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How To Improve Your Health By Eating More Saturated Fats

Written by: Nick Jack
Category: 2014
on 15 March 2014
Hits: 6356

The benefits of saturated fats, along with abuse of cardio training I would say are the two most misunderstood and controversial health and fitness concepts we talk about with our clients. Conventional medical authorities say that consumption of saturated animal fats is bad for you and causes heart disease. We are told “If you eat too much fat you will get fat”. But a hundred years ago, fewer than one in one hundred Australians were obese, and coronary heart disease was virtually unknown, and the typical diet consisted of butter, full fat milk, bacon and eggs for breakfast with meat and lunch and dinner. We still regularly get clients who have told us they are on a low fat diet because they were told to do this to reduce blood pressure, cholesterol, lose weight etc. We then ask them has this been working for you so far and how long have you been doing this? In some cases they have been doing this for over 10 years! And still persisting with something that does not work, but if anything making them worse! I believe this is called the definition of insanity. But why are people so confused? Where did all this confusion come from anyway and how do can you find the correct research to give you the right information. In many cases clever marketing has fooled us but even our so called Government standards have also been tricked. No wonder we are so confused.

 

Where Did All The Confusion Start?

Procter and Gamble are one of the first who are attributed with the confusion. who started marketing Crisco as a new kind of food -- the first commercially marketed trans fat.

Crisco was originally used to make candles and soap, but with electrification causing a decline in candle sales, and the temptation to sell their product as food was too great. At the time butter and lard were the preferred cooking choices and had been used for generations so in order to generate more sales it was marketed as a healthier alternative to animal fats and more economical than butter. Within a short time of Procter and Gamble deciding to promote their product as a “healthier” all-vegetable-derived food had the sales of margarine increased from 1.2 million kgs in 1908 to 27.2 million kgs in 1912!

But the real killer of saturated fat began in 1953, when Dr. Ancel Keys published a paper comparing saturated fat intake and heart disease mortality.

His theory turned out to have many holes in it, but the bad rap of saturated fat has continued ever since. Keys based his theory on a study of six countries, in which higher saturated fat intake equated to higher rates of heart disease. However, he conveniently ignored data from 16 other countries that did not fit his theory. Had he chosen a different set of countries, the data would have shown that increasing the percent of calories from fat reduces the number of deaths from coronary heart disease.

When you include all 22 countries for which data was available at the time of his study, you find that those who consume the highest percentage of saturated fat have the lowest risk of heart disease. Furthermore, many have now realized that it's the trans fat found in margarine, vegetable shortening, and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils that is the true villain, causing far more significant health problems than saturated fat ever could! A number of indigenous tribes around the world are living proof that a high-saturated fat diet equates to low mortality from heart disease.

For example Eskimos in the Arctic who eat mainly Whale meat and blubber and have approximately 75% saturated fat, yet there were no reported cases of heart disease, cholesterol & blood pressure issues that we are faced with today.

I would refer you to the book “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration” to see even more examples of this.

It is also important to note that human breast milk contains 54 percent saturated fat! Since breast milk is the most perfect diet in existence for developing infants, don't you think it is strange that as adults we are being told it is bad for us?

A meta-analysis published in 2012, which pooled data from 21 studies and included nearly 348,000 adults, found no difference in the risks of heart disease and stroke between people with the lowest and highest intakes of saturated fat.

Another 2010 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a reduction in saturated fat intake must be evaluated in the context of replacement by other macronutrients, such as carbohydrates.  When you replace saturated fat with a higher carbohydrate intake, particularly refined carbohydrate, you exacerbate insulin resistance and obesity, increase triglycerides and small LDL particles, and reduce beneficial HDL cholesterol. The authors state that dietary efforts to improve your cardiovascular disease risk should primarily emphasize the limitation of refined carbohydrate intake, and weight reduction.

The last point is very important, and along with sugar is the main reason for explaining the rampant increase in obesity, heart disease and diabetes. 

Eating Fat DOES NOT Automatically Make You Fat

Firstly let’s get one thing clear - eating fat does not mean that you will get fat. You are much more likely to get fat from eating sugar and fructose than eating good fats. In fact, fats and oils are essential to optimal health as it is paramount to your survival.

"No one can have a fat free body and be healthy at the same time."

Each gram of dietary fat provides nine calories of energy for the body versus four calories for carbohydrates and proteins. Your body needs fats to build cells and manufacture key hormones.

Fat assists in the health of the brain and nervous system, as well as regulating immune responses, liver function, and proper thyroid and adrenal activity. Just as with all foods, however, you must consume high-quality fats and oils for your body to effectively use them.

In addition to helping provide structure and function to the body, one of the main reasons we need to eat fat is to absorb and use fat soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K. These vitamins do not dissolve in water and can only be absorbed from your small intestine in combination with fat. Without enough Vitamin K you would lack the ability to form blood clots and could suffer from instant bleeding! Deficiency in vitamin A can lead to blindness and infections.

Well I bet you are pleasantly surprised to find out you can start eating foods you may have been avoiding in the belief it makes you fat! When in fact it most likely would have done the exact opposite! But not all fats are good. There are some you must avoid as these will wreak havoc on your health and make you fat! 

The Different Types of Fats

 

Fats fall into two groups; omega-3 and omega-6 EFAs.

