Many of us still automatically pick up the skimmed milk rather than the full-fat in the supermarket, or choose low-fat spreads instead of butter. Such shopping habits are the result of decades of official advice to cut back on foods containing saturated fats because they clog our arteries and raise the risk of heart attack. But recently there have been the rumblings of a dietary revolution, with claims that saturated fat has been unfairly demonised. Not only has swapping to skimmed milk and similar products done little to halt the rise in obesity and type 2 diabetes, but major scientific trials have acquitted saturated fat of responsibility for heart disease.
In the past week, Swedish researchers found that eating full-fat dairy products slashed the risk of type 2 diabetes. In the study of more than 2,500 people, those who ate eight or more portions of high-fat dairy products a day had a 23 per cent lower risk of developing the condition than those who ate one portion or less. And a Canadian study, published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, found that eating dairy products such as cheese and cream may be associated with lower blood pressure and blood sugar – both factors linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes and obesity.
Researchers found that people with healthier blood test results had a type of fatty acid in their blood that is associated with eating dairy food. These are the latest in a line of reports that suggest we shouldn’t be shunning the full-fat option.
Indeed, the new thinking is that removing saturated fat from our diet has been the problem, as it’s resulted in a major rise in our consumption of carbohydrates, especially sugar.
This pushes up our blood sugar levels – and keeping blood sugar levels high for years is associated with type 2 diabetes and weight gain. Her research has found, for instance, how our love affair with the Mediterranean diet was encouraged by the opportunities for scientists and journalists to attend all-expenses-paid conferences in luxury hotels, all funded by the olive oil industry. More dangerous, she claims, is that the effect of demonising saturated fats has been to expose us to two far more toxic substances. First, trans fats – the vegetable oils that have been artificially hardened into solids and which are now known to raise cholesterol levels, so are rarely used.
One result was that saturated fats in processed food were replaced by an artificial form – trans fats. These are made from unsaturated vegetable oils that are normally liquid at room temperature. In the Forties, researchers found these molecules can lead to cirrhosis of the liver and early death in animals. Conferences held in the Nineties in beautiful Mediterranean locations encouraged far more scientific investigation and favourable media coverage of the Mediterranean diet than similar diets such as the South Beach, the Zone and Atkins.
The Mediterranean diet itself comes out equally poorly in terms of heart protection: the data shows that it is merely better than a standard low-fat diet, says Teicholz. A low-fat diet has been especially damaging to women who’ve stuck to the advice faithfully. The science is still uncertain, but the message that seems to be emerging is that full-fat milk might not be such a guilty pleasure after all.
It is the type of fat in your diet is just as important as the volume of fats in your diet.


Unsaturated fats (un-saturated fats) are healthier than saturated fats, because they have a much lower effect on increasing blood cholesterol. These are usually found from plant based foods such as olive oil, olives, avocado and avocado oils, peanuts, cashew nutes, canola oil and seeds, sunflower oil, rapeseed and good quality vegetable spreads. Unsaturated fats can help reduce blood cholesterol and help to provide the body with essential fatty acids need to do every bodily functions. Before you get amazed with the numerous foods that are actually healthy for the heart, the list of the NO foods will be kinda overwhelming.
Consumption of trans fats must be limited or completely omitted because they significantly increase cholesterol level in the blood. If you love cheese, ice cream, butter, meat, creams, and food with coconut oils, you better cut back on them because they are high in saturated fat.
In March, for example, an authoritative British study involving half a million people found that those who ate saturated fat were no more likely to develop heart disease than those who filled their trolley with low-fat yoghurts and fish. Those put on a high-fat, very low-carbohydrate diet did much better than those on the standard diabetic diet, which is low in fat.
Her own moment of revelation came when the newspaper she was working for sent her to do restaurant reviews. Yet these have been shown to increase the production of destructive free radical molecules in the body that can cause damage to cells and the genetic information they contain. To make them suitable for baking, they were made harder by bubbling hydrogen through them (hydrogenation). The scandal, Teicholz shows, is that even back in the Fifties, research had shown they might be dangerous.
Its solution has been to use even more exotic chemistry to develop new ways of making vegetable oils solid. She says the positive image of olive oil owes much to $250 million-worth of European Union public relations funding.
Omega 3 fatty acids are a type of unsaturated fats and can be found in oily fish such as mackerel, sardines, tina, salmon and trout.
It is the Fear of Fats and it needs to stop now.This is the first in a three-part series on fats that will focus on saturated fats, unsaturated fats, and trans fats. It’s overwhelming because the substances that can have great impact on health are found in almost every food in the grocery – the trans fats and saturated fats. Unfortunately, trans fats are present in many commercial baked goods that we love, including cakes, tacos, pizza, crackers, muffins, pies, cookies, chocolate drinks, French fries, potato nuggets, pop corn, you name it. They lost twice as much weight and were able to cut back on their medication four times faster. I’m starting with saturated fats because who doesn’t love controversy (as I found out with the attention this post got)? And partially hydrogenated oil make your taste buds fonder for more, it’s so hard to say no. Aside from checking food product labels, you may request not to include or limit the amount of saturated fat-rich ingredient in the food ordered in restaurants.


It will also be wise if you stay away from cholesterol-packed foods such as meats, fish, poultry, egg yolks, organ meats and dairy foods, not in chips and cookies. Well, that and a significant amount of stress for parents trying to protect their children from poor health.
If you or somebody at home is suffering from heart problems and is at high risk of heart attack, do not bring them at home foods that contain high amounts of trans fats.
If fatty acid has all single bonds between carbons and thus as many hydrogens as possible bind to the carbons, the acid is said to be saturated with hydrogens.The carboxyl group for each of these fatty acids is on the right hand side. On the saturated fat, there are 24 total hydrogen atoms and on the unsaturated fat there are only 18 total hydrogen atoms.Then we get to unsaturated fats and interesting things happen. In an unsaturated fat, the two or more carbons share a double bond, and thus, there are fewer hydrogens. In a standard saturated fat, the hydrogens bonded to the carbons are on the same side (hence the cis-fat molecule). The bend is essential in biology because it adds fluidity to cell membranes, especially at low temperatures, while straight saturated fats add stability even at high temperatures.Now, what happens if we want to make these unsaturated fats straight? It is called a trans-fat because those two carbons attached to the double bonded carbons are on opposite sides.
Notice that the trans-fat is straight–by chemically modifying the saturated fats in olive oil, we can take the bend out, allowing the molecules to pack more efficiently, and resulting in a solid at room temperature.
Can anyone say olive oil margarine?Okay, so saturated fats are lots of carbon and hydrogen. Basically, more developed nations were more likely to correctly identify a heart attack as the cause of death and they had more animal foods available, so there appeared to be a correlation between saturated fat and heart disease. Lauric acid (a 12 carbon chain), myristic acid (14 carbons), and palmitic acid (16 carbons) all increase the so-called bad cholesterol, but increase the good cholesterol, too, resulting in a neutral effect and don’t negatively affect the ratio between HDL and LDL cholesterol (good and bad, respectively). In some studies, the ratio was even improved, but the discussion about cholesterol will have to wait for another day and another post.So, I can eat saturated fats?Yep! Eggs from free-range chickens are healthier for you, and provide more nutritional bang for your buck. Dairy products and beef are better for you when they come from grass-fed cows–stearic acid is found in greater quantities in these cows. Other dairy add meat depends on what that particular animal is made to eat.There is so much to say about the health of the animal that any animal based foods come from, but if you made it to the end of this post, you know that it is a topic for another day. Required fields are marked *CommentName * Email * Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email.



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