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Why are saturated fats not the enemy you always thought?

Saturated fats have always been touted as the worst enemy and considered unhealthy for you. But is that really the case? Turns out, it has a bad reputation for no reason. In fact, it is a crucial nutrient for maintaining overall health.
Are saturated fats the worst?
Saturated fats are not bad for your health. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Vipul Sanadhya Published: 5 May 2023, 12:00 pm IST
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Dietary fat is a fat present in your diet and important for your health. It comprises different fats, including saturated fat – the one that has always been touted as “bad” for you. You must have heard that ingesting saturated fat is unhealthy or it may lead to a rise in your cholesterol, etc, at one time or the other. Well, this is a hotly contested topic, but we are here to put your minds at rest and end the argument once and for all.

Saturated fats do not raise your cholesterol and do not cause a detrimental effect on your health. It is a combination of saturated fats with refined carbohydrates and salt in your body that results in an unhealthy environment. But these fats are not your enemy, the carbohydrates maybe.

saturated fats
Read on to know if saturated fats are good for your health or not. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Are saturated fats bad for your health?

Saturated fats are found in dairy products such as butter, cheese and ice cream, as well as beef, lamb, pork, coconut, palm oil and more. Well, you must know the benefits of saturated fats you should know:

1. Important for your brain functions

Over 75 percent of the cholesterol is naturally produced by your body. These fats show extremely insignificant increases in the serum or blood cholesterol levels. Your brain is the control centre of your complete body, including saturated fats. Did you know that 60 percent of your brain is composed of the same, which makes it important.

Also Read: These 8 nutritionist-recommended foods will keep your brain healthy and sharp

2. Your hormones need it

Saturated fat also important for your hormones. This category of fat helps in the formation of the base of steroidal hormones such as cortisol, oestrogen, testosterone and progesterone. If these hormones are not present, your body will not be able to function properly.

3. Consumption of vitamins is not possible without saturated fats

Your body needs saturated fat to process the vitamins that you consume. For example, we get vitamin D from the sun, but without the presence of your friendly neighbourhood fats, our bodies cannot synthesise or utilise them. Vitamin A, D, E, and K are all fat-soluble and need saturated fats to be absorbed into your body.

Saturated fats benefits
Saturated fats helps in vitamin absorption. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

4. Vital for all bodily functions

Cells are the building blocks of our body, present in our body from blood to organs have a membrane. This membrane protects the cell from the outside, governing what goes in and out of your cell. Essentially acting as a defensive layer. How is it formed you ask? With the help of saturated fats!

Also Read: Not all fats are the same! Here’s how to tell which ones your body needs

5. Good for bones

Even our bones require these fats. Our bones are made of calcium but synthesising this calcium requires fatty acids made up of saturated fats. So, it is  required there as well!

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Educating yourself about what you consume is a crucial step to help you in your journey towards a healthier and fitter life. Just because you hear something is bad for you, as many people claim saturated fats to be, does not make it true. They are not your enemy, but essential and extremely useful for your body’s functioning. So stop fearing them, and let them do their job.

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About the Author

Vipul Sanadhya is a certified sports nutritionist. He is also a certified personal trainer from the K11 school of fitness and holds a diploma in personal training for the special population (people with injuries, pregnant women) too. For the last 5 years, Vipul has been working as a nutrition consultant and a personal physical trainer/consultant. ...Read More

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