If you’ve tried to lose weight by going with a low fat approach, you might find the pounds still creeping onto your body. That’s because fat gives you a full feeling that can help you stick to a healthy eating program and even aid in weight loss. You can tame your appetite with fat and it’s not as bad for you as previously believed. In fact, the original review of literature that showed fat was the cause of heart disease was actually paid for by the sugar industry to diminish the link between sugar and coronary disease and place the blame on fat. Documents from the 1960s show that the research to be used in the review by three Harvard researchers was hand picked by the SRF—Sugar Research Foundation. Each professor received funds to do the review. The article damning fat was then published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1967.
Saturated fat provides many health benefits.
First, not all saturated fat is the same, just like not all carbs are the same. Some are simply better for you than others are. Not only does saturated fat fill you up by slowing the absorption of food, it is a building block for the membranes of the cells and necessary for a wide variety of hormones. It is a carrier of fat-soluble vitamins like D, A, K and E and an important part of changing carotene to vitamin A. Saturated fat contains substances like lauric acid (anti-plaque, anti fungal and anticaries), caprylic acid (antiviral), palmitic and stearic acid (cholesterol lowering) and butyric acid (helps regulate genes and prevent cancer.) It’s a good source of energy, too.
Eat more fat and fewer carbs is the new paradigm.
Low fat diets have been around for quite a while and unfortunately, many simply don’t work. In most of these diets that cut fat, they replace the energy lost from fats with carbohydrates. Doing that actually promotes the storage of fat and ultimately weight gain. A lot has changed in recent years and as more investigation continues, people are now leaning toward the idea that eating more carbs may be the cause of rising obesity rates.
Just like carbohydrates, not all saturated fats are the same.
You certainly wouldn’t consider sugar, a carbohydrate, to be as healthy as a green vegetable. You shouldn’t clump and classify all saturated fats together either. Good sources of saturated fats include coconut and coconut oil, olives and olive oil, avocado, raw nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds), meat from grass fed beef, butter from organic raw milk from grass fed cows and organic eggs from free range chickens.
- A mega study published in 2013 showed no difference in the incidence of heart disease between people with high fat consumption and those with low fat consumption.
- While diet plays a huge role in the risk of heart disease and diabetes, including saturated fat in that diet doesn’t increase the risk. Other factors also play a role, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, genetics and a sedentary lifestyle.
- When looking at any scientific study or report, always make sure you find out who funded it before you make any dramatic lifestyle changes. Had people known that sugar companies funded the review that vilified saturated fat, eating styles might be different today. At least recommendations would be.
- A healthy diet includes all food types, fat, protein and carbohydrates. It focuses on whole foods, rather than processed foods, so healthy fat like nuts and avocados are normally part of it.