The Big Fat Story Continues
You can’t pick up a magazine or turn on the evening news without being informed of another new report warning of the dangers of fats.
Time and time again, however, these stories miss an important point; they don’t specify which fatsPreviously we began looking at fats; what are they and does the body really need them.
Essential Fatty Acids, with more emphasis on the Omega 3 fatty acid, have been found to be critically important to health and healing for countless ailments. However, there is still more to this big fat story. Saturated fats have also been living in a cloud of confusion for years, getting a dirty reputation it may not deserved. Saturated fats are solid at room temperature. They are found mainly in animal products such as butter, cheese, whole milk, cream and fatty meats.
Some vegetable oils-namely coconut, palm and palm kernel also contain saturated fats. They are a completely naturally occurring fat that your body can process and your body needs.
Believe it or not, as Omega 3 fats are the fat the body prefers to build the brain with, saturated fats are the food choice of heart tissue. This is why the fat around the heart muscle is highly saturated. The heart draws on this reserve of fat in times of stress.Cell membranes also consist of Saturated Fatty Acids. It is the saturated fats that give our cells necessary stiffness and integrity.
Saturated fats play a vital role in the health of our bones. For calcium to be effectively incorporated into the skeletal structure, some experts suggest that at least 50% of the dietary fats should be saturated. It protects the liver from alcohol and other toxins, and enhances the immune system. Saturated fats are used by the body for fuel and, as part of a meal, slow down absorption so that we can go longer without feeling hungry.
They are needed for the proper utilization of essential fatty acids. So now that you have begun to increase your daily intake of EFA’s, you would still not be able to receive all the benefits if it were not for a healthy level of saturated fats.In addition, they act as carriers for important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Saturated fats are needed for the conversion of carotene to vitamin A, for mineral absorption and for a host of other processes.
Coconut oil, which is a saturated fat, is packed with health benefits acting as an antiviral and antifungal, protecting the body from parasites and a host of other creepy crawlies.
In my own home, coconut oil has become a staple, being used from frying and baking, to an eczema treatment, deodorant and hair conditioner.
All this being said, however, saturated fats are not essential in that they need to be obtained exclusively from the diet.
The liver is able to make saturated fats out of starch and sugars and saturated fats can be found in natural combinations with some of the essential fatty acids, fish oils for example.
So although, saturated fats are needed, your focus on which fats to consume should still remain in the direction of essential fatty acids.