Saturated Fat is Healthy for You – So is Lard
Yep, you read that right. You’ve been told that saturated fat is public enemy number one along with other fats – to run the other direction when face-to-face with ‘bad’ fats. Well…we now know that this is inaccurate; just as inaccurate as the, say, low-fat/no-fat era of the 80s and 90s. Many of the recommendations that we all follow regarding fat are based on rather weak science that has been repeatedly questioned over the decades.
To say we are still a fat phobic country is an understatement. Most people, when looking at the nutrition label, will direct their attention to the amount of fat grams first. The good news is that we have at least have made the jump from no fat in our diet to ‘healthier fats in our diet.
This is important as healthy fats as healthy fats are key to not just optimal health, but weight loss as well.
You will often hear about healthy fats such as olive oil, cold water fish such as salmon, avocados, nuts and seeds for example. Rarely, do you hear about the much maligned fats that have been in exile for decades …and they are healthy!
Here are 4 fats you’ve been told to steer clear of:
- Butter. Yes, butter contains a high concentration of saturated fat – about 50%. But it is important to note that saturated fats present less oxidation when exposed to high heat the way vegetable oils do. Oxidized fats are an unhealthy fat and yes, high heat will change the healthy fat to a fat that is not healthy. Oxidized fat creates inflammation and health conditions such as high LDL cholesterol, heart disease and more. Butter is rich in Vitamin A and will help you absorb more fat-soluble nutrients and cell strength.
- Lard. This fat has been demonized and it is now considered a healthy fat choice. Oleic Acid is the main fat in lard which is a monounsaturated fat and can lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol. Its saturated fat content? Only 35%. It is a great choice for high heat cooking temperatures and is an excellent replacement for vegetable shortening that contains a very unhealthy, toxic fat called ‘Trans Fat.’
- Duck Fat. Duck fat has less saturated fat than butter and the majority of duck fat is a healthy fat called Linoleic Acid – an essential fat that is key to keeping our cells healthy (where would we be without our cells), it boosts calcium absorption, and helps in kidney function. It too can tolerate high cooking temps and has a long shelf life.
- Coconut Oil. Coconut oil was much maligned for years until recently its healthful properties have been more accepted. Coconut oil has a very high saturated fat content – 92%. This oil is very high in a particular type of saturated fat called Lauric Acid which is necessary for optimal immune function. It has been shown that Lauric Acid increases the good HDL cholesterol in the blood to help improve cholesterol ratio levels and it positively affects our hormones for thyroid and blood-sugar control. The only other source for lauric acid? Breast milk. Coconut oil can help with weight loss by reducing abdominal fat (a type of fat that is difficult to lose, and contributes to more heart problems.) due to boosting the efficient burning of energy
Replacing your vegetable cooking oils with these healthier fats will only help enhance your health – try one or if you’ve tried one and let me know in the comments below!