Saturated and Unsaturated Fat, The Ugly Truth

It is time to change our whole concept of what is good for us and what isn’t. Saturated fat has been in our educational books since the 1950’s as the one we should eat, the one that will make us strong, and the heart disease killer is the unsaturated one. After bursting your bubble in my previous blog about how fat is good for you… I’m going to do it again! 

Dr. Ancel Keys first published a paper in 1953 comparing saturated fat intake and heart disease mortality. The misguided ousting of saturated fat has continued unabated ever since. According to Mercola, 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.

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!

Still, despite the scientific evidence, the low-fat dogma remains a favorite among most government health authorities. Case in point: the most recent food chart issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in December of last year, recommends reducing your saturated fat intake to a mere seven percent of caloric intake—down from its previously recommended 10 percent. 

Saturated Fat: Cream, cheese, butter, other whole milk dairy products and fatty meats which also contain dietary cholesterol. Certain vegetable products have high saturated fat content, such as coconut oil and palm kernel oil. Many prepared foods are high in saturated fat content, such as pizza, dairy desserts, and sausage. But do note that processed foods that contain saturated fat is bad for you, such as vegetable oil, which is basically poison. 

Unsaturated Fat: Unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature, unlike saturated fats that are solid at room temperature. Healthy unsaturated fats come in two main forms, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated. These differ in their chemical structure and they have slightly different health benefits as a result. Like Avocado, Almonds, Peanut butter, Vegetable oil based products, you can find a full list here

Fat Comparison Chart

 

Fat (1 Tbsp)

Saturated
(grams)
Mono-
unsaturated (grams)
Poly-
unsaturated (grams)
Trans-fat (grams)
Safflower Oil 0.8 10.2 2.0 0.0
Canola Oil 0.9 8.2 4.1 0.0
Flaxseed Oil 1.3 2.5 10.2 0.0
Sunflower Oil 1.4 2.7 8.9 0.0
Margarine (stick) 1.6 4.2 2.4 3.0
Corn Oil 1.7 3.3 8.0 0.0
Olive Oil 1.8 10.0 1.2 0.0
Sesame Oil 1.9 5.4 5.6 0.0
Soybean Oil 2.0 3.2 7.8 0.0
Margarine (tub) 2.0 5.2 3.8 0.5
Peanut Oil 2.3 6.2 4.3 0.0
Cottonseed Oil 3.5 2.4 7.0 0.0
Vegetable Shortening 3.2 5.7 3.3 1.7
Chicken Fat 3.8 5.7 2.6 0.0
Lard (pork fat) 5.0 5.8 1.4 0.0
Beef Tallow 6.4 5.4 0.5 0.0
Palm Oil 6.7 5.0 1.2 0.0
Butter 7.2 3.3 0.5 0.0
Cocoa Butter 8.1 4.5 0.4 0.0
Palm Kernel Oil 11.1 1.6 0.2 0.0
Coconut Oil 11.8 0.8 0.2 0.0 

 

So please remember, you do need a certain amount of healthy fat, while at the same time you’ll want to avoid the unhealthy varieties. The easiest way to accomplish this is to simply eliminate processed foods, which are high in all things detrimental to your health: sugar, carbs, and dangerous types of fats.

After that, these tips can help ensure you’re eating the right fats for your health:

  • Use organic butter made from raw grass-fed milk instead of margarine and vegetable oil spreads. Butter is a healthy whole food that has received an unwarranted bad rap.
  • 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.)
  • To round out your healthy fat intake, be sure to eat raw fats, such as those from avocados, raw dairy products, olive oil, and also take a high-quality source of animal-based omega-3 fat, such as krill oil.