IS SATURATED FAT BAD FOR ME?

 

Today's question is one that I think pops up often and one that I think most of us would feel there is an obvious answer to. It's "yes", right?

It's not quite that easy and, actually, this question has many tentacles to it. 

Most importantly, let's look at this question under a broader scope ... let's look at it under the broader scope of ALL nutrients, especially some of the more demonized ones like carbs, sugar and dietary cholesterol, not just saturated fat.

What I want you to think about is that nutrients are generally neither bad nor good. What can make them bad or good are additional factors like what you are having them with, how much of them you are having, when you're having them, etc. 

Try to look at nutrients under the context of a bell shaped curve. If you think about saturated fat and start at the lower left side of the curve, you're eating too little of it ... and too little can be bad, because our bodies need some saturated fat.

If you proceed to the lower right side of the curve, you're eating too much of it ... and too much can also be bad, which most of us associate with cardiovascular issues. 

At the top of the curve, you have what I call the sweet spot. The right amount of saturated fat that the body needs and uses effectively. And this 'sweet spot' can be applied to carbs, dietary cholesterol, sugar ... even water! Too little and the body can become dehydrated. Too much (way too much) and it can possibly lead to conditions like hydrocephalus (water penetrating the brain). 

So, is saturated fat bad for me? Well, only if you have too little or too much. Just like every nutrients, it's important to find the sweet spot. 

Until next time, eat with a purpose and give your body what it needs, when it needs it. 

Jaime Rothermich, RD, CSSD, LD, PPSC, CSCS
Functional Elements Training & Nutrition
FAB 14 Nutrition Reboot Digital Course