What are saturated fats and why do we need them?
Saturated fats are semi solid at room temperature and are found in animal products such as meat, poultry, lard, poultry skin, whole milk, cheese, eggs, butter and tropical oils such as coconut and palm oil.
Our body actually needs saturated fats to stay healthy. Why?
1) Saturated fats constitute at least 50% of our cell’s membranes – the phospholipid component of every cell. Saturated fatty acids are what gives our cells structural integrity, so the cell walls are not weak and can protect the inside of the cells.
2) Saturated fatty acids play a vital role in the health of our bones. For calcium to be effectively utilized by the bones, at least 50% of the dietary fats should be saturated.
3) Saturated fatty acids actually lower Lipoprotein (a), a substance in the blood that leads to heart disease, whereas excess consumption of vegetable oils increases it.
4) Saturated fatty acids protect the liver from alcohol and other toxins, including Tylenol, a pain reliever.
5) Saturated fatty acids are needed for the proper utilization of omega-3 essential fatty acids because omega-3’s are better retained in the tissues when the diet is rich in saturated fats (particularly organic virgin coconut oil)
6) Saturated stearic acid found in beef and cocoa, and palmitic acid found in coconut oil are the preferred foods for the heart; which is why the fat around the heart muscle is highly saturated. The heart draws on this reserve of fat in times of stress.
7) Saturated fatty acids such as caprylic acid found abundantly in coconut oil, is anti fungal and helps combat candida (yeast overgrowth that is common in our society).
8) While saturated fats raise both the bad and the good cholesterol, TFA’s as well as excess consumption of omega-6 fatty acids raise the bad Low Density Lipo-protein (LDL) and suppress the good High Density Lipo-protein (HDL) cholesterol, making it even worse.
In conclusion, avoiding TFA (Trans Fatty Acid)’s is a must. There are no tolerance levels. They are serious culprits of degenerative conditions disguised in some of the most tempting foods to date. Avoiding over consumption of polyunsaturated oils (omega-6 fatty acids) such as flax oil and completely avoiding corn, soy, safflower and canola is a great start, as polyunsaturated oils have been shown to contribute to heart disease, inflammation, under-active thyroid and weight gain.
Use virgin organic coconut oil. I stress the importance of using only virgin organic coconut oil because the refined version of coconut oil no longer has the same structure and same health benefits as the virgin organic coconut oil. In fact, consuming plain coconut oil can even give someone a headache or nausea.
The food manufacturers will not willingly return to using naturally saturated fats such as coconut oil, palm oil, butter and lard because they are more expensive. Only a concerted demand by educated consumers will bring traditional healthy fats back into our commercial food supply and restaurant cooking.
Using organic coconut oil in all cooking and baking is the best choice for a healthy alternative. Because virgin coconut oil is completely saturated and no TFA’s can be made from it, it is therefore harmless. In addition, it does not oxidize, even at 170 degrees Celsius.
Virgin Coconut oil is the fat of fats as it also helps us burn body fat for energy because of its unique molecular structure of medium chain fatty acids. So do enjoy eating more organic virgin coconut oil, drinking organic coconut milk/crème in your teas as well as pouring it over your porridge and munching on macaroons made from organic cocoa and desiccated organic coconut for health and longevity.