Food For Thought
Getting friendly with fats.
By: Leanne Ely
Sometimes in life we must end relationships that are unhealthy for us. Unfortunately, for a number of years, mainstream “nutritional” information has had us avoiding fat like the plague.
We’ve heard that saturated fat will make us gain weight, clog our arteries and give us heart disease.
This information has misled scores of North Americans towards vegetable oils which have been touted as “heart healthy.”
Recent research is now revealing that saturated fat doesn’t cause heart disease. Saturated fat actually is shown to cause less damage in our bodies than those “heart healthy” vegetable oils.
If you’ve cut out the saturated fat in your diet, I urge you to re-explore that relationship.
Here are some reasons why we need saturated fat to support good health:
Energy. Fat is essential to the body as a source of fuel. Our bodies either use the fat we eat immediately as a form of energy, or store it for when we need it later. Your body will actually burn fat more efficiently when fueled with saturated fats like coconut oil.
Protection. The reason you can sit on your bum comfortably is because there’s a nice padding of fat there, around our bones. Saturated fat remains solid at body temperature, so we have a good soft cushion there. Fat also protects our organs and bony surfaces like the soles of your feet and the palms of your hand.
Brain health. Half of your brain is made up of cholesterol and saturated fat. Cholesterol and saturated fat also make up a great deal of the protective sheath that surrounds our nerve fibers. If the balance of saturated fat in our body is thrown out of whack, it can lead to several neurological disorders.
Healthy skin. Saturated fat protects our skin from damage by the sun. This means a diet with plenty of saturated fats can prevent wrinkles, sunburns and skin cancer.
Strong bones. Saturated fats are required for healthy bone development.
Vitamins absorption. Most people are deficient in fat soluble vitamins A, D and K2 but they are found in saturated animal fats. We need these vitamins for bone production, immunity and gene expression and other critical bodily functions.
Toxin protection. Damage done to the liver by alcohol and other toxic substances can be reversed by saturated fatty acids.
Cell function. Cell membranes are made up of saturated fats. That saturated fat makes our cells strong and protected from disease.
Lung capacity. The consumption of trans fats are believed to compromise lung health and lead to asthma. Saturated fats, though, are required for the lungs to function properly.
So many of the body’s functions need saturated fat, it’s a shame that so many of us have been trying so hard to avoid it. But there is no need to be afraid of bacon, butter, avocados and coconut oil.
As with everything else, enjoy in moderation, but don’t be afraid to use CLEAN saturated fats in place of those vegetable oils which are actually not safe for humans to consume, in my opinion. And always remember when you’re eating animal fat, it must come from organic, pastured, grass-fed beasts. Not the CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation) stuff in the meat department.