Saturated fat is not only beneficial it is essential – yes Saturated Fat!! The NHS, Dept of Health, British Heart Foundation and Diabetes UK all promote low fat diet however since we adopted a low fat diet late 70’s/ early 80’s, coronary heart disease has risen. Well now that’s changing, with Sweden leading the way on a reversal by promoting full fat milk in schools.
– Three main types of fat:
- Saturated (butter, meat fat, coconut oil) all solid at room temperature
- Polyunsaturated oils (corn, sunflower, rapeseed) liquid even when refrigerated
- Monounsaturated (olive oil) liquid at room temperature but sold when chilled (Oils are best in dark bottles away from heat and light.)
This is why we need saturated fat:
- Cell membranes should be 50% saturated fats
- Bones – saturated fat help move calcium into bones
- Heart disease – lowers Lp (a) Sat fats are the preferred food for the heart
- Liver – sat fats protect the liver from alcohol and other poisons
- Lungs – can’t function without sat fats
- Kidneys – can’t function without sat fats
- Immune system – enhanced by sat fats
- Essential fatty acids work with sat fats
- Saturated fat supports detoxification
Most saturated fat comes from meat and dairy, but if you are vegetarian or vegan you can get this important fat from coconut oil which as well as being saturated it is also a medium chain fatty acid and comes with these benefits:
- Raises body temperature and gives quick energy
- Not stored as fat – used for energy
- Stimulates immunes system
- Intercellular communication – helps prevent cancer
- Anti-microbial – kill pathogens including candida
The typical ‘healthy’ food pyramid shows 50% wholegrains (as promoted by World Health Organisation) is designed to promote agriculture not health.
Our diet was healthier 60 years ago when we were eating more organ meats and fatty cuts of meat which included bone marrow and saturated fat, along nutrient rich vegetables from nutrient rich soil.
Osteoporosis is not all about calcium, it about lack of fat and healthy bone marrow, as well as a lack of magnesium. A lack of fat soluble vitamins can contribute to calcium misplacement such as bone spurs, plaque in arteries and osteoarthritis. Saturated fat helps move minerals such as calcium and magnesium into bones. The heart also needs magnesium of which there is a general deficiency in the diet. Drinking alcohol can further deplete magnesium by 300%!
Saturated fat allows fat soluble vitamins such as vitamin A and D to reach our bones, immune system, eyes and manufacture hormones. Vitamin A is needed for absorption of protein, calcium, thyroid function, production of hormones and for skin, bones and immunity. There is no vitamin A in plants (only beta carotene which has to be converted to vitamin A through a series of enzymatic reactions which doesn’t happen in everyone). Vitamin A is found in primarily in liver, butter and cod liver oil, nutrient rich liver is one of the best sources of vitamin A – eat it fried, grilled, with bacon, in sausages, pates. Vitamin A deficiency causes eye problems and sight problems.
Vitamin K2 is found in butter and helps prevent calcification of the arteries. Butter also contains minerals, iodine, essential fats and short chain fatty acids. Vit A , K and D work together found in seafood, oily fish, butter and cream, egg yolks, liver and organ meat, animal fats especially birds and pigs.
Check the colour of your egg yolks – a grass fed hen produces a deep orange yolk, an organic egg is generally light orange, and a supermarket egg is pale yellow. The pastured (grass fed) egg will have 8 times more vitamin D, and twice as much vitamin A.
Vitamin D myth – you cannot get enough vitamin D by just exposing your hands and face for 10 minutes per day. The body makes vitamin D from cholesterol by the action of UV-B sunlight on the skin, however except in the tropics UV-B is only available at midday during summer months. Therefore skin cancer is more likely caused by a week’s burning abroad than daily exposure in the UK in the summer, and more likely from the chemicals that we subject our skin to on a daily basis.
Cholesterol myth – don’t eat too many eggs
Very little cholesterol is obtained from diet, and fish actually have more cholesterol that meat (caviar being one of the richest sources). Cholesterol is a cell repairer and the older you get the more cholesterol you need which is why it increases with age. Damaged cells through smoking, drinking, weight gain, heated oils will have more cholesterol
Cholesterol is vital:
- Cholesterol makes sex hormones – are reductions in cholesterol causing a rise in infertility?
- Healing and repairs
- Structure to cells
- Makes vitamin D in conjunction with sunlight
Satin Side effects (Statins reduce cholesterol production in the liver)
- Stains were found to beToxic in animal trials
- In every rodent study it caused cancer
- Fatigue and weakness
- Memory loss and reduced mental capacity
- Neuropathy and slowed reactions and nerve damage (weakness, tingling and pain in hands / feet)
- Muscle wasting leading to back pain and heart failure (the heart is largest muscle)
- Reduced CoQ10 indispensable for muscle and heart function. Any heart conditions benefits from 100mg CoQ10 three times a day. It is made in liver and is an (heart) antioxidant. Those on statins definitely need it as statins deplete this along with Vit A and Vit D. Low levels of CoQ10 are a marker for heart disease.
- Intestinal disease and pancreatic problems
- Reduced libido
- Depression and suicide
- Blocks vit A and D
Gallstones can be caused by a lack of bile salts which are made from cholesterol which is why very low fat commercial diets with no fat causes irreversible gallbladder problems
Fast foods uses vegetables oils that are heated to very high temperatures, often being reheated again and again causing incredible toxins and inflammation and working against beneficial fat. In the past the fat in our diets ranged from 30 – 80% but only about 4% was polyunsaturated. Since the increase of polyunsaturated fats, heart disease has increased.
Honolulu Heart Programme 2001
20 year study that found that low cholesterol = increased risk of death. Similar findings were made in the Journal of American Geriatrics.
Don’t forget Salt…..
- protein digestion
- carbohydrate digestion
- brain development
- adrenal function
- cellular metabolism
Use only rock salt not table salt which is highly processed. Traditional salt production involved evaporation of sea water leaving it rich in magnesium and minerals. Modern table salt has all the minerals removed and contains aluminium based additives. Sea salt should be pink, gray or beige indicating the presence of minerals, not white and bleached.