Recent clinical trials clearly show that diets higher in fat and little to no carbohydrates improved overall health – reduced risks for diabetes, heart disease, and other medical/health issues. Saturated plant oils are extremely healthy. However, a false campaign was raised against coconut and palm oil in the 1980s. If you ‘follow the money’, you will see exactly what and why that happened.
There were never any tests done to prove or disprove the efficacy of saturated plants oils. It was assumed that saturated animal fats caused heart disease, therefore, any saturated fat caused heart disease. It turns out that both premises are wrong – saturated animal and plant fats do not cause heart disease. Saturated plant oils have been used for millennia around the world.
As humans, we need to eat foods that contain essential fatty acids. Our bodies do not make this type of fat. Therefore, we must rely on our diet to supply these nutrients. Alpha-linolenic acid is an omega-3 fatty acid. Linoleic acid is an omega-6 fatty acid. Excess omega-6 fatty acids can cause inflammation in your body. The proper ratio is 1:1 of omega-6 to omega-3. Anything in excess of 4:1 omega-6 to omega-3 is considered inflammatory. It is not uncommon to find ratios of 20:1 or much higher in the American diet.
Heating vegetable oils create compounds that are not healthy for our bodies. Saturated fats are not oxidized when heated. When choosing an oil for use in cooking or baking, chose one that has the least amount of processing. Look for unfiltered, unrefined and cold pressed. The more processing done to an oil degrades it health benefits.
There are dozens of different saturated fats. Each is unique. Palmitate is found in the highest concentrations in our foods. It comes primarily from butterfat and beef fat. It has been shown to increase inflammation more than other saturated fats, especially in the obese. It is not inflammatory when consumed with olive oil or fish oil. Myristate (from milk) raises LDL cholesterol, but stearate (cocoa butter, animal fats) does not. Butyrate (butter) improves insulin sensitivity.