Fitness Myths – Episode 9 – Saturated Fats Are Bad For You

Fats is another one of those 4-letter words. We’ve written about one of them before. But Fats also get a bad rep, specifically Saturated Fats. It raises your cholesterol levels! It can lead to heart attacks! It’s a gateway “drug” to diabetes. It makes you fat!

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So the critics say…

Saturated fat was indirectly demonized in the Netflix documentary What The Health. We watched it so you wouldn’t have to. You’re welcome!

One of the driving forces behind the negativity towards Saturated Fat is the belief that it leads to Heart Diseases. There have been hundreds of studies done and billions of dollars spent researching this link. And the findings? By no means have they come close to a resounding “Yes! Saturated Fat causes heart disease.”

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According to the British Journal of Sports Medicine, coronary heart disease is a chronic inflammatory condition and not directly correlated to saturated fat intake. Interesting Dan (face emoji with hand on chin), tell us more…

*Quick Detour*

As many of you know, Houston is going through some tough times. We feel the need to help in whatever way we can. We’re jumping on board of JJ Watt’s fundraiser because it’s amazing seeing the passion he’s putting forth. We’ve uploaded a widget to his page on our homepage. If you would join us in contributing whatever you can – the people in Houston will appreciate it more than we’ll ever know. #PrayForHouston

*End detour*

So then the critics tend to point to the fact that Saturated Fat raises cholesterol level. Ok, maybe there is some traction here. Cholesterol could increase but cholesterol is a little more complex & not bad across the board.

Cholesterol is comprised of the following;

LDL – Low Density Lipoprotein. The “Bad Guy”

HDL – High Density Lipoprotein. The “Good Guy”

You cannot just account for “total cholesterol” increase and then assume that it’s bad (and you’re pretty much going to die). When you look at it from the perspective of its individual parts – LDL can certainly increase risk but HDL is proven to lower risk. HDL essentially helps sweep your arteries and remove that bad cholesterol.

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QUICK PLOT TWIST!!!

Recent studies have shown that LDL isn’t actually all bad. LDL can actually be broken down further;

Small, dense LDL – Small lipoproteins that can penetrate the arterial wall easily, which drives heart disease.

Large LDL – Lipoproteins are large and fluffy and don’t easily penetrate the arteries.

Not to bore you with the details, so we’ll keep it simple. Small LDL oxidizes quicker and is very bad and can actually increase your risk for heart diseases. The ironic thing is that the less fat we have, the more susceptible we are to increasing our small LDL. Eating saturated fat can actually change the profile of your LDL. Saturated Fat win!

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Oh man, there is just so much science going on. I can’t even!

Let’s really look at the problem here … The US is trending towards a massive obesity crisis. From a world perspective, the US is one of the highest when it comes to obesity rate. However, when you look at it, we’re the greatest world power ranked up there. So obviously there needs to be a scapegoat and Saturated Fat tends to take the fall often.

Check this little excerpt out… (article here, little outdate so you can imagine where we are now)

In 1990, not one U.S. state had an obesity rate greater than 14 percent, according to the CDC. Ten years later, 23 states reported an obesity rate between 20 to 24 percent. And in 2010, 36 states had an obesity rate of at least 25 percent, with 12 states reporting an obesity rate beyond 30 percent. (The CDC notes that it used a new methodology for its 2011 survey, rendering comparisons with past years rather rough.)

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Saturated fat is really not to blame. Diet, decreased activity and sleeping less are all major influencers when it comes to overall health.

Many Americans are always on the go. While choosing healthy options when eating out may be the goal, that is sometimes so hard to do. We’re either not within arms reach of something nutritions and often times what we think is nutritious actually isn’t.

Many Americans are working more. Between working the 9-5 (which really isn’t 9-5 anymore), chasing additional degrees, raising families and trying to keep a semblance of a social life… something has to get sacrificed. Most often that is gym time and taking care of your body. We also tend to skimp on sleep just to create more hours in the day. Both will certainly negatively impact your overall health.

Everything in moderation of course! So just stick to the basic fundamentals.

  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Don’t be afraid to treat yo-self from time to time (yolo)
  • Workout – shoot for 3 days a week
  • Sleep! Get your REMS in

What do you guys think? We would love to hear your opinions and feedback. Drop us a comment and lets talk!

 

 

*disclaimer. this is merely our opinions based off of our research. By no means are we advocating one way or another*

 

 

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