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

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

I feel like a new man thanks to the Bowen treatments!

No more pain, weakness, stiffness and restriction in my knee or shoulder.

The ganglion seems to have gotten a fair bit better too - at least it's stopped hurting.

Thanks, Andy.

James L., New Westminster, BC

I have been so fortunate to be one of Dr. Somody's patients and have to say that he is one of the most competent people I know.

I had painful stiffness, swelling, and arthritic pain in my hand joints.

And then it changed, and went to my tendons.

I would get throbbing pain in my fingers at night, I couldn't bend my fingers or work properly.

I also would get these little knobs or growths on the joints.

The joints would get really inflammed and red.

Some doctors once told me it was gout or a type of arthritis related to psoriasis.

I also had psoriasis that caused painful cracking and flaking skin on my hands.

Dr. Somody's homeopathic remedy and other naturopathic approaches made all these much better.

For instance after the first few days I could already notice the joints were less swollen and painful.

After a couple of months the joints, skin and tendons were at least 50% better.

They just kept getting better over the next few months and other than a rare flare-up I don't have these things any more.

I haven't had to see Dr. Somody or any other doctor again in years and I consider myself cured.

If it wasn't for him I would probably still be suffering from these problems or even unable to work.

 

Alex, North Vancouver, BC

 

More Testimonials

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

The homeopathic remedy Dr. Andy gave me really helped my focus and motivation, and my acne, dandruff and dermatitis have really improved under the naturopathic treatment.
My blood pressure is also a lot better since taking the homeopathic remedy.

Chris Y., Vancouver (Kerrisdale), BC

My 100 year old aunt suffered a bout of shingles after which she had severe neuralgic pain in her left arm and around her torso. The pain was so bad that even her clothing couldn't be tolerated.

Dr. Andy conducted a thorough interview and prescribed a wonderful remedy especially for her.

Within days the pain was forgotten by her body and mind and has never returned. 

Margaret Ball, Vancouver (Kitsilano), BC

Thank goodness for the bowen therapy!

I was worried I'd lose my leg because it was swollen and numb and sometimes painful to the touch.

All that changed after the bowen therapy.

The homeopathic remedy, and maybe the mental-emotional work, seemed to help too.

Actually, they must've helped, since I had a lot of other things get better too.

Like, I was concerned about my weight before, but I've lost 12 pounds in the past 4 months.

Even though that's not that much, I think I must've more muscle mass now, since people often comment on how much different I look.

Jen L., Burnaby (South Burnaby), BC

I just wanted to send you a big huge thank you!!

That cream is wonderful!

i put it on last night and this morning and my fingers feel great!

I have given my sister some of the cream that you gave me for my nephew and we think that it is helping and in fact their naturopath wants them to use it exclusively!

Julie V., North Vancouver (Delbrook), BC

My only reason for trying Dr. Andy's treatment was to help me quit smoking.

If that had been all that he did, I would have already been satisfied.

Needless to say, I was pretty blown away when the homeopathic remedy and neuroemotional releases not only helped me quit smoking (going on 1 year now) but also made my stools better (less painful, blood and frequent).

The Bowen therapy also seemed to make made me less depressed in winter, and helped straighten the curvature in my spine.

I also get hardly any pain during my flow now, and the flow isn't as crazy heavy as it was.

A.P., Victoria (Saanich), BC

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

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