Saturated Fat for Men: Fact & Fiction

saturated fats
Image by: ebru
By Robert Spencer

Everyone gives saturated fat the short end of the stick. Think about it, a few years ago our relatives and ancestors pretty much ate tubs of lard, butter, bacon, and they put cream in everything. They didn’t have to think twice about those choices. How is it that now, we’re linking saturated fat to horrible, life-threatening diseases? In fact, we’ve been told that too much saturated fat can and will lead to heart disease.

But the latest research shows that saturated fats don’t lead to heart disease at all. Have our wives and girlfriends been taking away our butter, bacon, and steaks for nothing? This led me to do even more extensive research about the secrets and truths about saturated fats.

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#1) What are Saturated Fats?

There are several types of fat (and no, they’re not all bad). Saturated fats are a type that can raise your cholesterol levels. It used to be known as “one of the bad kinds” of fat. However, that is slowly beginning to change.

Foods that contain saturated fats are normally foods that come from animal sources (like meat and dairy products). You can get saturated fats from cream, butter, cheese, milk, beef, pork, lamb, etc. You can even get saturated fats from some plant products like coconut oil and palm kernel oil.

The American Heart Association suggests that you keep your saturated fat intake to about 7 percent of your total caloric intake. Don’t want to do the math? It’s something like, for every 1000 calories you eat, 70 of them should be from saturated fats.

#2) Saturated Fats and Heart Disease

There is no evidence that links saturated fat to heart disease. Can you believe it? I feel like I’ve been lied to my entire life. There can be a number of reasons for a person to develop heart disease: sugar, inflammation, toxins, stress, etc. However, eating too much saturated fat isn’t one of them.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not telling you that you can go crazy with saturated fats now. It’s not great for you but it’s not bad (overall) either.

So what was behind this “saturated fat causes heart disease” theory? Well, eating foods that contain saturated fats raises the cholesterol in your blood. Heart.org says that “high levels of blood cholesterol increase[s] your rise of heart disease”. But new information is saying that the biggest agitator for heart disease may just be sugar. And we’ve been shoveling sugar into our mouths in record amounts for the past few decades.

#3) Saturated Fats and Steaks

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that eating lean beef can actually improve your cholesterol levels. In fact, if you’re on a low fat diet and you incorporate lean beef into that diet, you could reduce your risk for heart disease. Oh, the hits just keep on coming. Someone bring me a steak!

Steak Dinner with Rioja
Image by: wickenden

#4) Saturated Fats and a Healthy Diet

So how are we supposed to incorporate a healthy amount of saturated fats into a healthy diet? Well, for one thing, we are changing how we view healthy diets. More now than ever, we need to decrease the amount of sugar that we are taking in every day. Sure it makes our foods taste good, but it also increases our risk for life-threatening diseases like diabetes and heart disease.

The key to incorporating saturated fats into your diet is to do so in moderation. Don’t grab all the bacon on the plate. Remember portion and serving sizes when you snack and during dinner. Eat on smaller plates. Bring some saturated fats into your main course and then fill up on veggies if you’re still hungry.

Also, think about the foods that you love and their saturated fat content. If you love your bacon and want to grab a couple of extra pieces in the morning, then you may want to skip out on the potato chips for the day.