Saturated Fats are Essential – Here’s Why

Though present-day nutrition advice would suggest otherwise, saturated fat is essential to staying healthy and actually lowers our risk of disease. With the 3 saturated fats we consume most having beneficial impacts on cardiovascular risk factors – including, but not limited to, the conversion of essential fatty acids in the liver, and the elevation of HDL (good) cholesterol.

The Malmo Diet and Cancer Study from 2005 found the lowest heart death rates in men consuming the majority of their calories (>50%) from fat.


In fact, a good HDL score is only achievable from a healthy intake of saturated fat, and when those saturated fats are used to replace carbohydrates, we also see a reduction in circulating triglycerides.  Meaning, an improvement in the 2 most critical biomarkers for assessing your risk of heart disease.

Research from Harvard Medical School determined that those with high triglyceride and low HDL cholesterol have a 6 times greater risk of heart attack.

As we touched on briefly in Eat Meat & Stop Jogging, one of the reasons there’s been conflicting evidence about saturated fat and heart disease in the past, is that carbohydrates were never reduced.  So, we basically used a group of sugar-burners to asses the impact of dietary fat on heart disease risk factors:

guy eating high carb high fat

The reality is, dietary saturated fats are ABSOLUTELY necessary for our bodies to function optimally, as they are responsible for nutrient absorption, membrane and hormone building, and vitamin conversion and transport. They’re also:

And frankly, if they held no value, we wouldn’t have evolved to produce in breast milk. Also known as, the most important growth and nourishment phase of our lives.

baby hungry

The sad part is, government and medical professionals continue to push us away from butter (and other saturated fats) and towards vegetable oils (and other polyunsaturated fats).  When really, it’s the UNsaturated fats causing the plaque build-up and cell damage (because of their susceptibility to oxidation), and it’s the carbohydrates elevating the detrimental biomarkers (like triglycerides and small-dense LDL cholesterol particles).

“In an attempt to eliminate the one-thing we were misled to believe was causing heart disease (saturated fat), we supplied alternatives that were more detrimental (sugar and PUFA oils).” Eat Meat And Stop Jogging

But what’s even more sad, is that this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the disastrous and debilitating effects we’re now experiencing because of the misleading advice to eat less fat (1, 2).  Especially, when you loo at those related to the brain.

Stay Lean!

Coach Mike


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Heart Disease: Get Your Fats Straight