Fats have had some really bad marketing over the past couple of decades. Time and again, they’ve been linked to serious health issues such as obesity, heart disease, and cancer. But, as new evidence arises, we’re learning anew that not all fats are bad for the health. In fact, some fats, saturated fats, to be more specific, are real health boosters, simply because they provide a wide array of nutrients important for proper body function.
To start with, saturated fats support the formation of cell membranes and the secretion of hormones in the body. They protect the nervous systems and provide a great source of energy.
As result of this, nutritionists strongly recommend them for any dietary regimen.
Eggs, especially free-range eggs, are a real storehouse of protein, anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, nerve-supportive B12, and the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, vital for retina health. Moreover, eggs are the richest source of choline, a nutrient that brain health, metabolism, cell signaling, and the nervous system depend on.
Although most people think that eggs are a threat to the cardiovascular health, new research confirms that eggs don’t increase cholesterol levels, or the risk of cardiovascular disease.
2. Coconut Oil
One of the major benefits of coconut oil is that it mostly contains medium-chain fats, which are easily absorbed by the body and used as an energy source rather than being stored as fat. Plus, coconut oil has some important medicinal properties – antimicrobial, antifungal, anti-stress and antioxidant, among others. It has also been found that coconut oil keeps blood sugar levels in check and supports healthy weight loss.
The great taste comes as an added bonus. It can be used in almost anything – cooking, baking, smoothies, hot drinks, body care products, and the list doesn’t end here.
Tallow, a saturated fat rendered from beef, is a rich source of CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid), which in fact reduces fat. Tallow is also high in vitamin E and choline. This saturated fat is more stable, meaning safer for cooking at high temperatures than most processed fats. In addition, there’s some evidence suggesting that the CLA in tallow protects against tumors.
It’s good to know that grass-fed beef is higher in CLA, omega-3s, and antioxidants.
Ghee, or clarified butter, is a rich source of butyric acid, which nourishes intestinal cells. It’s also high in vitamin K2, which is essential for dental health. Last, but not least, ghee contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which helps with fat burning and could protect against artery plaque and diabetes.
Ghee is made by simmering butter until the protein solids and dairy sugars divide – the protein sinks to the bottom whereas the sugars rise to the top. Straining out the sugars and protein leaves pure medium- and short-chain fatty acids. These are easily digested and absorbed by the body and immediately used for energy rather stored as fat.
A final note
When introducing these healthy fats into your diet, it’s important to have in mind that less is more. This means that only a spoonful to your smoothies, sauté pan, or roasting tray is all you need to reap the wide array of health benefits saturated fats provide.