Ah the subject of the villified saturated fat must finally be addressed at greater length here on my bloggedy blog. To me it is now an obvious truth, that saturated fat is not the bad guy, but hey someone had to take the fall in order for the vegetable oil industry to take off, right?
Fats, glorious fats!!
Here’s the deal, for the past 40 or more years saturated fat has been shoved out of the way and replaced with various refined vegetable oils. In that process saturated fat has been given a bad name. Most people associate eating saturated fat with much guilt and fear. But why? How did this happen when all of history prior was eating just that, saturated animal fats? Not to mention, there has been an increase not a decrease of heart issues, the very thing that avoiding saturated fats was supposed to prevent. Hmmmm, something doesn’t line up.
Well, I’d like to share some freeing news with you today, in case you didn’t already know. Here it is, ……..you…. can….. eat…. fats. They are actually good for you. Butter. Lard. Cream. Egg yolks. Olive oil. Coconut oil. Whole milk. Cream. Beef fat. Cheese. Palm oil. Avocados. Are you getting the idea? Eating these foods will not be the reason you get heart disease.
Let me rewind a bit, and share with you the actual benefits of some of the above mentioned fats, not to mention the fact that they are delish. Did you know that fats are necessary for your good health? The body needs to get essential fats from foods, those are the omega fats. When we are low in omega 3 fats, depression and other mental issues set in. Our brains need fats to function properly. In order to absorb all the fat soluble nutrients, such as A, D, E and K we must consume fats. (not trans fats of course) These nutrients are so important to many functions of the body, such as building the cell walls, assimilation of minerals, helping stabilize hormone levels, building your immune system and digestion, not to mention keeping the skin soft and supple.
There is a whole lot of information and scientific evidence out there on the subject of fats, that I won’t get into myself. I’d rather focus on a more intuitive approach. Are man made foods better than nature made foods? We hear that margarine is healthier than butter. How can a man made food trump what God created? Please tell me. Here is a recipe for margarine, just so you know the truth about what’s really in it, so you can decide for yourself which is healthier.
Begin with a polyunsaturated, liquid vegetable oil rancid from extraction under high heat. Any oil will do, but about 85 percent of hydrogenated oils are soybean. Mix with tiny metal particles, usually nickel oxide. In a high-pressure, high-temperature reactor, shoot hydrogen atoms at the unsaturated carbon bonds. Add soaplike emulsifiers and starch to make it soft and creamy. Steam to remove foul odors, bleach away the gray color, dye it yellow, and add artificial flavors.
Sounds delicious and healthy right? What about the idea that egg yolks are bad for you, so you should eat egg white omelets, and so forth, instead? Well I consider an egg, a whole food. Deconstruct it from it’s natural state and you create some problems. For instance, did you know that most of the nutrients are in the yolk. The yolk contains the omega 3 fatty acids, which believe me you want those. Egg yolks also contain the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which are good for the eyes (they prevent macular degeneration) and show promise in fighting colon cancer, and the lutein in eggs is more easily absorbed than the lutein also found in spinach. Not to mention lecithin, which is found in every human cell. Lecithin helps the body digest fat and cholesterol. Egg yolks also have a very high concentration of biotin, a B vitamin that is essential for healthy hair, skin and nerves, in fact the highest other than liver. I must not forget vitamins A, E and folic acid. What a powerhouse of nutrition packed inside those lovely egg yolks that we have been so afraid of for too long. I’d say it’s silly to toss the yolks out in favor of the whites, which are FAR superior in their nutrient content than the whites. Perhaps if you really must throw out part of your egg, it should be the whites.
I could go on and on as to the break down of these nutritional powerhouses we know of as fats, but I’d rather just share a brief testimony on how fats have benefitted me personally. Last summer I started adding in coconut oil on a daily basis into my diet. I consumed anywhere from 3-6 Tbsp. per day for quite some time. I hadn’t made a whole lot of other dietary changes that were permanent at the time I started using coconut oil. Within 2 months I lost 6 pounds and I believe my hormones began to get regulated. I no longer had painful cramps with menstruation, nor the excruciating pain I would get during ovulation. The ovulation pain had been in my life since after my first son was born, around 10 years I had suffered with it. Still to this day I do not have any pain with my cycle. I also began to increase my butter consumption, and eventually started cooking with bacon fat, and now with lard. I also consumed whole coconut milk, and began to eat as much fat as I wanted. I no longer have blood sugar crashes if I don’t eat for several hours, in fact I can go quite comfortably and evenly without eating for 6 hours, and sometimes even skip meals. My mood is more even and I did not suffer from any depression this past winter, which is HUGE. I am still reaping the wonderful benefits of fats in my diet, and am continuing to lose fat, another awesome perk. I eat rich wonderful delicious foods and get all these great benefits. I’d say the proof is in the pudding wouldn’t you? (oh and go ahead and have some whole milk, cream and egg yolk laden pudding, it will do you good!)
Some links for further reading on the benefits of fats;
A Primal Primer: Animal Fats (I do not hold his view on evolution, but agree with his scientific based ideas on nutrition primarily)