Saturated fat gets a bad rap. But as I've read up on the issue, and looked past opinions and assumptions, I've come across some interesting and under-played research.
Here's some of the information I've found.
Studies that at first glance seem to identify saturated fat as complicit in heart disease, are not looking solely at diets high in fat, but also high in carbohydrates. And more recent research point to carbohydrates as the hazard.
Saturated fats, when combined with a low carbohydrate intake, do not affect your arteries or your blood sugar. The lower the carbohydrate, and the higher the saturated fat, the lower the amounts of fat, blood sugar and insulin glutting your bloodstream.
A low carbohydrate, high saturated fat diet can actually improve atherosclerosis, diabetes, heart disease and insulin resistance, three of the biggest health scourges of our time.
The fat that you eat doesn't clog your arteries. High levels of blood sugar and insulin cause the storage of excess fat, the higher levels of fat in the bloodstream and the arterial inflammation causing cholesterol problems. And these high blood sugar and insulin levels are carbohydrate-driven.
Fact is, our bodies make significant use of saturated fats when it can get them.
Saturated coconut oil fights viruses and raises HDL (good cholesterol). Butter contains vitamins A and D, and butyric acid which defends against cancer. Lard, that vilified goo, is rich in monounsaturated fat that lowers LDL (bad cholesterol).
Think about it, half of the fatty acids in our cell membranes are saturated fats. Mother's milk is loaded with saturated fats and babies who don't get enough may suffer a failure to thrive.
Saturated fat is your heart's food of choice. The adipose (fat) stores near your heart have high levels of stearic and palmitic acids.
Healthy cell membranes and the manufacture of many hormones require saturated fats. These fats carry fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K.
Carotene can't be converted into vitamin A without saturated fats. Minerals can't be properly absorbed.