A lot of people have grown up thinking saturated fat is bad for the body, isn’t it? It is believed to trigger heart conditions. However, this point is in debate following some recent case studies. We are going to find out if saturated fat is good or bad for the body and health at large.
All about Saturated Fat
Fats can be categorized as macronutrients. They mostly give us energy when consumed in huge amounts. Every single fat molecule contains three fatty acids and a single glycerol molecule. Fat can either be polyunsaturated, monounsaturated or saturated. The number of bonds influences the category a fat falls under. Saturated fat doesn’t have any double bonds. Polyunsaturated fatty acids are made up of at least two double bonds. Lastly monounsaturated fatty acid contains a single double bond.
The carbon atoms in saturated fat are surrounded by hydrogen atoms. Coconut oil, fatty meats, coconuts, dairy products, dark chocolate and palm oil are examples of meals that contain saturated fat. There is nothing like pure fat. All fats contain a mixture of different fat.
Reasons people think Saturated Fat is Harmful?
Heart condition was on the rise during the 20 th century. Researchers concluded that eating meals with high amounts of saturated fat is likely to trigger heart condition. They stated that saturated fat could increase the levels of bad cholesterol in a person’s bloodstream. This finding was correct at that time. They clearly highlighted that high cholesterol was linked to heart conditions. These findings have for long time by people. This is the point saturated fat was categorized harmful. However, no practical research was carried out at that time to prove this point.
The link between saturated fat with LDL and HDL Cholesterol
HDL and LDL are proteins which carry lipoproteins, a type of cholesterol. Initially, researchers measured overall cholesterol levels for people who regularly consumed meals rich in saturated fat. They found out that the HDL had reduced whereas LDL had increased. HDL is the good cholesterol, whereas LDL is the harmful. It has currently be proven that researchers at that time ignored the fact that saturated fat also increased the levels of HDL.
Intense research has also revealed that LDL contains other subtypes. The first subtype is large LDL. These types of lipoproteins are big and cannot enter the arteries leading to the heart. The second subtype is small LDL. This is what triggers heart condition as it can easily flow in arteries. People with the small LDL are at a high risk of developing heart disease when compared to those with large LDL. A couple of nutritionists have proven that people who frequently eat meals with saturate fat are likely to increase the size of their LDL particles. This will reduce the possibility of contracting heart condition. It is no longer about the size of LDL particles but their numbers. Low carb diets have for a long time been used to reduce LDL in the blood stream. These meals contain high amounts of saturated fat and low carb.
Is there a link between Heart disease and Saturated Fat?
Most of modern diet plans incorporate saturated fat. A perfect example is the ketogenic diet. This has raised the question if there is a link between saturated fat and heart disease. No one has been able to prove that saturated fat is the sole cause of heart disease. However, it has been proven substituting saturated fat with unsaturated fat minimizes the risk of cardiac arrest. Saturated fat can be considered neutral.
Does limiting intake of Saturated Fat linked to any benefits?
There are a couple of low fat diet meals people can adopt. The main aim of such meals is to reduce cholesterol and saturated fat intake in the body. People on low fat meals are encouraged to consume more vegetables, fruits and whole grains. There were also speculations that low fat meals can help with weight loss and also reduce the possibility of attaining specific medical conditions. Research and practical were carried out to confirm the above statements. People on low fat diet find it difficult to lose weight despite cutting fat intake. No health benefits have been proven at the moment on those on a low fat diet.
Are there people with medical conditions who should avoid Saturated fat?
It has on numerous occasions proven that there is no link between heart condition and saturated fat. However, some people have medical conditions that force them to reduce the amount of saturated fat they consume. A perfect example is people with Familial Hypercholesterolemia. This is a genetic disorder risks aggravating if you take high amounts of saturated fat.
Saturated Fat is good food cooking and other benefits
Saturated fat has some benefits which are rarely highlighted. Do you know that saturated fat is good for cooking meals? They don’t have any double bonds. This makes it resistant to high heat damage. Therefore, they cannot be oxidized unlike polyunsaturated fat. Go for butter, lard and coconut oil if you are cooking. They are recommended for frying.
There are some meals which naturally contain high amounts of saturated fat. Such meals are very healthy and nutritious. These meals range from meat, coconuts, dairy products and dark chocolate.
Bad Fats everyone should avoid
As earlier seen, there are different kinds of fats. Some are good, whereas others are harmful. Monounsaturated and saturated fat are examples of good fat. Polyunsaturated fat vary. Some of them are good and others unsafe when consumed in large number. Omega 3 fatty acids should be consumed with moderation. Trans fats can also be harmful. This type of fat has been linked with heart disease, insulin resistance, belly fat accumulation and inflammation.
A lot of resources have been injected to determine if there is a link between heart disease and saturated fat. There is no prove that makes saturated fat liable for heart condition. On the contrary, saturated fat benefits the body in numerous ways. In conclusion, saturated fat is good for the body.