Saturated Fats. Good or Bad? | Atkins

Colette's Blog

September 2, 2015

Saturated fats have long been called ”bad fats” for their presumed effect on heart health. Despite having been demonized in the past, new studies have shown that saturated fat does not cause heart disease as previously believed. Over the years, saturated fat has been misunderstood and we were told to avoid it at all costs. But more and more research continues to show this is not necessary. In fact, some saturated fat can actually be beneficial to your health. Here are some reasons why:

It helps you lose weight. Research has shown that dieters who eat a balance of fats that include monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and saturated fat lose more weight than dieters who don’t consume fat. This may be due to the fact the fat helps keep their appetite in check by helping them stay full and satisfied for a longer period of time.

It pumps up your metabolism. Your body needs fat to function, and fat consumption that includes some saturated fat is associated with a faster metabolism, because it helps improve nerve signaling within your body, which affects the functioning of your hormones and your ability to burn fat. Yes, you need fat to burn fat.

It boosts your brain health. The neurons in your brain use saturated fats as nutrients. So if you want to improve brain function, make sure you’re consuming saturated fat in your diet.

It is good for your lungs. Your lungs are coated with a substance that acts like a lubricant, and it helps your lungs expand and contract. This substance is made up of saturated fatty acids. One more reason why you need to eat saturated fat.

It helps with bone strength. Saturated fat helps calcium to be absorbed into your bones.

It reduces your risk of heart disease. Lipoproteins have been associated with heart disease, and consuming saturated fat helps lower the levels of lipoproteins in your body.

It’s just good for your overall health. Saturated fats help strengthen your immune system. Your white blood cells require saturated fat to function optimally. And white blood cells protect your body by fighting off bacteria and viruses. So, a strong immune system (thanks to adequate saturated fat intake) is good for your overall health.

These are excellent reason why saturated fat should have a role in your diet, but it is not an excuse to go on a saturated-fat-free-for-all. Consuming too much of anything, no matter how good it is for you, will lead to weight gain. Make sure you are consuming high-quality sources of saturated fats (vs. processed fats). Focus on organic coconut oil, eggs from pasture-raised chicken, grass-fed beef, and wild (not farmed) fatty fish like salmon and dairy products from grass-fed cows. When you are consuming these kinds of saturated fats, as well plenty of fresh vegetables and possibly fruits and whole grains (depending on your personal carb tolerance) while limiting your intake of manufactured fats , trans fats, sugars and overly processed carbs, you may experience all these health benefits, while losing weight.

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