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Eat Your Saturated Fat

Eat Your Saturated Fat

Here’s the gist: saturated fat doesn’t cause heart disease OR make you fat.

That’s right. What’s even more mind-blowing? — The fat in your bacon might actually be making you healthier. Holy cow!

Before you close your computer in disbelief, think. Our bodies need fat, nay, crave it. It is essential for proper vitamin absorption, immune system and nerve activity, and provides a strong, healthy membrane for your body’s essential cells. Unfortunately, the low-fat, no-fat craze of the 90’s replaced the fat in our diets with gluten, artificial flavors, sugar, and salt. According to many professionals, these things are what cause us to grow sicker and thicker, not fat itself. Yes, many of us can now concede that unsaturated fats are extremely healthy and help with essential boy functions and weight loss — foods like nuts, seeds, olive oil, salmon, et cetera (although be sure not to use delicate polyunsaturated fats over high heat, as it can nix the benefits). But did you know that saturated fat can be just as beneficial? It’s true — it is not quite the harbinger of demise that we have been lead to believe.

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Here’s the deal. According to a poorly designed study from the 50’s, saturated fat was associated with higher cholesterol levels, higher rates of heart disease, and higher incidence of obesity. So, people began to avoid this perfectly natural fat like the plague, replacing it with horrible things like trans fats and highly refined, sugary carbs. Due to the evidence of this single study, many people still strive to machete saturated fats from their diets completely. But, these conclusions were inaccurate, and it is affecting America’s health. Luckily for butter-lovers, there have been many newer, more reputable studies since then, and those prove that saturated fat intake is actually inversely associated with cholesterol levels. Yes, that’s right — eating saturated fat can actually lower harmful cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of heart disease.

It may be hard to chew. After years of “bad fat” brainwashing, it can be difficult to accept such a radical shift in thought. But consider this: Before 1920, heart disease was a rarity in America. “Today heart disease causes at least 40 percent of all US deaths. If, as we have been told, heart disease results from the consumption of saturated fats, one would expect to find a corresponding increase in animal fat in the American diet. Actually, the reverse is true. During the sixty-year period from 1910 to 1970, the proportion of traditional animal fat in the American diet declined from 83 to 62 percent and butter consumption plummeted from eighteen pounds per person per year to four.” (source).

How could something like this go so grossly unaddressed? Well, there is certainly a stigma around the word “fat” that can be hard to for even the most health-conscious to shake. But let’s be honest: moderate consumption of fat, especially high quality saturated, doesn’t make you fat. Healthy saturated fats, like pastured butter, pastured eggs, virgin coconut oil, and organic, pastured beef and pork, are some of the most excellent sources of nutrition and energy for the human body — and extremely delicious to boot.

The takeaway? Instead of avoiding certain types foods, like fats, try eating everything natural and wholesome in moderation. If you are trying to lose weight or become healthier, don’t eat only carbs and protein, but include some meat and olive oil, some egg yolks and butter. They do have a place in your diet.  If anything, avoid processed monstrosities and any foods to which you have sensitivities. Listen to your body! Then, you’ll be a lot healthier and happier than anyone miserably trudging along on a no-fat diet.

Read more: Cholesterol, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Food, General Health, Health, Heart & Vascular Disease, News & Issues, Obesity, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Jordyn Cormier

Jordyn is a choreographer, freelance writer, and an avid outdoors woman. Having received her B.F.A. in Contemporary Dance from the Boston Conservatory, she is passionate about maintaining a healthy body, mind, and soul through food and fitness. A lover of adventure, Jordyn can often be found hiking, canoeing, mountain biking, and making herself at home in the backcountry! Check out what else Jordyn has been up to at jordyncormier.com.

196 comments

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3:38PM PDT on Apr 5, 2014

Thanks

11:29AM PST on Feb 21, 2014

I will eat as I please as long as I live ... I've seen things go from 'great for you' to 'will kill you' and back to 'great for you' so many times in my life I believe no one any longer. I'm going to die anyway and I plan on enjoying what I eat.

6:06AM PST on Feb 17, 2014

thanks Jordyn - fat and amino acids are building blocks, so....makes sense......

2:46AM PST on Feb 17, 2014

Flagged all spammers - get off our website!

2:42AM PST on Feb 17, 2014

Ta.

12:31AM PST on Feb 17, 2014

Our parents & grandparents ate fat, as did many of our ancestors. They were healthy and they were not overweight. The difference was that they ate three meals a day, did not snack & did not spend their days sitting down. They ate fresh food. They ate food that was not bastardised.

Interestingly, this article contradicts another article in regards to bacon, so it's no wonder that people get confused. Everything in moderation, eat clean fresh foods as often as you can & move that body, quite simple really.

12:47AM PST on Feb 12, 2014

Only healthy fats. Thanks for the post.

12:29AM PST on Feb 10, 2014

All that being said, cattle raised on pasture and corn/pasture raised to feed CAFO animals takes up about the same space. The pastures are just more local and their profits don't stream through the same corporate hands, hence their unpopularity with the industry. Also you can go out and see the cattle's conditions and health

12:25AM PST on Feb 10, 2014

to livestock that have far smaller ecological footprints and more localized farms

12:24AM PST on Feb 10, 2014

I suspect, Katie, that the title was to bait omnivores into reading the science :) It is reasonably supportive from an Ag aspect towards those who maintain vegetarian diets and shows what the pros and cons are to both sides of the argument as well as pointing up the weak science and arguments.

Syd

Animal sources fed on the repurposed war chems from those wars and the pharma needed to get animals through CAFOs and the related nutrition-free cesspits has been shown to have major nutritional deficits, leaving nothing but toxins accumulated in bad places instead of the huge amounts of Omega-3s they would normally have.. There is a reason those studies get these results and then they pretend it is a nutritional problem, not an Ag chem problem. Nutritional problems take expensive supplements and processed foods to cover for the nutritional gaps left by our inadequate diets, made even more inadequate by moving into a new diet haphazardly. There is no threat to profits in that to the big5 and all the pharma corps, since people get sicker on poor judgement, faulty info and ignorance than anything else. Then 3 out of 4 people who go the Veg road fall off due to boredom, health complications, ignorance and nutrient starvation. For them that is a win-win.

Looking at the real issues would mean we would have to cut off the heavily subsidized chemical monocropping systems. Relocate and limit herds to where they can be supported without depleting water tables or simply switched

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