Are Saturated Fats Healthy?

The story of saturated fats is rich and complex.

Much like the fats themselves.

Saturated Fats - Too Rich For Your Blood?

Saturated fats have been condemned for much of recent history.

Since the 1950s, saturated fat has been officially decried as a putative causative factor in cardiovascular disease.

For more than a half-century, cardiovascular research and prevention have been dominated by this lipid hypothesis - despite the fact that "the number of contradictory studies may exceed those that are supportive."

In unofficial circles, however, such demonization of saturated fat may be even older.

Nowhere is this demonization as evident - and literal - as in the century-old distinction between the fat-free Angel Food Cake and its buttery counterpart Devil's Food Cake.

Similarly, the similarly-aged idiom "too rich for my blood" suggests that popular association between fat and cardiovascular disease predates the lipid hypothesis.

And because, historically, the majority of dietary fat in Western cultures was derived from animal sources, "dietary fat" was equivocated to "animal fat" until at least the industrial revolution.

And, of course, "animal fat" = "saturated fat".

Or does it?

Saturated Fat Does Not Equal Animal Fat

"Saturated fat" absolutely does not equal "animal fat".

"Saturated fat" is, in fact, a complete misnomer.

"Saturated Fat" Doesn't Even Exist

Or, more precisely, no completely-saturated fat exists.

Saturated fatty acids, though, most definitely exist.

Each dietary fat is itself chiefly composed of a complex of fatty acids.

A complex which - for natural fat sources - varies with the environment and diet of the animal or plant from which that fat is derived.

"Saturated Fat" = "Solid @ Room Temperature"

When such saturated fatty acids comprise the majority of fatty acids, this fat is solid at room temperature.

Leading to the artificial, umbrella categorization of all such fats as "saturated".

Saturated Fat - Animal vs. Botanical

Many saturated fats are derived from animal sources.

But this is hardly exclusive.

Numerous plant-derived fats are considered saturated, including:

Such plant-derived saturated fats are widely reputed for their health benefits.

In direct contrast to the popular demonization of saturated fat in general.

So what makes plant-derived saturated fats different?

Solid At Room Temperature vs. Solid At Body Temperature

So any fat solid at room temperature is considered saturated.

But this is an artificial, arbitrary categorization.

After all, what's so special about "room temperature"?

It tells us nothing about how the fat will behave in the body.

A more useful division is based on body temperature.

Solid in the Body = Clotted in the Body

Dietary fats are not absorbed whole by the intestine, but are metabolised into free fatty acids and monoglyerides.

That notwithstanding, however, if a dietary saturated fat is solid at body temperature - at approximately 37°C (98.6°F) - it will tend to produce solid, saturated fatty acids in the body.

And solid = clotted.

The following tables summarize the melting points of several common plant-derived, animal-derived, and artificial saturated fats:

Natural Plant-Derived Saturated Fats
Fat Melting Point (°C)
Coconut Butter 24
Palm Kernel Oil 24
Mowrah Butter 24 - 28
Murumuru Butter 25 - 37
Illipe Butter 28 - 37
Shea Butter 31 - 38
Cocoa Butter 34 - 36
Sal Butter 34 - 38
Palm Oil 35
Kokum Butter 34 - 40
Natural Animal-Derived Saturated Fats
Fat Melting Point (°C)
Butter 32 - 35
Beef Tallow 35 - 40
Lard 35 - 45
Mutton Tallow 42 - 49
Suet 45 - 50
Cheese, Brie 51
Cheese, Mozzarella 57
Cheese, Cheddar 65
Cheese, Parmesan 82
Artificial Saturated Fats
Fat Melting Point (°C)
Margarine 34 - 43
Shortening 46 - 48

This data suggests an intriguing, elegantly-simple trend:

  1. Natural plant-derived saturated fats tend to be liquid at body temperature.
  2. Natural animal-derived saturated fats tend to be solid at body temperature.
  3. Artificial saturated "frankenfats" are solid at body temperature.

Not All Saturated Fat Is Created Equal

Now, other mechanisms - such as the high medium-chain triglyceride content of coconut butter and palm kernel oil - may certainly explain some of the health benefits of plant-based saturated fats.

Likewise, other mechanisms - such as a generally-high ratio of pro-inflammatory omega-6 to anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids - may underlie some of the negative health effects of animal-based saturated fats.

And there are no shortage of other mechanisms compounding the health dangers of trans-fat laden, artificial "frankenfats".

Yet, this simple divide - whether a saturated fat is solid or liquid at body temperature - beautifully mirrors the division between the noted health benefits of plant-derived saturated fats, and the health dangers associated with many animal-derived and artificial saturated fats.

Food for Thought

Too simple to be true?

Or the elegant simplicity of Occam's Razor?

Is this association truly solid and robust ?

Or - like the fats it describes - does it only appear to be solid under certain conditions?

Either way, this basic divide - whether a saturated fat is solid or liquid at body temperature - provides a practical, elegantly-simple tool for understanding and even predicting the health effects of a given saturated fat in vivo.

Naturopathic Medicine & Homeopathy Testimonials

Physically, I wasn’t sick in the sense of major disease or sickness. But if I was to keep going the way I was. I would have been for sure soon!

Being troubled with stomach issues for sometime, and having emotion issues I wasn’t even aware of.  

Before I met Dr. Andy Somody, my journey first started at a walk in clinic, where I was put through some blood and stool test after a quick intake. 

My test came back and I was told I have a parasite. I was put on antibiotics and it completely wiped me out. It wasn’t a pleasant experiences at all! 

