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

I have had chronic neck pain for over twenty years which improved significantly as a result of Dr. Somody's treatment.

Similarly, my daughter has had lower back pain for many years, which had dramatic improvement as a result of Dr. Somody's treatment.

She had low back soreness often, especially at night or when she was resting.

That disappeared very quickly as a result of the first Bowen therapy session.

This shift seemed to stick, too - she hasn't needed any more treatment in almost a year, and now barely even mentions her back.

Her stomach pain - it seemed that she had a low-level of parasites that were really good at hiding from her immune system.

Something about the treatment - the mind-body connection, perhaps, or the homeopathics, Bowen [therapy] sessions, dietary counselling, or something else - all I know is that she doesn't even mention her stomach now, and hasn't since the first session.

It's more difficult to judge the effect of the treatment on her anaphylactic allergies, as we've been trying to avoid her biggest anaphylactic triggers.

However, whatever the reason, she hasn't any anaphylatic attacks in the year since she began Dr. Somody's treatment.

Her dyslexia's also dramatically improved to where it could be considered cured, or at least so small that it barely interferes with her life.

Dr. Somody has been both professional and respectful in his care of both my daughter and myself.

I have great regard for Dr. Somody, and for the health results he has achieved in attending to both myself and my daughter.

Catherine Matthews, West Vancouver, BC

My meniere’s disease, including the vertigo and nausea, went away after I was treated by Dr. Andy’s remedy, and the recurrences have become increasingly less frequent and intense. I've been doing so well that I haven't needed treatment for months!

F.L., Richmond, BC

Dr. Andy's homeopathic remedy really helped to eliminate the lichen planus I had been dealing with. My sex drive and ability to have sex without pain have also gotten much better with the homeopathy and naturopathic counselling.

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I didn't think alternative medicine, naturopathy or homeopathy could make my eyes better, but they are!

Not perfect yet, but getting better with every treatment.

My back pain is also much less with the Bowen Therapy.

And the homeopathy, neuroemotional releases and biofeedback have also helped me lose 35 pounds and keep it off.

Dave Smith, Maple Ridge, BC

When I was first introduced to homeopathy by Dr Andy Somody, I was skeptical about treatment, thinking it may be something superstitious or spiritual. Nonetheless my curiosity prompted me to give it a try.

I was impressed when Dr. Andy was able to first improve and then cure my spitting of blood and aches in my neck and arms areas. These issues had been bothering me for several months (or even years) and had not responded to Western medicine, but were cured under Dr. Andy's treatment.

I've since realized homeopathy involves not just physical healing, but mental and emotional forms of healing as well. Unlike the regular doctor who usually sees one only through a physical model, visits to Dr Andy also helped me be in touch with my inner self, a part which I've left behind for years in this high-paced society. 

I've become more at peace with myself, more calm, more patient and understanding as a human being.

I believe some sicknesses and diseases are emotional and not purely organic in nature. Homeopathy seems to address conditions where regular Western medicine cannot. It is drug-free and it treats the person as a whole being and not just a body part.

This is for those who are looking for a trust-worthy and responsible healthcare provider who sees people as individuals and not one of the masses, who gives customized good service irregardless of one’s financial status, beliefs or creed, a doctor who dedicates his life and stays committed to his calling even at the expense of his time and energy.

I do not give testimonies freely but I give credit when credit is due.

I was glad I took my first step towards homeopathy with Dr Andy Somody. Not only have I benefitted from it, on the lighter side, I’ve also found a new friend here in Vancouver.

Dr. Edison Teo, Vancouver (Kerrisdale), BC

My voice was always raspy, and it would hurt to talk too much.

And I'd be coughing up phlegm and mucus even when I was healthy, especially after getting up in the morning.

Then when it'd get damp, I wouldn't be able to even breathe very well.

Andy's homeopathy remedy and bowen therapy made a huge difference overnight., and things have just kept improving every time I've seen him.

Alex, West Vancouver (Bowen Island), BC

We were all very scared for my daughter before we took her to see Dr Andy.

She's so sensitive, she can be really loving and warm.

But she would also feel completely abandoned, ashamed and hurt from even small things.

It had gotten so bad that she had started cutting, drinking, using drugs to cope.

Dr Andy's homeopathy remedy seemed to make something shift in her.

I think the mental-emotional releases and perhaps the bowen therapy also helped.

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And the best part is that she hasn't tried to hurt herself in months and her moods seem much more stable overall.

B.E., Delta (Ladner), BC

I was suicidally depressed, and had really bad sinus, head and joint pain when I came to see Andy. His homeopathic remedy and naturopathic treatment turned my life around within weeks and - more than 5 years later - I'm doing better than ever!

M.C., Vancouver (Kerrisdale), BC

The cancer had made me so frustrated and slowed down.

Time was my enemy, and I had to get better.

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So when the doctors told me the cancer had gone into partial remission, I wasn't surprised.

Colin Wood, Delta (Ladner), BC

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