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Many of us have heard the term saturated fats, but we may not understand exactly what saturated fats are, or how they work exactly. The first thing that you should know is that saturated and unsaturated fats are found in quite a few different foods and that they are completely different. Since we know that too much saturated fat can raise your cholesterol and put you at risk for heart problems, the question then becomes how much saturated fat is safe to eat? The fact is, it is impossible to avoid having fat in our diet, but most people eat far too much fat, and when they do it is normally the saturated fats cause spikes in cholesterol and heart problems later in life. Most bad words are four letters, but one of the nastiest of them all (for women at least) has only three: F-A-T. For decades, fat was thought to be the culprit in obesity, heart disease and high cholesterol. This is found primarily in plant oils like canola, peanut and olive, as well as in avocados, nuts and seeds.
While Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats are both essential fats, in recent decades the ratio of these acids have become out of balance in the Western diet. These fats are primarily found in animal products (like red meat) and whole milk dairy products, but also are present in tropical vegetable oils (like coconut and palm oil) and, in small amounts, in poultry and fish. Trans fats are created by heating liquid vegetable oils in the presence of hydrogen gas, a process called hydrogenation. It's a scientific fact that grass-fed poultry, pork and beef are far richer in nutritious value than commercially fed livestock. Because meat from grass-fed animals is lower in fat than meat from grain-fed animals, it is also lower in calories. Meat from grass-fed animals has two to four times more omega-3 fatty acids than meat from grain-fed animals. In addition to being higher in omega-3s and CLA, meat from grassfed animals is also higher in vitamin E. We would be happy to talk to you about the benefits that grass-fed farms and ranches like Willow Creek Ranch have to offer consumers, and people concerned about their health and the health of the land. While we have been told to avoid saturated fats, most of us don’t know why and moreover, whether unsaturated fats should be avoided as well.


The exact amount depends upon the calories that you eat, but most experts agree that less than 10% of your calories should come from saturated fats. That includes the ten percent from saturated fats previously discussed, so you can make up the difference with unsaturated fats, above the saturated fats that you eat, to a maximum of thirty percent.
Try to stick to the recommended amounts of saturated and unsaturated fats and you will be thankful for it later on, as well as being on your way to creating healthy eating habits that will do much more than keep cholesterol in line.
Yet, (and here’s where the sceptics should take note,) the vastly popular low-fat diets that resulted haven’t exactly resulted in most people becoming healthier. People following traditional Mediterranean diets, which are very high in foods containing monounsaturated fats like olive oil, tend to have lower risk of cardiovascular disease. This fat family includes the Omega-3 group of fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory and may have a positive impact on cardiovascular disease and even some types of cancer. While there is still some debate on its merits, saturated fats are required for many crucial functions in the body. Partially hydrogenating vegetable oils makes them more stable and less likely to spoil, which appeals to food manufacturers, but wreaks havoc on your body. Researcher Tilak Dhiman from Utah State University estimates that you may be able to lower your risk of cancer simply by eating the following grassfed products each day: one glass of whole milk, one ounce of cheese, and one serving of meat. This graph below shows vitamin E levels in meat from: 1) feedlot cattle, 2) feedlot cattle given high doses of synthetic vitamin E (1,000 IU per day), and 3) cattle raised on fresh pasture with no added supplements.
Here is some information on the differences between saturated fats and unsaturated fats and how you should use them. For instance, on a 2000 calorie per day diet, 200 of your calories should be coming from products that have saturated fat. That means, for a 2000 calorie per day diet, you should be getting 600 calories or less from fats, and 200 or less or those should be from saturated fats. In fact, quite the opposite is true, because instead of eating the healthy fats we’ve feared, we’re turning to processed foods that are high in refined carbs and sugars. To rebalance your intake of the omega fats:  avoid or limit vegetable oils such as corn or safflower oil, eliminate highly processed foods and increase consumption of omega-3 rich foods such as salmon, flaxseed oil and walnuts. They make up half of cell membrane structure and enhance calcium absorption and immune function. The bad news: most trans fats are found in vegetable shortenings, some margarines and a lot of delicious foods like baked goods, cookies, crackers and candy, so enjoy sparingly—or, even better, make your own sweets.


The greater the fat content, the greater the number of calories.) As an example, a 6-ounce steak from a grass-finished steer can have 100 fewer calories than a 6-ounce steak from a grain-fed steer.
You would have to eat five times that amount of grain-fed meat and dairy products to get the same level of protection. The meat from the pastured cattle is four times higher in vitamin E than the meat from the feedlot cattle and, interestingly, almost twice as high as the meat from the feedlot cattle given vitamin E supplements.
If you were to figure it out in grams, you can assume 1 gram of fat for each 10 calories, so on a 2000 calorie per day diet, around 20 grams should be your maximum. And while this may be a scary thought for the fat-o-phobes, bear with us, because fat is an essential part of a healthy and sustainable nutrition plan.
A great way to manage your saturated fat intake is to eat organic and lower fat meats whenever possible and, if you’re adventurous, eat more game, which contain more polyunsaturated and less saturated fat than domestic meat. If you eat a typical amount of beef (66.5 pounds a year), switching to lean grassfed beef will save you 17,733 calories a yeara€”without requiring any willpower or change in your eating habits.
People who have ample amounts of omega-3s in their diet are less likely to have high blood pressure or an irregular heartbeat. Unsaturated fats are heart healthy and can lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol.
If all Americans switched to grassfed meat, our national epidemic of obesity might diminish.
People with a diet rich in omega-3s are less likely to suffer from depression, schizophrenia, attention deficit disorder (hyperactivity), or Alzheimer's disease.
It has been estimated that only 40 percent of Americans consume an adequate supply of omega-3 fatty acids.
Switching to the meat, milk, and dairy products of grass-fed animals is one way to restore this vital nutrient to your diet.



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