Originally published October 3 2010
Is saturated fat really bad for you?
by Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
(NaturalNews) New research presented at the 100th annual meeting of the American Oil Chemists' Society (AOCS) in Orlando, Fla., suggests that saturated fat may not be the health villain that mainstream medicine has insisted it is for the past several decades. On the contrary, saturated fat from the proper sources is actually a vital nutrient required by the body for maintaining good health.
Published in the October issue of the journal Lipids, the research calls on the medical industry to reevaluate its position on saturated fats based on actual science rather than popular superstition. Researchers say that the negative view of saturated fats is rooted in an oversimplified, pseudo-scientific understanding of the way fats work in the body.
"The relationship between dietary intake of fats and health is intricate, and variations in factors such as human genetics, life stage and lifestyles can lead to different responses to saturated fat intake," explained J. Bruce German, Ph.D., professor and chemist at the University of California at Davis. "Although diets inordinately high in fat and saturated fat are associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk in some individuals, assuming that saturated fat at any intake level is harmful is an over-simplification and not supported by scientific evidence."
Faulty thinking about saturated fats has caused many supposed health experts to redirect people towards other types of fats, including mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats. While these other fats are not inherently bad, replacing necessary saturated fats entirely with these leads to other health problems, including a heightened risk of cardiovascular illness.
"In times of stress, the heart actually draws upon the reserve of saturated fat surrounding it for energy," explains Pat Sullivan in his book Wellness Piece by Piece: How a Successful Entrepreneur Discovered the Pieces to His Chronic Health Puzzle. "Sixty percent of the brain is made up of saturated fat. And saturated fats actually lend a hand with the development and structure of every cell in the body as each cell's membrane is comprised entirely of fat."
Some excellent sources of healthy saturated fat include nuts, coconut oil, wild fish and grass-fed meats.
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