Written by Kevin Shea, High Fat Living
It is not uncommon for one to hear the words saturated fat and conjure up images of clogged arteries and an undesirable heart condition. For decades many, if not most of us, have come to believe that at least one fool-proof key to a long life and a healthy body involves a significant reduction in foods high in fats – saturated fats in particular.
How did we come to believe that saturated fats are to be avoided if not outright feared? Are these 50+ year-old attitudes and practices regarding saturated fats reasonable? Are saturated fats better off left alone and for the most part absent from the human diet, or is there a gray area that has yet to be explored? Is saturated fat something we should avoid like the plague we have been so convinced it is?
Upon re-examination of the currently accepted research, it seems that many of the historically settled upon conclusions about saturated fat and its role in human health may have been either innocently misinterpreted, misrepresented, or perhaps intentionally ill-communicated to the public at large. This has resulted in an American population that will choose to cook with corn and canola oils in lieu of ghee, butter or lard. We tend to trim the fat off of steaks and skip the bacon in hopes of attaining a better physique and improved cardiovascular health. This default position that saturated fats are bad for us has been a major, if not predominate, mantra for the last few decades.
However, recent and more thorough interpretations of past studies have ultimately inspired applause for this supposed “foe” from many nutrition and medical science professionals. Recently, benefits of saturated fats have been illuminated and reconsidered in a new light.
How valid is the idea that saturated fat consumption can actually improve cardiovascular health? Should there be more forums discussing the ways saturated fat assists in calcium absorption by our bones and therefore decreases the risk of osteoporosis? Does a diet including adequate amounts of saturated fats actually improve the health of one’s brain, liver and lungs?
A more humble attitude of looking at and understanding saturated fats is being adopted slowly and reluctantly by the old guard in the health and nutrition industry. The heavily filtered, slow-as-syrup, trickle-down way this new view of saturated fats has been disseminated has resulted in an equally slow uptake by the public at large. But the conversation has begun, and is gaining momentum.
In the next few posts, I will discuss what saturated fats really are and what distinguishes them from other types of fats. I will delve into the history of where we got this now seemingly outdated idea that saturated fat is always the enemy. I will discuss some of the studies and the resulting publicity and policy that helped foster our misunderstanding of the wonderful friend saturated fat truly can be to the human animal…
Follow Kevin on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/High-Fat-Living/521956997841602