After decades of bashing fat, the medical community has been making friends with it! Scientists discovered that cutting out saturated fat didn’t make much difference, until you considered what people ate in place of it. Swapping animal fats for vegetable oils appears to lower LDL cholesterol levels, but trading your bacon for a bagel didn’t do the trick. Bottom line: when you replace saturated fats with refined carbs, your triglycerides can go up and your good HDL cholesterol, will not.
Does this mean that you should eat saturated FATS until your heart is content? Not really, like “good fat, bad fat”, there is “good saturated fat and bad saturated fat”. Certain saturated fat sources are not good for your health, they can increase inflammation and are laced with other health hazards, for instance Amercian Cheddar cheese: this is a saturated fat that I would not suggest to eat, in addition to fat, it contains more sodium than your total recommended daily allowance. This is the same issue with fast foods, they contain saturated fats, in addition sugar, trans fats and additive.
A better solution is…
STEP ONE: know your number. How much fat should you consume in your day. For most people it is approx. 30% of your total calories. Thus if you are consuming 1500 kcal in your total day, 450 kcal will come from fat (50g of fat). Whether choosing good or bad fats, you do not want to exceed your daily need. (This is the important for those that drench their foods in healthy oils, or those that eat handfuls of healthy nuts and seeds..you still want to stick to portions, especially with fat, it is so dense an extra tbsp can mean 100 kcal).
STEP TWO: Pick primarily “green” fats, and secondary “yellow” fats, avoid the red fats altogether. Green fats are your healthy polyunsaturates and some monounsaturated: they are fats with benefits, they provide the body certain nutrients that can reduce LDL, increase HDL, improve memory, reduce inflammation and improve your immune system. Yellow fats (a combination of over used polyunsaturates as well as saturates) are fats that when eaten in moderation will do no harm, they provide some health benefits, but if over eaten they can easily cross the line and become a health hazard. The red fats are your hazard fats, their is no health about them.
Green Fats: fish oils, seed oils (hemp, flax), all natural nuts and seeds, avocado, egg yolk, olives, olive oil
Yellow Fats: organic and free range butters and animal meats, chocolate, coconut oil, natural and organic cheese and yogurt, other vegetable oils, organic cream
Red Fats: margarine, fat from conventional meats and dairy products, lard, ice cream, fried foods, fast foods, cakes, pastries, doughnuts and biscuits