When we are born, we need saturated fat to survive and develop healthily in our mind and body. So why when we reach 2 years old is saturated fat suddenly unhealthy for us? Too much of anything is bad, that is true, but why the demonization of a basic nutritional need? There are a few answers to that!
The first thing to know is that ignorance isn't always bliss. Many people don't realize that fat found in our food is not the same as the fat around our tummy, or rather, one doesn't become the other. The fat around our tummy is from excess energy from our food, and though fat is energy, carbohydrates are the main source of energy in the modern American diet today. An excess of carbohydrates spikes our blood sugar and sends insulin production into overdrive - this not only leads to gaining fat, but also can eventually lead to pre-diabetic conditions. What's more is that foods which tend to have high fat content re-made and advertised as 'low-fat' usually just replace the fat content with sugar. This is not a healthier option!
This leads to the second answer regarding the bad reputation saturated fat has gotten. Sugar is a lucrative industry, especially in the United States. This ranges from candy, to soda, to additives in food which utilize sugar as a way of tasting better and getting people hooked on the food. In order to sell something there has to be a need for it, and what better way for carbs/sugar to have their day than criticizing foods low in sugar and high in fat. Particularly when there is a wave of people ignorant to the difference between fat in food and fat on our bodies.
When considering saturated fat as a nutritious option, it's always best when it is natural in the food you're eating and not paired with carb heavy foods. For example, eggs, nuts, red meat, and dairy with saturated fat can be extremely beneficial for your body. However, foods high in saturated fat such as cookies, french fries, or any other kind of fried food can be detrimental because they contain may contain a high carbohydrate account or trans fats. High carbohydrates and excessive trans fats are not only fattening to our bodies, but they are taxing on our hearts as well.
The takeaway from this should be that saturated fat is something we've needed since birth and has been consumed since the earliest dawn of mankind. Sugar companies have made a lot of money preying on the fears of fat and used nutritional fat as something to point their finger at. A diet containing more fat coming from fish, eggs, meat, and nuts and less carbs can be life changing for the better!
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