among rats fed a diet high in milk fat.

Two ecological studies in the 1980s from Japan found correlations between increased fat intake and decreased death from ischemic stroke in humans. In another cohort study of Japanese men living in Hawaii, intake of both total fat and saturated fat was inversely associated with all stroke mortality, after adjustment for multiple risk factors. These studies were generally ignored because they were contrary to the prevailing belief that saturated fat promotes ischemic stroke rather than protects us from it.

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Fat, The Good And The Bad

November 27th, 2008 No comments


Fats are essential to your body and health. Fats help your body absorb nutrients, they help your nerves function, they keep your cells’ membranes (walls) healthy, keep your skin and hair healthy, and much more. The most important organ in your body, your brain, is basically made off 50% fat.

All fats are not created equal, however. Some fats promote your health, others increase the risk of heart disease, cancers, and even cause aging and general sickness.

So what should we do? Your goal is to replace all bad fats with good fats in your diet. This article provides some guidance

The Bad Fats:

  • Saturated Fats are Found In:
    Animal products such as meat, dairy, eggs and seafood. Some plants are also high in saturated fats such as coconut oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil.
    Effects:
    Raise total blood cholesterol as well as LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol).
  • Hydrogenated Fats/Oils
    When liquid oils are “hydrogenate” trans fatty acids are formed.

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Five Cancer-Causing Foods

November 18th, 2008 No comments

There are some foods that people should avoid. Health researcher Mike Adams said, people should avoid foods that contain ingredients known to cause cancer, such as refined sugars, refined grains, hydrogenated oils, MSGs, and nitrates. This is all common-sensical. Check the list to see if you already knew about these foods.

This article lists five foods that may just be the worst foods ever.

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