  1. Omega-6 EFAs are readily available in grain products, meats and many commonly used cooking oils such as corn, safflower and sunflower.
  2. Omega-3 EFAs are found in leafy green vegetables, oily fish and free-range eggs and comparatively small quantities are available in walnuts and animal meats. The ideal ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids in your diet is 1:4.

Good Fats to Include in Your Diet

  • Good sources of quality fat include:
  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil/butter
  • Butter
  • Organic, grass-fed animal fats
  • Fish oil
  • Seeds (especially flax seeds)
  • Nuts (raw, organic)
  • Avocados

Fats to Avoid that we can label as Bad fats are:

  • Corn oil,
  • Soy oil
  • Canola oil
  • Safflower oil Sunflower oil
  • Fried foods.

These are the fats you need to avoid. Pretty much all processed foods are good to avoid if unsure. Most are full of the bad fats trans-fatty acids (TFAs). Structurally, trans-fatty acids are closer to plastic than fat. TFA consumption has been linked to heart disease and elevated cholesterol levels. These foods include margarine, mayonnaise, salad dressings, basically anything cooked with or in vegetable oils. These are the foods to avoid.

Eating good fats is also a great way to prevent food cravings that can easily sabotage your health and fitness efforts. When you eat too many carbohydrates your body gets a surge of glucose (sugar) and what goes up fast also comes down fast. When the glucose begins to suddenly crash your body wants to balance out the insulin and blood sugars by sending you a craving to eat more food. The food that is balances out this crash is what? You guessed it, SUGAR.

Fat helps to keep you satisfied for longer as it is a fuel source that burns slow. This is what the Keto diet is based upon and why it works so well for many people looking to get on top of their diet and eliminate the sugar addiction.

 

Healthy Fat Tips to Live By

Use organic butter made from raw grass-fed milk instead of margarines and vegetable oil spreads. Butter is a healthy whole food that has received an unwarranted bad rap. This food has high levels of vitamin A and was commonly used as a medical supplement with Cod Liver Oil back in the 1920’s to provide nutritional health to people who had been lacking this due to the Great Depression and food rationing.

Use coconut oil for cooking. It is far superior to any other cooking oil and is loaded with health benefits. (Remember that olive oil should be used COLD, drizzled over salad or fish, for example, not to cook with.)

Focus on healthy whole foods instead of processed foods. To round out your healthy fat intake, be sure to eat raw fats, such as those from avocados, raw dairy products, and olive oil, and also take a high-quality source of animal-based omega-3 fat, such as krill oil.

The benefits of Saturated Fats are overwhelming and if you are currently on a low fat diet I would recommend making some small changes by converting to full fat foods over a period of time. Read the links and books that I have put in this article to show you that you are currently basing your health and nutrition plan on something that does not work and will ultimately lead to poor health.

The chart below gives you a great visual of how to restructure your eating.

If you follow our Metabolic Typing Nutrition Plan you will find the ratio right for you as not everyone can eat the same ratio to be healthy.

Additional Resources to Help You with Exercise & Nutrition

I know there is a ton of information I have not included in this article with regards to how to lose weight. If you follow the links throughout the article they will take you to detailed articles relating to these questions. I also suggest to get a copy of our detailed report below that features everything you need to know about improving the immune system, heart health, and lung capacity. I created this report in September 2020 to include ALL of the relevant information relating to exercise and nutrition for improving our health. This is not about fitness but about improving your overall health vitality. Click here to download your instant PDF copy.  

 

EDUCATE YOURSELF WITH CREDITIBLE SOURCES

If you disagree with everything I have discussed here I encourage you to check out these sources. The very first thing you have to do is read the book “Nutrition & Physical Degeneration” by Weston A Price. You can also read in online ( http://www.journeytoforever.org/farm_library/price/pricetoc.html )

In this book you will find conclusive proof of people who were living predominately on saturated fats, yet having no trace of Heart Disease, Cancer, Diabetes or any type of chronic disease that is so prevalent in today’s society. If you want to no about Nutrition this should be the very first book you ever read. Also check out articles at http://www.westonaprice.org/know-your-fats/skinny-on-fats.

Check out the book “Big Fat Lies” by David Gillespie as this will blow your mind with statistics and facts.

Lastly read the book “Metabolic Typing” by Bill Wolcott and Trish Fahey to find out the exact ratio of Proteins, Fats and Carbohydrates for you or consult with a qualified Metabolic Typing advisor or CHEK Practitioner.

For more ideas and information on specific topics I may not have covered in detail be sure to check out our INDEX PAGE on the website that has over 200 of our best articles. These are all sorted into categories for quick reference so you can find what you are after more easily.

If you do need specific help with setting up an exercise and nutrition program please feel free to reach out to me for help by clicking the image below and we can set you up a free consultation to discuss how to get you started.

About The Author

Nick Jack is owner of No Regrets Personal Training and has over 15 years’ experience as a qualified Personal Trainer, Level 2 Rehabilitation trainer, CHEK practitioner, and Level 2 Sports conditioning Coach. Based in Melbourne Australia he specializes in providing solutions to injury and health problems for people of all ages using the latest methods of assessing movement and corrective exercise.

Additional References:

  • Obesity Paradox - By Carl J. Lavie M.D.
  • How To Eat, Move & Be Healthy by Paul Chek
  • Heart foundation
  • CSIRO
  • Precision Nutrition 
  • Nutrition & Physical Degeneration - By Weston A Price
  • Big Fat Lies - By David Gillespie