We often blame saturated fats for the increase of heart disease in people. While this statement is not totally wrong, it’s not true, either. Apparently, saturated fats are still needed by the body for proper functioning. As long as they’re taken in the right amount, there shouldn’t be a problem.
It only becomes a concern when you eat too much because it could lead to the development of heart disease. The thing is our daily diet doesn’t just consist of foods high in saturated fats. We also eat other unhealthy nutrients in large amounts like sugar and sodium. Both can cause health issues when consumed excessively.
Saturated fats are good because…
There is a popular belief that saturated fats are inherently bad. We can’t blame people who have this assumption because saturated fats are often marketed as such especially compared to mono and polyunsaturated fats. But apparently, saturated fats still offer many things to health. Here are a few things that they do to our bodies:
- Improved bone density. Older people are at a higher risk of bone fractures as bone density decreases with age especially when there is effort to maintain their health like eating foods high in calcium. Saturated fats are good because they aid in the absorption of calcium, which eventually improves bone strength.
- Stronger immune system. One way to boost the immune system is by eating healthy foods. While fatty foods don’t sound like a healthy choice, they actually are. Foods with this type of fats can strengthen the immune system, so you’re not susceptible to infections and other health problems.
- Good for the liver. The liver is another vital organ that we need to protect through a healthy diet. Eating saturated fats is believed to preserve the function of the liver. They also provide protection against the negative impact of alcohol and meds.
- Promotes weight loss. Eating foods high in fat gives a longer satiation. This is important to reduce calorie intake. Although fat is high in calories in itself, the satiating effect is actually helpful for weight loss. This would curb your cravings, so you don’t ingest unnecessary calories in between meals.
Saturated fats are bad because…
Saturated fats are bad because they can raise LDL aka the bad cholesterol. This is what you need to avoid since LDL is the main contributing factor to heart disease. If you want to maintain cardiovascular health and prevent atherosclerosis, it’s important to limit the intake of foods containing saturated fats. The problem is plenty of foods we eat daily have them in excessive amounts.
We’re talking about cakes, pizza, fried chicken, French fries, burgers, basically anything that we all love. The fats in these foods are not only damaging to the arteries, but are also fattening. High-fat foods contain high calories, which can make you gain weight fast. Obesity is not the only issue that arises from overconsumption of these foods. You’re also at risk of having diabetes because such foods are highly inflammatory and mess with the way your insulin works.
So, should we consume saturated fats? Yes, but moderation is key. It’s okay to eat butter, cheese, cakes, coconut oil, and other foods with saturated fats. However, you need to make sure they don’t fill up your plate. Instead, eat more foods that are known healthy, such as fruits, veggies, grains, etc.