Monday, December 19, 2005

Saturated Fat Can Be Good For You

The following is a guest blog from a regular reader who firmly believes saturated fat is indeed good for you. I am in agreement with everything in this that I thought I would share it with you and invite your feedback.

During the "no-fat" craze of the past decades, all fats, especially saturated fats were marked as bad, evil even, or in the words of the AHA: "the greasy killer" ... in short, as something to be avoided like the plague. Massive scientific knowledge and evidence to the contrary was already in place, but as so often happens, perceptions - pushed by industries like the corn oil companies who profited immensely from doing so - overshadowed the real scientific facts.

And coconut oil, far more nutritious and beneficial than any corn, peanut, soy, safflower and the other oils out there, nonetheless got tossed into the "no saturated fat" bin. Another black page in the "overgeneralization, sheer stupidity and lunacy" book of "modern" dieticians, populist media and government propaganda.

What you most certainly did not hear anywhere (except for one (1) courageous doctor in NY) is that most of the so-called saturated fats a) are absolutely necessary to human health; and b) are not the culprit of weight gain at all; and c) come in three classes, of which the medium-chain can actually help you lose weight, increase metabolism, has anti-inflammatory properties, helps absorption of vitamins and other micronutrients, prevents hyperthyroidism, are essential to the brain and cell membrane protection, and promotes proper digestion. Just to mention a few of the many, many clearly proven benefits of this (oh evil of evils) saturated fat.

So, coconut oil's saturated fat is of the medium-chain fatty acid variety. These MCFAs are digested more easily and utilized differently by the body than other fats. In short, whereas other fats are stored in the body's cells, the MCFAs in coconut oil are sent directly to the liver where they are immediately converted into energy. So when you consume coconut oil, the body uses it immediately to make energy rather than store it as body fat. Because this quick and easy absorption puts less strain on your pancreas, liver and digestive system, coconut oil "heats up" the metabolic system and is outstanding for those with thyroid problems.

The lauric acid in coconut oil is used by the body to make the same disease-fighting fatty acid derivative called monolaurin that babies make from the lauric acid they get from their mothers milk (did you know that mothers milk is up to 80% fat? Apparently nature understands proper nutrition better than our dieticians :-)

Finally, coconut oil contains no super-dangerous trans-fats, which are found in vegetable oils (sometimes including olive oil), margarine, shortening and many more of these engineered non-foods. By the way: Did you know that misguided "health groups" in the US and UK forced (even coerced) many fast food chains to switch from lard and other saturated fats to trans-fats? Nice huh? The fact is, of course, that the stupid efforts of these misinformed fat-fobists had the exact opposite effect on health. It made the situation much worse. Trans-fats, as we all by now know, will raise LDLs or "bad" cholesterol levels quite dramatically and lead to clogged arteries, heart disease, type-II diabetes and more, and should be indeed avoided like the plague. Yep, these are the very dangers and effects saturated fats were accused of.

Guess who has been warning against trans-fats for years? are right, the good doctor Robert C. Atkins. Of course, he was immediately ridiculed and lambasted for it, but once again, history shows him completely right. This man truly deserves a Nobel prize...

Good health to you all.

Some really great facts and information about the healthiness of saturated fat in that guest blog, eh? Share your comments about it below. Agree? Disagree? Let us know.

This debate over fat will not be going away anytime soon and it's time we help people understand fat is not the enemy that it has been made out to be.


Blogger LindaLCforLife said...

I agree that saturated fats are not dangerous and that they are not only healthy but essential. The low-fat fad has caused a fat deficiency leading to epidemics of disease in this country and is definitely associated with the obesity. When we eat foods that have been stripped of their natural fats, like so many dairy products, meats, etc., it's just like the processing and stripping of vital nutrients from grains. Skim milk is not a healthy food. Would you believe I actually saw low-fat coconut that had been stripped of its natural fat on the grocery shelf the other day!! Your body cannot even absorb certain nutrients in foods eaten that are stripped of their natural fats. "The Soft Science of Dietary Fat" by Gary Taubes, published in Science magazine explains how the low-fat crapola began and how low-fat advocates have attempted to prove scientifically that a low-fat diet is healthy and saturated fats are harmful but have failed totally.
France is another example of the health benefits of saturated fat. A few decades ago (before they started getting our SAD diet) they ate 3 times more saturated fat than we do, but a fraction of the sugar. Their heart disease was practically nonexistent and French women had the lowest heart disease rate in the world. I believe the rising incidence of heart disease and breast cancer in women in their 40s and 50s in the US is a result of the low-fat diet. Almost every woman I know in that age group is on it.


12/19/2005 9:07 PM  
Blogger Beauty and the Brain said...

I am hypothyroid and my doctor recommended that I start using coconut oil in cooking every day. Or, alternatively, put a couple of teaspoons into a protein shake. It's supposed to help rev up the metabolism.

12/19/2005 9:43 PM  
Blogger Science4u1959 said...

Excellent comments, ladies, and completely true! By the way, the excellent, scientific article of Gary Taubes is certainly worthy of reading. I recommend it to anybody. As is another article of his, that incidentally also appeared in the NY Times and Science: "What if it all was a big fat lie?". It really had low-fat fobists eat crow. What Linda says is completely true - and as beauty and the brain said, coconut oil does speed up metabolism. But that is only one of the many benefits of this healthiest of oils. Make sure to get virgin coconut oil - it's the best. I have scientific papers that name VCO as the "healthiest oil in the world". 'nuff said...

12/21/2005 2:33 AM  

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