If you're still not convinced that your low fat diet could actually be part of the problem you're overweight then read on. In the past nearly every government and healthy eating message has linked saturated fats with obesity and heart disease and has told you to stay away from saturated fats, warning it will raise your LDL cholesterol, clog your arteries and put you at increased risk for heart disease.
The truth is that these recommendations are in fact based on an unproven hypothesis, and a large number of studies that have since reexamined the theory have shown that saturated fat does not increase your risk of heart disease.
A 2015 meta-analysis20 published in the British Medical Journal found no association between high levels of saturated fat in the diet and heart disease. Nor did they find an association between saturated fat consumption and other life-threatening diseases like stroke or type 2 diabetes. Another study meta-analysis21 that pooled data from 21 studies and included nearly 348,000 adults found no difference in the risks of heart disease and stroke between people with the lowest and highest intakes of saturated fat. Indeed, far from posing a risk, it’s known that saturated fats provide a number of important health benefits, including the following:
✓ Providing building blocks for cell membranes, hormones, and hormone-like substances
✓ Mineral absorption, such as calcium
✓ Carriers for important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K
✓ Conversion of carotene into vitamin A
✓ Helping to lower cholesterol levels (palmitic and stearic acids)
✓ Acts as antiviral agent (caprylic acid)
✓ Optimal “clean” fuel for your brain and mitochondria
✓ Provides satiety
✓ Modulates genetic regulation and helps prevent cancer (butyric acid)
It's this fear of healthy dietary fat that I believe is a big part of why we’re currently struggling with obesity, diabetes, and heart disease of epidemic proportions. As noted by Dr. Mark Hyman,22 director of the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine and author of “Eat Fat, Get Thin”: “For 35 years we’ve been told to eat low fat, but the result is that we’ve cut fat and eaten a ton of carbs and sugar, which accounts for the corresponding surge in obesity, diabetes and other related ills over the same time period.”
So to be clear, healthy fats are not bad! And when we’re talking about healthy dietary fats, we’re referring to natural, unprocessed fat, found in real foods like raw grassfed dairy, meats, pastured eggs, seeds, nuts, butter, olives, avocado, coconut oil and raw cacao (a phenomenal source of healthy saturated fats and many beneficial polyphenols).