Is Saturated Fat Healthy?


Is saturated fat really healthy?

This is one of the big reasons why I refuse to buy into the current nutrition landscape that advises us to replace grains(we really should limit our starch intake) with large amounts of saturated fats. I’m not sure if it comes from the paleo folks or the misinterpretation of the fat increases testosterone topic or the notion that eating fat burns fat, but too many people are recommending ungoldy amounts of saturated fats.

Is saturated fat really healthy?

Does saturated fat clog your arteries?

I’ll agree that the general lay public is completely off with their perception of saturated fat. Try talking to a general practitioner about it and you’ll get the typical “oh you can’t eat that” line. So I can see how people would be confused but quoting diet percentages of civializations long gone and comparing how they ate to modern diseases is a lesson if stupidity if you ask me. I’m sorry to be so blunt but that’s how I really feel.

Past civilizations didn’t have the lifsstyle or stress that we had now and while I agree that it would great if we all worked outside all day, basing your saturated fat recommendations on those societies doesn’t help anyone. Let’s just take it at face value. Old societies ate a ton of saturated fat and lived pretty healthy.

When you look at the landmark Ancel Keys study examining saturated fat intake and cardiovascular disease you begin to get a diluted picture. Out of the 29 socities that were examined only seven of them had increased cardiovascular disease directly proportional to their fat intake.Only those seven societies were focused on, of course! This is the main reason why today, we still have this year of saturated fat. There was a correlation, a weak one, between increased saturated fat and heart disease.

Is saturated fat heart disease in a bottle?

Saturated fats are resisant to heat damage so they can sit on your shelf for a long time while also providing cell health to various functions in your body. Saturated fats primarily include fat soluble vitamins A,K2 and D, which are all important pieces to our health puzzle. Saturated fats earn their place in athletic performance due to the high amount of K2 in cheeses and grass fed butter. Any time you have short term muscle tissue damage due to training you should reach for some grass fed butter. Saturated fat is also our bodies most easily accessed fat to fuel performance. This is where the theory that eating dietary fat to burn bodyfat falls short. When you examine the research we see that fat oxidation is increased when dietary fat is consumed.

Our body will store incoming fat for immediate energy, once that incoming fat is minized we’ll move toward our stored body fat. So yes, fat burning is enhanced when we eat fat but it’s a feedback loop of dietary fat that we consumed earlier, not stored body fat. So eating more caloric¬† dense fat doesn’t burn the thing covering our abs.

What about the saturated fat and triglyceride connection? Triglycerides aren’t healthy, I won’t try to defend them at all. Triglycerides are a mechanism for storing unused calories, and their high concentrations in blood correlates with the consumption of starchy and fatty foods. Starches and fats, not just fats.

So if saturated fats don’t increase triglycerides on their own, what about heart disease? The current thought process is that polyunsaturated fats actually breakdown faster then saturated fats and increase our HDL/triglyceride ratio which increase our chances of having heart disease.

What’s the final word on saturated fat and athletic performance?

We’ve established that the general reasons behind avoiding saturated fats just don’t hold up. It doesn’t raise your LDL and it needs a boat load of starches to increase triglycerides. We’ve also shown that the overeaction that eating fat burns fat just doesn’t hold up.¬† We also know that saturated fat is essential for our health due to all the vitamins and nutrients that it contains and how it acts as a signaler for cell health. How much saturated fat is enough in our diet?¬† It’s a faulty notion that you can go about consuming pounds of fat per day and not get fat, it still contains calories doesn’t it? Compound that with the fact that if your eating 100+ grams of fat per day then that means your more then likely eat less lean protein and less starches around your workout, we begin to see a problem here.

It’s my stance that you should get upwards of 50% of your daily fat intake from grass fed, free range or organic meats which provide healthy saturated fats loaded with nutrients. Remember, we’ve never seen a direct link between saturated fat and heart disease and assuming saturated fat does raise your LDL, it also raises your HDL, the good cholesterol.

Saturated fat is best consumed in moderation where it can help you recover but doesn’t impede fat loss.

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