For years the public has heard and read that they should limit their intake of saturated fat but today the old mantra seems less true. The reality is that the human body needs saturated fats in reasonable amounts. These saturated fats are critical for proper functioning so why do so many “experts” encourage the public to reduce their consumption by 50% or more. They claim that this is necessary to reduce the risk of heart disease. Actually a normal individual should eat a certain amount of bacon, eggs, butter, cream, and fatty meats. So what are these reasons?
1 – Saturated fats do not equal cardiovascular disease. There have been many articles and studies published on this subject. However, today most nutritional and other experts feel that a reasonable amount of saturated fats in the diet does NOT increase this risk factor. Actually, the “old” suggestion of replacing saturated fats with monounsaturated fatty acids or carbohydrates has lost credibility and may actually increase cardiovascular risk. So enjoy moderate amounts of butter, cheese, cream, eggs, meat and other foods with saturated fats.
2 – Bone Health – Saturated fats are absolutely necessary for healthy bones. Many “experts” continue to suggest that only 7 to 10 percent of the fats in your diet be saturated fats. Today many others forcefully state that this number should be 50% and it is particularly true for women. Women have the greatest need for bone health and strength in later life and saturated fats will help in the fight against osteoporosis. Enjoy some bacon on occasion.
3 – Lung Health – Humans need saturated fats to produce a thin layer of lung surfactant on the air spaces of the lungs. The lung surfactant is dependent on saturated fats in the diet so any diet that is low on saturated fats could be producing lung problems. So forget that margarine and go back to butter – in moderation.
4 – Brain Health – Human brains need saturated fats – it is a critical ingredient for the brain to function well. Do you realize that the human brain is mainly comprised of fat and cholesterol? Well, it is. If your diet is low on saturated fats then you are robbing yourself of the raw materials that are needed for good brain function. Enjoy an avocado.
5 – Immune System Health – Without becoming too technical, saturated fats are important for the proper functioning of the immune system. Low levels of saturated fats in the human body will compromise the white blood cells’ ability to fight disease and infection. So enjoy your milk and coconut – in moderation.
Saturated fats are part of nature and your body needs a certain amount to function properly. Too much or too little of most things will cause problems so remember, moderation is the key.