Repost: The Benefits of Saturated Fats

16 Sep

This is a repost from CrossFit One World‘s post about Carnitas and the benefits of saturated fat. Saturated Fat has gotten a lot of bad rep in today’s news and practically all around. But in truth, it has a lot of benefits compared to its bad effects that people are so afraid about. There should be a delicious picture of Carnitas here but I’ll let you check that out on the original post. If you ever want to get a good reading on random shit and rants about CrossFit related stuff, be sure to read CrossFit One World’s blog. They’re my favorite.

Excerpt from “The Benefits of Saturated Fats”
The much-maligned saturated fats which Americans are trying to avoid are not the cause of our modern diseases. In fact, they play many important roles in the body chemistry:

  • Saturated fatty acids constitute at least 50% of the cell membranes. They are what gives our cells necessary stiffness and integrity.
  • They play a vital role in the health of our bones. For calcium to be effectively incorporated into the skeletal structure, at least 50% of the dietary fats should be saturated. (38)
  • They lower Lp(a), a substance in the blood that indicates proneness to heart disease. (39) They protect the liver from alcohol and other toxins, such as Tylenol. (40)
  • They enhance the immune system. (41)
  • They are needed for the proper utilization of essential fatty acids.
  • Elongated omega-3 fatty acids are better retained in the tissues when the diet is rich in saturated fats. (42)
  • Saturated 18-carbon stearic acid and 16-carbon palmitic acid are the preferred foods for the heart, which is why the fat around the heart muscle is highly saturated. (43) The heart draws on this reserve of fat in times of stress.
  • Short- and medium-chain saturated fatty acids have important antimicrobial properties. They protect us against harmful microorganisms in the digestive tract.

The scientific evidence, honestly evaluated, does not support the assertion that “artery-clogging” saturated fats cause heart disease. (44) Actually, evaluation of the fat in artery clogs reveals that only about 26% is saturated. The rest is unsaturated, of which more than half is polyunsaturated. (45)

More good reading on saturated fat:

“The Importance of Saturated Fats for Biological Functions”

“Saturated Fat Prevents Coronary Heart Disease? An American Parodox”

“Saturated Fat- The Misunderstood Nutrient”

In the last article, a good reason to to eat grass fed and organic meats and eggs:

“If you are eating high quality fats, such as pasture fed, non-medicated, organic eggs, dairy, poultry, and meat, you are doing your body good. If you are eating conventionally raised poultry and meat, it is a good idea to cut off the fat, as the medications, hormones and pesticides consumed by the animal will be concentrated in the fat, which will in turn be concentrated in your fat.”

PS: This statement in bold above surprised me a bit because I thought any fat was good, so I’ve been eating a lot of fatty meat (from Safeway). But it looks like it depends on how the meat is being raised as well. Grass-fed is way to pricey for me, so I will continue to get my meats from Safeway and Costco but will eat the fatty part in moderation. Or you can try Whole Foods and follow Hendra’s tips and suggestions on his post.


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