After all that, I still had painfully stomach issues. I guess it wasn’t the parasite. That upset me a lot to think I poisoned my body for no reason with drugs. I was then told that I had IBS.

After doing some research about IBS I thought it was time to get a second opinion. Why do western doctors just treat the “what” and not want to figure out the “why” so it wont happen again? The reason I went to the walk in clinic in the first place was because my family doctor was a drug pusher who really didn’t listen to me and made me stupid for not wanting to put drugs into my system. 

I chose then to see Dr. Andy Somody.

I called him up made an appointment for the next Saturday. 

I was very pleased that I didn’t need to take anymore time off work and that he was available on Saturday.

My first appointment reassured me that this was the right choice for me.

Andy listened to everything I said.

He asked me question, that I never I been asked before.

He provoked thoughts in me that I never even new existed in me.

My cure was a simple but profound one.

I was stressed out from work and I was going down the wrong path in life. The balance in my life was way off.

I am pleased to say that the pieces of my life are coming together and I’ve never been happier!

(which I never thought could happen, because I thought I was already happy.)

The pieces were always there in front of me - I just didn’t know what to do with them.

I owe Andy for helping me figuring it out, by opening my mind and spirit.

By listening and showing me love and compassion.

Andy has a true calling for naturopathic medicine.

Which has inspired me do what I love.

I am free of all pains and have learnt the ability to listen to my body for what needs it has at the time.

Thank you, Dr. Andy!

Jennie Robinson, Richmond, BC

I haven't had any nerve pain, numbness or hand coldness since the Bowen therapy.

My skin and liver don't burn from the toxicity any longer, and I don't get the burning, red, itchy bumps on my face now either.

I've lost 48 pounds since the treatment started, and the signs of toxicity, like ringing in my ears, are now getting better too.

Kelly B, White Rock, BC

The homeopathic remedy treated all my sexual symptoms very well.

And I'm not constantly running to the bathroom.

Also, my MD told me my prostate is smaller now.

G.G., Coquitlam (Coquitlam Town Centre), BC

My blood sugar was crazy - going up and down, and really all over the map.

My eyes and kidneys were really getting destroyed by the diabetes, and I already had had problems with both of them before!

Andy's homeopathy, naturopathic and neuroemotional techniques helped my blood sugar stabilize when nothing else was helping.

I notice the swelling and urination problems are much less now. I even got new glasses because my vision's so much better!

Anna L, Pitt Meadows, BC

For about three years, I was suffering from unpleasant symptoms with my digestion which eventually triggered my social anxiety that was going to the extent of periodic panic attacks occurring in crowds, before going out of home or with no apparent or trivially discoverable reason.

At first, the remedy Andy gave me made some gradual, slow changes, but we weren't quite there, yet. Later on, Andy found some interesting homeopathic solutions that improved my quality of life big time. 

Like with any sensible approach, I didn't become absolutely okay overnight (and I still have some issues) but it looks like my social anxiety came down to a much more tolerable level and I forgot when was the last time I experienced a panic attack like I did before. Suffice to say, I am not obsessed with my condition anymore — and that's a huge step forward.

Also, the probiotics and various herbal medicines Andy gave me to improve my digestion were working quite well, albeit at times those solutions were rather temporary.

I don't normally take any of these things regularly now and yet my stomach is doing much better than before.

Thank you, Andy!

Yurii, Vancouver (Kerrisdale), BC

My daughter was going through a horrible period of battling with anorexia, bulimia, and cycles of binging, starvation, and over-exercise.

Her electrolytes were so messed up that, even though she would try to hide it, she was having major problems with coordination and concentration.

She hadn't had periods for at least two years, her hair, teeth and nails were weak and brittle, and the doctors said that she was heading towards osteoporosis.

Dr. Andy was so compassionate and helpful, and his homeopathic remedy and mental-emotional releases seemed to make a difference almost immediately.

Even though my daughter didn't start to gain weight for a couple of weeks, I could see her brighten, relax, and open to the possibility of change.

Little by little, she started eating a little more and relaxing her rigid ideas about food.

It also helped that Dr. Andy was able to tell her what foods were good for her body.

Today, my daughter is happy, healthy, and has no more concerns about weight or body image.

Her periods are normal again too, and she doesn't even have anymore bad dreams or disturbed sleep either.

J.D., West Vancouver (British Properties), BC

My daughter was horribly itchy before your homeopathic and neural-emotional treatments.

Anyway, now she's doing great.

The rashs on her thighs, genitals, and around her mouth are gone.

It doesn't seem to hurt her to pee now.

She also doesn't as irritable, even though she recently started teething.

O.W., Pitt Meadows, BC

The candida didn't go away right away after your homeopathic drops - but, by the next day, it seemed like it wasn't bothering me so much.

The emotional releases seemed to help me not have such smelly, gross armpit sweat, especially during or after sleep.

The perpetual weakness I'd had since mono now only affects me rarely, and isn't as debilitating as before.

And I've lost 31 lbs since the treatment began about 6 months ago.

I guess I've changed my diet, but it happened so gradually and naturally since your treatment that I didn't even realize anything had changed until my friends told me I was eating differently.

Deb L., Los Angeles (Huntington Beach), California

The standard doctors just kept giving me more antibiotics that did nothing.

But after the homeopathy and Bowen therapy, my fever started to go down, and so did the cellulitis.

Then my skin boils and impetigo slowly began to improve over the next few weeks.

My back also feels better and stronger now than it had before the Bowen and neuroemotional releases.

Clint M., Victoria, BC

The deep abscess and pustules don't bother me anymore - thank you!

My eyes and sleep are also better since the homeopathic remedy.

Katherine, Delta (Tsawwassen), BC

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