Healthy Aging: The True Facts About Saturated Fats

By Monday June 23rd, 2014Fitness & Nutrition

We hear about healthy fats and bad fats all the time, but there are not many whole foods out there that have only one type of fat.

What Damages Healthy Fats?

Hydrogenation, high heat, and poor storage of fats can all cause changes to the molecular structure of fats, which can be damaging and toxic to our cells.

Processed fats include trans fatty acids, hydrogenated oils, partially hydrogenated oils, rancid oils, and heat damaged fats. Processed fats promote free-radical damage, aging, inflammation, atherosclerotic plaques, and other degenerative diseases.

Trans-fatty acids in particular are created by hydrogenating oils and can be found in highly processed foods. Check the labels of your packaged chips, cookies, crackers, and cereal for hydrogenated oils, and margarine, even the seemingly healthy ones, because these foods contain trans-fatty acids. Even if the labels don’t mention trans fats, many of these foods have trans fatty acids in them.

Health Benefits

  • Cell membranes are comprised of 50% saturated fat.
  • Bones need saturated fats to assimilate calcium.
  • Saturated fats protect the liver from alcohol and drug damage.
  • Saturated fats are crucial for hormone production. Cholesterol is the mother of hormones.
  • Saturated fats give the immune system a boost. Without the proper fats, we are more susceptible to disease.
  • Saturated fats are the best for satiety, they can help lower triglycerides when paired with a low carbohydrate diet, and they can help with weight loss.

References:
Bowden, Ph.D. Johnny, M.D. Steven Sinatra. (2012),The Great Cholesterol Myth. Beverly, MA: Fair Winds Press.
Campbell-McBride, Natasha.(2007), Put your Heart in Your Mouth. Cambridge, UK: Medinform Publishing.
Bauman, E., Friedlander, J. (2013). Therapeutic Nutrition. Penngrove, CA: Bauman College
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