(NaturalNews) Today we are caught between two philosophies: one says saturated fat is killing us; the other says these fats are necessary for true vitality. There is a heated back-and-forth, a constant tug-of-war scenario, with society caught in the middle like a child caught between two parents in a nasty divorce.
But fortunately, we are adults who can take a step back from the madness and look at the facts - all of the facts - before coming to our own conclusions. The trouble is finding anything but propaganda regarding saturated fats. Corporate food industry and government agencies are quick to demonize these fats, but in traditional cultures saturated fat was revered and even coveted as a source of vital energy.
Mankind has survived for century upon century thanks to saturated fats, depending on these fats to nourish our bodies and support the health of future generations. Only in recent decades have we turned away from natural fats and toward manufactured vegetable oils. And only in recent decades have we seen an explosion of degenerative conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Here are four important reasons saturated fat should have its place at the table:
#1 - Lower Your Risk for Heart Disease and Improve Your Cholesterol Profile
It's the opposite of what the medical industry tells you, but it's true: eating a diet rich in saturated fats protects your heart. Saturated fat reduces Lp(a), which is associated with increased risk for heart disease, and contributes to higher levels of HDL (good) cholesterol, which keeps your heart healthy.
#2 - Prevent Loss of Bone Density and Osteoporosis
We all know we need calcium for strong, healthy bones. We also need saturated fat to transport that calcium to our bones. This is why dairy products naturally contain both calcium and saturated fat. All those calcium supplements won't do much good if saturated fat is lacking in our diet.
#3 - Strengthen Your Immunity and Prevent Illness
Saturated fats contain specialized fatty acids which are naturally antifungal, antimicrobial and antiviral. These important fatty acids include lauric acid, myristic acid and caprylic acid. A diet rich in these beneficial fats provides the body with what it needs to fight pathogenic substances.
#4 - Feed Your Brain, Your Nervous System and Your Hormones
Your brain is fat. And that's a good thing. Your brain consists mainly of fat and cholesterol, and it needs saturated fat more than any other kind. Even the brain-friendly omega-3 fatty acids can't be utilized without ample saturated fat. In addition, saturated fat facilitates nerve signals and hormone production. All of these systems rely on saturated fat to function, and to keep you healthy and ultimately alive.
It's important to choose the right saturated fats, like real butter and virgin coconut oil. Avoid highly processed fats and especially hydrogenated oils, which have been proven to cause heart disease, cancer and a slew of other conditions.
The logic is hard to miss. We are told saturated fats cause heart disease, so we trade butter for vegetable oils: heart disease skyrockets. We are told saturated fats cause bone to lessen, so we drink low-fat milk: osteoporosis is widespread. We are told saturated fat isn't good for our brains, so we stop eating traditional fats like coconut oil: depression, ADHD, dementia and autism are more prevalent than ever before. Are saturated fats really the villain here? In reality they are the victims of misinterpreted studies and commercialized industry, which have no interest in what our ancestors could have told them: saturated fat is the key to good health.
Elizabeth Walling is a freelance writer specializing in health and family nutrition. She is a strong believer in natural living as a way to improve health and prevent modern disease. She enjoys thinking outside of the box and challenging common myths about health and wellness. You can visit her blog to learn more: www.livingthenourishedlife.com/2009/10/welco...