There are some kick ass things that came out of the 1970s, like punk rock, Atari, and the guy writing this article, but the vilification of saturated fat in favor of margarine, seed oils, and other trans fatty substances… is NOT one of them. If you’re stuck in the 1970s when it comes to the outdated demonization of animal fat, let us help you join the 21st century by getting all ancestral. Sometimes to go forward, you have to go back to the beginning. Someone smart probably said that somewhere along the way so we won’t claim it as an original idea, but it’s brilliant nonetheless.
Saturated fats are somehow STILL often considered to be unhealthy by the media and in popular “health” rags. However, recent research has shown that saturated fats may actually have some important health benefits.
The most important benefit of saturated fat is its role in proper brain function. The brain is composed of roughly 60% fat, and saturated fat is a KEY component of brain cells. Consuming adequate amounts of saturated fat is important for maintaining cognitive function and memory, and reduces the risk of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.
Saturated fats are also important for maintaining hormonal balance, which is something we talk about constantly… for good reason. Testosterone in men is down 50% in the past 50 years, and aside from a few misguided Hollywood folks, everyone wants more T. Without saturated fat, your testosterone will tank in ways you don’t want to imagine.
Next up is immune function. Saturated fats are necessary for the production of white blood cells, which are responsible for fighting off infections and diseases. There are a lot of reasons for this… like the absorption of certain immune-critical vitamins and minerals. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble, meaning they can only be absorbed by the body when consumed with fat. Saturated fats are particularly important for the absorption of vitamin A, which is essential for healthy skin, vision, and immune function, and vitamin D, which is necessary for strong bones and teeth.
Saturated fats are also important for maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. Cholesterol is a type of fat that is produced by the liver and is found in animal products such as meat, eggs, and dairy. High levels of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, often referred to as "bad" cholesterol, are associated with an increased risk of heart disease. However, recent research has shown that consuming saturated fat may actually help to raise levels of HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, often referred to as "good" cholesterol. HDL cholesterol helps to remove LDL cholesterol from the bloodstream, reducing the risk of heart disease.
Not all saturated fats are created equal. While some sources of saturated fat, such as tallow and grass-fed butter, have health benefits, others, such as processed meats and fried foods, should be thrown in the trash can. Trans fats, which are found in many processed foods and baked goods, should be avoided entirely, as they have been shown to increase the risk of heart disease and other health problems.
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