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

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.

It was hard to see the changes day-by-day at first, but the difference between the way she is now and how she was a few months ago is obvious to all of us.

She's still as loving and kind as ever, but the negative emotions don't affect her so much.

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

Before your homeopathic remedy, neuroemotional releases, and Bowen technique, my heart, eyes, legs and emotions were all twitchy and anxious.

Now I'm calmer and healthier physically and emotionally.

Not to mention that I understand the real reason that I was getting all of these twitchy nervous symptoms in the first place.

Some things that I barely even mentioned in our first session, like the pain in my big toe and the numbness and pain on the bottom of my foot, have improved since your naturopathic treatment.

Adam S., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

I passed the stone with much less pain this time thanks to your homeopathic and neuroemotional treatment.

And I haven't had any stones since.

My muscles and sciatic nerve are not so inflammed since your Bowen technique therapy.

W.B., Maple Ridge (Haney), BC

Thank you for such a thorough homeopathic treatment.

My eyes feel much better already.

I've stopped having that irritating feeling of something always being in my eye.

I notice I'm only blinking or tearing up like how a normal person would.

The ophthamologist had recommended surgery last year, but a few months after your homeopathic remedy, he told me it's no longer necessary.

Christopher, Victoria (Metchosin), BC

I've had three heart attacks, and my doctor told me I probably wouldn't survive another.

When he recommended Dr. Somody, I was afraid I would be put on a strict diet and exercise regime, or have to take lots of supplements.

But Dr. Somody just gave me one homeopathic remedy to take once, did some gentle Bowen therapy, and went back into the past causes behind my heart problems with his neuro-emotional releases.

I first noticed that I was less stressed in pressured situations, like at work or with my children.

I stopped getting the painful pressure in the chest, and could exercise and enjoy life again.

My blood pressure and weight have both dropped without me having to do anything with diet or exercise.

Although I think I am eating better now, since I seem to have a better internal sense of what is good for me now.

B.K., Quebec City, Quebec

I had lots of problems all over my body when I first was referred to you.

I peed myself when I laughed or jumped up and down, and felt like I constantly had to go to the bathroom, but nothing would come out.

My heart also felt like it was jumping out of my chest sometimes.

Homeopathy never had worked for me in the past, but your remedy really did the trick.

And the neuroemotional work helped me to recognize and let go of a bunch of old traumas I had been holding on to.

The exercises you gave me for the pelvic floor strengthening also seemed to help me get control of my bladder.

Lisa A., Langley (Aldergrove), BC

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

Before coming to see you, if I ate anything but raw food, I'd feel like my abdomen was so bloated, painful and swollen.

I would get tired and fuzzy in the head from eating almost anything!

Another naturopath diagnosed me with leaky gut, but the supplements she prescribed didn't really help that much.

Your homeopathic remedy and Bowen therapy made a huge difference though.

And I was happy to not have to take so many vitamins!

The mental-emotional technique also made me aware of the past events that had probably contributed to my health problems.

I also appreciated that you could tell me what foods were good for my body, and which foods I was allergic to.

Although, as you told me would happen, it seems these allergies have become less with time, I can now eat almost anything without having any gas, pain, confusion or tiredness.

Bernadette, Vancouver (West Point Grey), BC

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

Thanks Andy!

I'm more energized and alive than I was even before the beginning of the Addisons.

Aside from the minor, pretty-much negligible flare-up now and again, my eyes, hands and joints aren't inflammed and swollen anymore either.

I don't know how, since I didn't even tell you about it , but I can't remember when I last noticed the warts on the bottom of my feet.

They've become that much less painful and inflammed.

Carlos D., Las Vegas, Nevada

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