For decades we were told saturated fat clogged our arteries and lead to heart attacks. In the 1970s, low-fat products, cholesterol-free margarines and vegetable oils started flooding the market as the ‘better and healthier choice’. Fortunately, we know better now. Improved scientific methods support the fact that saturated fat is good for you and that sugar, processed carbs, inflammatory seed oils and trans fats are often to blame for heart disease. Foods high in saturated fat can be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet.
This, of course, excludes poor quality fast and fried foods, which are associated with a higher risk of obesity, heart disease and numerous other health conditions.
FATS ARE TYPICALLY GROUPED INTO THREE MAJOR CATEGORIES:
• Saturated fats
• Monounsaturated fats
• Polyunsaturated fats
Foods containing fats have varying percentages of all three of these types. Higher levels of saturated fats are found in animal products such as milk, cheese and meat as well as tropical oils, like coconut and palm oil. Saturated fats are usually solid at room temperature, unlike unsaturated fats, such as olive oil, which tend to be liquid at room temperature. This ‘solid’ property also makes many saturated fats great for cooking, because they’re not prone to the oxidative damage that occurs with high-heat cooking.
Aside from turning meals from ordinary fare into satiating feasts, saturated fats have other benefits. Drs Michael and Mary Dan Eades – researchers in metabolic and nutritional medicine in the US – explain the six benefits of increased saturated fat.
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