Pros & Cons of Saturated Fat & Trans Fats

Saturated & Trans Fat

Not all saturated fat is bad; in fact, a certain amount is essential, and some saturated fats are extremely health promoting. Prolonged experience with the Atkins diet has shown that natural saturated fat does not necessarily raise cholesterol levels and clog arteries (although the diet itself quite likely promotes osteoporosis and colon cancer). The simple truth is that the whole issue of saturated versus unsaturated fats is mostly false.

Certain saturated fats are extremely healthy and even essential to good health, such as coconut oil. For a number of years, coconut oil has been vilified by the medical health authorities due to its saturated fat content, but not all saturated fats are alike. Coconut oil is unique in its structural makeup.

It is not only the highest source of saturated fats (92 percent), but included in that number are the medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are extremely beneficial to the body. In addition, approximately 50 percent of these MCTs are made up of lauric acid, the most important fatty acid in building and maintaining the body’s immune system. The only other source of lauric acid found in such high concentrations is mother’s milk.

Trans-Fats—Decidedly Unhealthy

Is trans-fat bad? Absolutely! In fact, in earlier editions of this book I called products made with [synthetic] trans-fats (partially hydrogenated oils) the number one killer in our diet. But this is one area that has seen a dramatic change in the last ten years. Whereas at one time medical authorities promoted these products as “healthy” alternatives to saturated fat products such as butter, these same authorities gradually became aware (about thirty years after the alternative health community) that trans-fats were, in fact, decidedly unhealthy. They are major contributors to cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

Over the last couple of years, government agencies have jumped on board and started pressuring food companies and restaurants to ban trans-fats from our diets. And even if late, they are correct. These oils are absolutely unnecessary and have no place in your diet or in any of the foods you eat—if you wish to be healthy. [Note: synthetic trans-fats are not the same as natural trans-fats such as conjugated linoleic acid, which is found in grass-fed meat and dairy products and is extremely healthy.]”

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