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Saturated Fats- Your Key to Health

Written by Kenda Roberstson and Steve Moreau

The Truth about Saturated Fat and Cholesterol

We’ve all seen the countless warnings from the American Heart Association, American Medical Association, food conglomerates and our own doctors warning us to avoid eating saturated fat because of the “heart-disease-causing” cholesterol it contains. But have you ever stopped to ask why?

Since the dawn of time, humans have eaten a diet rich in animal fats such as butter, lard and tallow, which are loaded with saturated fatty acids.  So just what is a saturated fat?  These fats are straight chains of carbon and hydrogen that pack together easily. It is this feature that allows saturated fats to remain relatively solid at room temperature. Vegetable oils(polyunsaturated fats), however are missing various amounts of hydrogen connections and instead have a weaker double bond. Now here is the crucial part, these very same double bonds are weaker and prone to damage from heat, and excessive processing. This same weakness causes vegetable oils to form free radicals much more easily than very stable saturated fats. It is this process (free radical formation) that makes vegetable or seed oils like flaxseed go rancid. Free radicals damage results in inflammation, chronic inflammation is know recognized as the underlying cause of modern degenerative diseases.  Most saturated fat is of animal origins with the  exception of coconut oil which is a plant source of saturated fats. Grass-fed beef, free-range eggs, liver, raw dairy are excellent sources of these neglected nutrients.

So what are the facts?
•    In 1900, at least 35 percent of the calories in the American diet came from saturated dairy fats in the form of raw butter, cream and whole milk. Other sources were pastured eggs, natural pork and grass fed beef. During this time, heart disease was practically unheard of.

•    Research dating back to the 1950s indicates saturated fats are necessary for a strong immune system, healthy function of hormone levels and reproduction, for calcium to be used by the bones, and omega-3s to be used by the body properly.

•    Animal foods that contain saturated fat and cholesterol provide vital nutrients necessary for growth, energy and protection from degenerative disease. Dietary cholesterol helps strengthen the intestinal wall, which is why low-cholesterol diets can lead to intestinal disorders.

•    Cholesterol is essential for proper function of serotonin receptors in the brain. Serotonin is the body’s natural “feel-good” chemical. Low cholesterol levels have been linked to aggressive and violent behavior, depression and suicidal tendencies.

•    Mother’s milk is rich in cholesterol. Children need cholesterol-rich foods for proper brain and nervous system development.

So why is it that the United States spends more than $60 billion a year on cholesterol screening and cholesterol-lowering drugs even though a positive risk/benefit ratio for this treatment has never been established? Do your own research then…You decide!

Sources:
Cholesterol/Saturated Fats

“The Oiling of America” by Mary Enig, PhD, and Sally Fallon                                                            http://www.westonaprice.org/knowyourfats/oiling.html

Inflammation:                                                                                                            http://www.inflammationwellness.com/?cat=12 http://westonaprice.org/moderndiseases/hd.html

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