What do we think here? Saturated fat. Good or bad? Maybe both?
Once again, I’m no expert but I tend to look at what has worked for people for thousands of years. Things that our ancestors ate. Things that nourished and sustained them generation after generation. These were not stupid, ignorant people who had no knowledge of science and technology. Actually, the more I learn about ancient cultures the more I realize that they were often a heck of a lot more in tune with the way the world and the human body worked than we are today. They were in tune with spiritual health as well as things on the physical side. So let’s take a look at some of the things they ate. Keep in mind that none of this stuff was overly cooked or fried as it is today. Cooking methods were a lot slower, a lot gentler, etc.
EGGS: Eggs have been eaten for a long time. Sometimes they agree with people. Sometimes not so much. The egg has a decent amount of saturated fat and has been consumed by people for a very long time. Can be consumed raw, lightly scrambled. A lot of other animals eat the eggs of other creatures.
COCONUTS/OIL: Coconuts and coconut oil are almost entirely saturated fat. They have this insulation so that they can survive the extreme heat in the tropics. Is it bad for us to eat? Well it depends on whether it sits well with you. Many people find coconut products to be a welcome addition to the diet. This is especially true of people whose ancestors lived in warm climates. I’m sorry but I just don’t believe a tropical fruit that has sustained people for so long is “Unhealthy.” More and more studies come out showing its beneficial effect on hormones, thyroid, skin/hair, on and on.
RAW DAIRY: This is a trickier one for me. This is something that other animals don’t really do. This is the milk product from another animal. Especially an animal that was domesticated by humans. You may say that no other animal drinks milk from another animal. This is more or less true. But are humans really like any other animal either? We have had at least 10,000 years of natural selection of people processing dairy products. Keep in mind that these have predominately been RAW dairy and not pasteurized crap. Not all people tolerate dairy very well regardless so this is ultimately a food that you will need to listen to your own intuition on. I think RAW butter is an excellent fat when it is required. The casein in milk may be harder for some to digest. Making these products into kefir or sour cream can help.
ANIMAL FAT: Again, somewhat tricky. If you look at traditional societies, most consumed some animal fat. Especially in regions where the weather is colder. Here is the thing though. They didn’t overly cook or fry these fats. Even “healthy” fish such as sardines and salmon contain some saturated fats. Fat seems to be one of the least resistant to damage from heat. Vegetables fare a lot better. So cooking in crock-pots, baking for hours, or any other form of slow cooking seems to work well here. Please don’t fry.
So what is the verdict? Is saturated fat bad for us? I would say no. Not as long as we are eating the RIGHT TYPES of saturated fat and not cooking it to hell along the way. These foods have sustained cultures for a very long time. Fat seems especially necessary in colder climates and less so in warm areas. So ultimately you need to use your intuition and judgement. There is a whole other class of fats that some people are drawn to. This includes things like olives, walnuts, almonds, and other plant fats. These have their uses too. Keep in mind that most of the “studies” with saturated fat are with things like high pasteurized cheeses, ice creams, butter, etc and lunch meats, sausages, you get the point =) So ultimately, try not to create a natural food that is OFF LIMITS for you. Remember, there are lions in the wild eating red meat everyday. There are Gorillas eating primarily leaves. We all developed differently on this planet. Humans are omnivores. We have proved this again and again. It’s just up to us to figure out what the proportions are. Happy eating =)