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Saturated Fat

The Importance Of Saturated Fat

March 16, 20232 min read

Saturated fat is a type of fat that has long been demonized for its supposed negative effects on health. However, recent research has challenged this notion and suggests that saturated fat is actually an important nutrient for the body. In this article, we will explore the reasons why saturated fat is important to the body and review some of the latest research on this topic.

  1. Saturated fat is a major source of energy

Saturated fat is a dense source of energy, providing nine calories per gram. This makes it an important fuel source for the body, particularly during times of low-carbohydrate availability. The brain, which is particularly dependent on glucose for energy, can also use ketones produced from saturated fat as an alternative fuel source.

  1. Saturated fat plays a role in hormone production

Saturated fat is a precursor to many important hormones, including testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone. These hormones play a critical role in regulating many bodily functions, including growth, reproduction, and metabolism.

  1. Saturated fat supports brain health

The brain is composed of approximately 60% fat, much of which is saturated. Saturated fat is essential for maintaining the structural integrity of brain cell membranes and supporting the development and function of the nervous system.

  1. Saturated fat aids in vitamin absorption

Fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D, E, and K are essential for many bodily functions, including bone health, immune function, and vision. Saturated fat helps the body absorb and utilize these important vitamins.

  1. Saturated fat may improve heart health

Contrary to popular belief, recent studies have shown that saturated fat intake may not increase the risk of heart disease as previously thought. In fact, some studies have suggested that replacing carbohydrates with saturated fat may actually reduce the risk of heart disease.

Sources:

  1. Eyres, L., Eyres, M. F., Chisholm, A., & Brown, R. C. (2016). Coconut oil consumption and cardiovascular risk factors in humans. Nutrition Reviews, 74(4), 267-280.

  2. Hu, T., Mills, K. T., Yao, L., Demanelis, K., Eloustaz, M., Yancy Jr, W. S., ... & He, J. (2019). Effects of low-carbohydrate diets versus low-fat diets on metabolic risk factors: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled clinical trials. American Journal of Epidemiology, 188(5), 181-191.

  3. Schwingshackl, L., & Hoffmann, G. (2014). Dietary fatty acids in the secondary prevention of coronary heart disease: a systematic review, meta-analysis and meta-regression. BMJ open, 4(4), e004487.

  4. Wolfe, R. R. (2017). The underappreciated role of muscle in health and disease. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 105(5), 957-959.

  5. Wu, J. H., Lemaitre, R. N., Imamura, F., King, I. B., Song, X., Spiegelman, D., ... & Mozaffarian, D. (2017). Fatty acids in the de novo lipogenesis pathway and risk of coronary heart disease: a case-cohort study. The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, 5(11), 975-985.

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