Fat. It’s a work we hate and are generally afraid of. No matter if we’re talking about a dietary requirement or the annoying flabs on our bodies, no one wants to hear it. But the fact is, your body needs fats along with other macronutrients in order to stay healthy. The problem comes from the wrong types of fats, and too many of them. Here’s a look at saturated fats, what they do, and whether they help you or hurt you:
1. Saturated fats have long been blamed for increasing your heart disease risk.
The question of whether or not saturated fats are bad was thought to have been answered, but after reviewing over 70 studies on the subject, researchers realized that thus far, there has been no evidence to suggest that consumption of saturated fats leads to heart disease. So, does that mean they’re good?
2. What are saturated fats found in?
Some of the misinformation surrounding saturated fats might have come from what they’re found in: red meat, cheese, butter, and processed baked goods. None of those are supposed to be particularly good for you, are they?
3. Saturated fats and their link to cholesterol.
Now we come to the actual facts. Saturated fats are not contributors to heart disease as far as we know, but they are linked to higher cholesterol levels. Cholesterol in general isn’t all bad, but LDL cholesterol is more harmful and is the type that saturated fats can promote. So, for this reason, you should be careful about saturated fats but you don’t have to avoid them entirely. What is recommended by most nutritionists is to replace saturated fats with polyunsaturated where you can. Polyunsaturated is the only type of fat that has conclusively been shown to reduce your risk of heart disease.