We hated saturated fats for decades. Almost every one of us grew up hearing that food like bacon, butter, nuts, eggs and red meats are full of saturated fat what we must avoid to stay healthy. But the real question is, is it a myth or an actual fact?
The Common Concept
Popular belief was that if we want to stay healthy we have to cut down foods that have high saturated fats and we need to avoid all those types of fat. But some fats are not unhealthy for us and we can eat as much of them we want. And it is named unsaturated fats. So we avoided foods containing fat to keep up with the craze. But surely it was not enough to control our obesity. Because the market was full of fat-free items like cookies, cheese, chips and crackers. But as they had lacking of critical fats that make us feel full, we only ended up eating even more. According to statistics, since 1970s, the consumption of saturated fats was reduced by 11%. While on the other hand, consumption of carbohydrates like grains, pasta, fruits and vegetables was increased by 25% and clearly it was not a good trade.
The Wrong Accusation
It is true that taking of saturated fats raise blood cholesterol levels. But the fact is that although they raise blood cholesterol, they have other benefits as well. In 2010, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition made a research what helped us to change our whole concept about fats. The 2010 analysis had involvement of 21 studies and nearly 350,000 people and found no association between saturated fat and obesity or heart disease. To sum it up the quotes are “There have been rigorous clinical trials that have shown that a higher fat and lower carbohydrate diet is better for heart disease and obesity, even whole grains are less healthy than a diet that is higher in meat and cheese.”
Various types of Fat
Even though they are commonly called by the name of saturated fat, there are more than two twenty different kinds of fats. The director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center, MD David Katz’s saying about saturated fat is, “They’re not created equal, so it’s difficult to make a general recommendation about saturated fats as a whole.” Yet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans do exactly the opposite. There is some common example of saturated fats which are popularly being called fatty acids.
- Butyric acid (contained in butter)
- Lauric acid (contained in coconut oil, palm kernel oil, and breast milk)
- Myristic acid (contained in cow’s milk and dairy products)
- Palmitic acid (contained in palm oil and meat)
- Stearic acid (also contained in meat and cocoa butter)
The thing is, we shouldn’t mark saturated fat as the enemy. To be exact, ignoring saturated fats and eat more fat-free foods to cover the hunger will not keep us healthy. So, focusing on whole nutrition will always be effective rather than avoiding one single food item. Let’s hope the article will be able to help you through the confusion and sensibly decide your perfect nutrition.