Are Saturated Fats Really Bad for You?
What are fatty foods and are they harmful?
- Fatty foods are those that are high in saturated fat
- This includes things like fatty meats, lard, full-fat dairy products like cream and butter
- Saturated fats are often solid at room temperature, whereas unsaturated like olive oil, tend to be liquid.
But why were these associated with a harmful diet and regulatory diseases such as heart attacks? It was found that high levels of cholesterol in the bloodstream often lead to an increased risk of heart disease, which is the biggest cause of death in the UK (1). Saturated fats were found to increase the levels of cholesterol, so it seemed the solution would be to cut saturated fats out of your diet. Fatty foods have also been linked to weight gain.
Can saturated fats cause heart disease?
For that reason, many health institutions advised people to undertake diets low in saturated fat and some still do. But this issue is complicated, and there’s no actual evidence that eating saturated fats will increase the chances of heart disease (2). In fact, there are actually some benefits to including saturated fats in your diet.
There are two kinds of cholesterol, bad and good, and although saturated fats can increase the level of bad, they also increase the level of good cholesterol too. The other problem that removing saturated fats can cause is that they are often replaced with something else, which can often be sugar.
Fats vs Sugar
A large amount of processed low-fat foods are high in sugar content, although this is not always the case. Diets high in sugar have been known to be a contributing factor in a number of health issues such as diabetes and obesity. Although there is no direct correlation, it is interesting to see how the levels of obesity have continued to rise over the years since it was recommended we had a diet low in saturated fats (3). Some of these are highlighted below:
- Added sugar contains no essential nutrients and is bad for your teeth
- Sugar can cause insulin resistance, which is one of the causes that lead to diabetes
- It’s highly addictive because it causes a release of dopamine in the brain like abusive drugs
- Sugar is a leading contributor to obesity in both adults and children.
What’s the solution?
Although it might seem like the obvious answer, a well-balanced diet is still the best way to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Simply cutting things out of your diet won’t necessarily make you healthier and, depending on what you replace it with, could actually make your diet worse. Luckily, rice is extremely low in both sugars and fat, which is why it is a staple food around the world. Even our VeeTee Heat & Eat products are low in sugar and fat so you don’t need to worry about them affecting your diet.
1 – http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160105160709/http:/www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/vsob1/mortality-statistics–deaths-registered-in-england-and-wales–series-dr-/2014/sty-what-do-we-die-from.html
2 – http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2010/01/13/ajcn.2009.27725.abstract
3 – https://www.noo.org.uk/NOO_about_obesity/adult_obesity/UK_prevalence_and_trends