The Roles of Saturated Fats for Human Health

The Truth about Fats

The following nutrient-rich traditional fats have nourished healthy population groups for thousands of years:

For Cooking

  • Butter
  • Tallow and suet from beef and lamb
  • Lard from pigs
  • Chicken, goose and duck fat
  • Coconut, palm and palm kernel oils

For Salads

  • Extra virgin olive oil (also OK for cooking)
  • Expeller-expressed sesame and peanut oils
  • Expeller-expressed flax oil (in small amounts)

For Fat-Soluble Vitamins

  • Fish liver oils such as cod liver oil (preferable to fish oils, which do not provide fat-soluble vitamins, can cause an overdose of unsaturated fatty acids and usually come from farmed fish.)

The following newfangled fats can cause cancer, heart disease, immune system dysfunction, sterility, learning disabilities, growth problems and osteoporosis:

  • All hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils
  • Industrially processed liquid oils such as soy, corn, safflower, cottonseed and canola
  • Fats and oils (especially vegetable oils) heated to very high temperatures in processing and frying.

Role of  Saturated Fats

Saturated fats, such as butter, meat fats, coconut oil and palm oil, tend to be solid at room temperature. According to conventional nutritional dogma, these traditional fats are to blame for most of our modern diseases–heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes, malfunction of cell membranes and even nervous disorders like multiple sclerosis. However, many scientific studies indicate that it is processed liquid vegetable oil–which is laden with free radicals formed during processing–and artificially hardened vegetable oil–called trans fat–that are the culprits in these modern conditions, not natural saturated fats.

Humans need saturated fats because we are warm blooded. Our bodies do not function at room temperature, but at a tropical temperature. Saturated fats provide the appropriate stiffness and structure to our cell membranes and tissues. When we consume a lot of liquid unsaturated oils, our cell membranes do not have structural integrity to function properly, they become too “floppy,” and when we consume a lot of trans fat, which is not as soft as saturated fats at body temperature, our cell membranes become too “stiff.”

Contrary to the accepted view, which is not scientifically based, saturated fats do not clog arteries or cause heart disease. In fact, the preferred food for the heart is saturated fat; and saturated fats lower a substance called Lp(a), which is a very accurate marker for proneness to heart disease.

Saturated fats play many important roles in the body chemistry. They strengthen the immune system and are involved in inter-cellular communication, which means they protect us against cancer. They help the receptors on our cell membranes work properly, including receptors for insulin, thereby protecting us against diabetes. The lungs cannot function without saturated fats, which is why children given butter and full-fat milk have much less asthma than children given reduced-fat milk and margarine. Saturated fats are also involved in kidney function and hormone production.

Saturated fats are required for the nervous system to function properly, and over half the fat in the brain is saturated. Saturated fats also help suppress inflammation. Finally, saturated animal fats carry the vital fat-soluble vitamins A, D and K2, which we we need in large amounts to be healthy.

Human beings have been consuming saturated fats from animals products, milk products and the tropical oils for thousands of years; it is the advent of modern processed vegetable oil that is associated with the epidemic of modern degenerative disease, not the consumption of saturated fats.