The Surprising Truth about Saturated Fats

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In the mid 1900’s, saturated fats were considered to be an integral part of human nutrition. Experts had declared that “fats are good” and hence it was also recommended for treating serious medical conditions. After World War II, marketers of low fat food championed the concept of cutting down the intake of saturated fats, in order to maintain good health and prevent heart disease.

Till today, saturated fats found in meat and dairy products in relatively large amounts, are considered ‘bad’. These fats are also found in some vegetable products like coconut oil.

Although it is considered to be unhealthy by some experts, a recent evaluation has revealed that unprocessed saturated fats are healthy, should be included in the diet and not assiduously avoided.

Bad saturated fats like red meat, butter, margarine, fast food and vegetable oils should be avoided or consumed less. It can be replaced by few healthy saturated fats like eggs, chia seeds, salmon, avocado and unrefined virgin coconut oil. Though virgin coconut oil is a saturated fat, it is made up of medium chain fatty acids and lauric acid that improve health in many ways. The MCFAs help reduce the risk of heart disease by raising the HDL level in the body, protects the body against microbial infections, boosts the metabolic rate and controls appetite.

Let’s take a glance at why should saturated fats be included in your diet!

 

The Role of Saturated Fats:

  • 50% of cell membranes in the body consist of saturated fatty acids. The cells get necessary firmness and integrity from these fatty acids.
  • For calcium to be incorporated effectively in the bones and the skeletal structure, 50% of fat has to be saturated. It plays a vital role in maintaining bone health. Good saturated fats help to lower Lp(a), a substance found in blood that tends to make people more prone to heart disease.
  • Saturated fats protect the liver from toxic and harmful effects of certain drugs and alcohol.
  • Saturated fats enhance and boost the immune system.
  • Short and medium chain fatty acids (MCTs) have antimicrobial properties, which act as protection from harmful microorganisms in the digestive system.
  • Omega 3 is better retained in tissues when the diet is rich in saturated fats. They are important for proper utilisation of essential fatty acids.
  • An important saturated fat is virgin coconut oil that has scientifically proven health benefits like the health of heart, skin, brain, immune system, hair etc. Virgin coconut oil is rich in lauric acid which converts into Monolaurin inside the body. It also has antiprotozoal, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that helps protect the body from infections.
  • Virgin coconut oil contains about ⅔ medium chain fatty acids or MCFAs which stimulates the metabolism of the body, provides an immediate energy source, improves the health of hair, treats skin problems and helps to lose body fat.

Saturated fats have been used in traditional cultures as these fats are stable and do not oxidize easily or turn rancid. Reducing fats from diet has not solved any health problems. Quality saturated fats such as pure virgin coconut oil and a few others are important and should be included in everyday diet. Nirmal virgin coconut oil contains saturated fats called MCTs which is extremely beneficial for treating health, skin and beauty problems.

 

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