Unsaturated Fat vs Saturated & Coconut Oil

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Benefits of Replacing Saturated Fats with Unsaturated Fats

  • Decreases Cancer Risk
  • Lowers LDL Cholesterol Level and raises HDL Cholesterol
  • Decreases risk of Heart Disease
  • Can support weight loss
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Helps prevent insulin resistance
  • Helps control blood sugar

Sources

  • Typically, liquids at room temperature
  • Canola Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Safflower Oil
  • Sunflower Oil
    • Peanut Oil
    • Sesame Oil
  • Nuts and Nut Butters
  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Pecans
  • Pistachios
  • Seeds
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Flax Seeds
  • Chia Seeds
  • Watermelon Seeds
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Fish
  • Avocado

Myths about Saturated Fat
-All saturated fats are bad
Although saturated fat consumption has been linked to heart disease, there is newer evidence that certain types of saturated fats (in dairy and coconut oil) actually may be protective against heart disease. More research is needed, but all saturated fats may not be created equally.
 
-Saturated fats will give you heart disease
Recent studies show that dairy, in particular, is not correlated with heart disease. That being said, it has also been shown that replacing dairy fats with polyunsaturated fats can reduce the risk of heart disease, while replacing them with meat sources of saturated fats can increase the risk. It seems that meat sources pose the greatest risk for heart disease, dairy and other sources like coconut oil may not increase the risk, but unsaturated fats are of benefit.
 
-Saturated fats only come from meat
Saturated fats come from sources other than meat such as coconut oil, dairy, eggs and are included in desserts like donuts as well. In addition, not all meats are high in saturated fats, for example chicken contains low amounts of saturated fat.
 
-Eating foods containing fat will make you fat

  • Fat is an essential part of the diet. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends that 20%-35% of all calories should come from fat (<7% from saturated fat).

Saturated Fat
What is Saturated Fat?
Saturated fats are fat molecules that do not have double bonds and are saturated with hydrogen molecules. They are fats that at room temperature are usually solids
Foods containing Saturated Fats:

  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Pork
  • Lard
  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Coconut Oil
  • Shortening
  • Pastries
  • Dessert

What is Coconut Oil?

  • Coconut oil is fat containing 90% saturated fats.
  • It is made up of different fatty acids called medium-chain triglycerides.

 
Types of Coconut Oil:

  • Refined– Made from dried coconut meat, which has less nutrients due to the drying process. It also has a higher smoke point, making it better for cooking
  • Virgin– Made from fresh coconuts. It has a lower smoke point, which is less ideal for cooking.

 
 
 
 
Pros:

  • Coconut Oil can raise HDL Cholesterol
  • Provides a dairy-free alternative to butter for vegetarians/vegans
  • Adds flavor to cooking
  • It has many uses, such as a skin moisturizer
  • Some studies show that coconut oil has been protective against heart disease
  • Possible illness prevention
  • Possible thyroid stimulation

 
Cons:

  • High in calories- 1 Tablespoon has about 120 calories
  • Coconut oil can raise LDL Cholesterol (Linked to heart disease)
  • When used in frying, can cause a detrimental effect on health
  • Saturated fat recommendations are <7% of daily intake, which equals about 1 Tablespoon of Coconut Oil
  • We need more research
  • Not as beneficial as unsaturated fat alternatives

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