August 06, 2018
The fight against fat started a few decades ago, when we replaced our high 'good-fat' foods with low-fat, high sugar foods. And now we're fatter than ever. This topic causes some controvery and backward thinking from what we've been told for decades. But before we fill our plates with bacon cheeseburgers, lets have a look into the 'good' stuff and find out what these scientists have to say.
To break it down, we have unsaturated fats and saturated fats. Unsaturated fats are broken down to monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats (the difference is in the number of double bonds they contain). They have been widely studied and published as the 'good fat.' They have many health benefits, including:
Vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, fish & vegetables: these guys have proven in studies to assist with weight loss, decrease inflammation & heart disease.
So we know these guys (in moderation, of course) are good for you. So what about the evil twin, saturated fat?
Saturated fat has been in the penalty box for a long while but is regaining its credit through research. While the majority of the fats in your diet should be unsaturated, including saturated fat is essential to life, in fact.
Saturated fat makes up the foundation of our fancy cell membranes. Cell membranes protect the cell as well as is responsible for the movement of material in and out of the cell. So its kind of important.
Saturated fat increases the HDL cholesterol in your body, which is the good kind. LDL cholesterol is the kind that can build up in the blood and makes those important arteries narrow. HDL cholesterol then comes on through the blood stream, pushing the LDL cholesterol through and into the liver.
Brain health is ever so important, especially as we age. Lucky for us, we know now that saturated fats can actually help fight certain brain diseases. In fact, coconut oil has shown to protect you from neurodegenerative brain diseases like Alzheimer's disease.
Furthermore, saturated fats like ghee, coconut oil and butter are preferred for high-heat cooking. They don't have double bonds, which makes them tougher and least resistant to oxidative stress. This also prevents them from forming those free radicals (cancer causers). So next time, reach for the butter. In moderation, of course.
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