Healthy Saturated Fats
By Kristjan Gunnarsson

What are saturated fats?

Fat that we consume through our diet, and the fat stored in our body in the form of body fat, is in a form called triglycerides, which are 3 fatty acids linked to a glycerol molecule. Saturated fatty acids have carbon-carbon double bonds, and are therefore saturated with hydrogen while the unsaturated ones aren't and contain double bonds. Polyunsaturated fatty acids contain multiple double bonds.

It is much better to cook with saturated fats than any unsaturated ones, because the lack of double bonds makes the molecules very tolerant to heat, reducing the chances of them becoming damaged by oxidation while cooking. Saturated fatty acids are found in such things as coconuts, high-fat dairy, meat and eggs. They can be in several forms, including short-chain, medium-chain and long-chain.

These fats have for a long time been considered unhealthy, but recent research has shown this to be completely false and largely based on conventional wisdom rather than true science. This new research is showing that there do clearly exist healthy saturated fats.

Are saturated fats harmful?

The main studies that have in the past been quoted to prove that saturated fatty acids cause harm, have been largely discredited in recent times. The reason why people still believe they're unhealthy is because this myth has been kept alive by conventional wisdom. The truth is, that there is plenty of evidence showing how saturated fatty acids have no effect on heart disease, and other studies showing how a diet low in carbohydrates and high in fat can have a really good influence on health, and this includes lipid profiles.

Other types of fatty acids

Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are believed to be healthy, but it is not a good idea to consume too much Omega-6 fatty acids since the ratio of Omega-6/Omega-3 is important. The lower the ratio the better, with about 2:1 to 3:1 being considered optimal. If you don't eat a lot of processed vegetable oils then the ratio should be good automatically.

It is a good idea to try to eat some fish, omega-3 enriched eggs or grass-fed meat. If you don't eat any of those foods then taking a fish oil supplement to increase your Omega-3 intake would be a good idea. Trans fats should be avoided at all costs, they are extremely unhealthy.

Hydrogenated fats (trans fats) should be avoided, these are extremely unhealthy. In fact some of the studies who have shown saturated fats to be harmful in the past were really using hydrogenated fats, which are chemically modified to behave like saturated fats.

Who to believe, me or nutritionists and doctors?

If you would ask a nutritionist or a doctor about healthy saturated fats then a lot of them would tell you that they are bad for you. But the fact is, doctors don't know much about healthy eating (diseases are their expertise) and nutritionists don't seem to keep up with the latest research studies, they still keep repeating the same old knowledge that they learned in school. The saturated fat phobia has also been kept alive by people repeating it to each other, a form of "common knowledge" that has no scientific basis.

Saturated fats are often claimed to cause a rise in LDL (the bad) cholesterol, but this is not the whole story. There are several forms of LDL, including the large, fluffy kind and the small, dense kind. The small, dense kind is harmful and does in fact increase heart disease risk, but the large, fluffy kind is completely benign. Healthy saturated fats cause an increase in the large, fluffy, benign type.

Healthy saturated fats also cause an increase in HDL (the good) cholesterol, and they massively lower triglycerides. HDL and Triglycerides are considered a much better indicator of heart disease risk than LDL or total cholesterol. A diet low in carbohydrate and high in saturated fat has been shown in scientific research to greatly improve blood lipid profiles and therefore heart disease risk.

Banishing healthy saturated fats doesn't make any evolutionary sense either, since human beings evolved eating a diet high in meat, which is rich in saturated fats. What is important is to eat real meat, since processed meat has in some studies been shown to be harmful.

So my tip to you is to not limit healthy saturated fats in your diet, rather try to cut down on all junk foods and processed foods, and try to eat food in the form that nature provided us with. This is the key to good health.

Kris is a medical student very interested in all things health related. He is dedicated to bringing you the latest, unbiased information on what to do in order to gain optimal health and runs the very popular Kris Health Blog at  For more info, check out the original article: Is Saturated Fat bad for youArticle Source:

Alkaline Recipe E-Book now available: The best 33 alkaline recipes, compiled in an easy-to-follow e-cookbook. Buy now for only $6.95.

The best 33 alkaline recipes, compiled in an easy-to-follow e-cookbook. Buy now for only $6.95.