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When we say the words cholesterol and heart attack in the same sentence we tend to think FAT, especially animal fat, which many mistakenly believe is comprised of only saturated fat or ‘bad’ fat. Firstly, a number of good studies show that saturated fat is not ‘bad’ and is actually good for us. Secondly, 100% pure animal fat such as beef lard contains less than 50% saturated fat – the balance being mainly monounsaturated fat (yes- just like Olive oil) and polyunsaturated fat.

A number of plant-based fats are saturated fats. A good example is coconut oil, which research has shown is really good for us. It’s easily digested, unlike sugar and other chemicals that often find their way into the body through diet. Our liver does not have to work hard to metabolise coconut oil. Remember that the only bad fats are margarine, trans-fats and lots of Omega-6 fats (seed oils).

Saturated fats makes up most of the fat found in the membrane of our cells. If nothing else, that has to tell you that saturated fat is NOT bad for us. A very big study – the Women’s Health Initiative revealed that women who ate more saturated fat had less heart disease than those who did not.

Fat Consumption went down while disease prevalence increased. South African Medical Research data reveals that our burgeoning epidemics of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and dementia were all occurring while we reduced our consumption of animal fats dramatically – by about 70% between 1995 and 2005!

In addition to coconut oil, other good fats include animal fats (including eggs and dairy), omega-3 oily fish (salmon, tuna, pilchards), extra virgin olive oil, nuts, avocado, and seeds in their natural form. If you have any questions or comments relating to this week’s post please email me at askdrhill@upforit.co.za.