Saturated fats are good, actually. If you don't believe me, at least we can all acknowledge that they are better than trans fats (partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, which the FDA banned) and better than polyunsaturated fats (soybean, corn and sunflower oils). Trans and polyunsaturated fats cause coronary plaques that may lead to heart attacks and heart failure. (Click 'Read More' to continue.)
“Cholesterol has nothing to do with heart disease, except if it’s oxidized,” Dr. Kummerow said. Oxidation is a chemical process that happens widely in the body, contributing to aging and the development of degenerative and chronic diseases. Dr. Kummerow contends that the high temperatures used in commercial frying cause inherently unstable polyunsaturated oils to oxidize, and that these oxidized fatty acids become a destructive part of LDL particles. Even when not oxidized by frying, soybean and corn oils can oxidize inside the body.
So when it comes to cooking, oils that quickly oxidize are bad for the body. And polyunsaturated fats (soybean, corn and sunflower oils) quickly oxidize when under high cooking heats. Saturated fats, on the other hand, do not quickly oxidize because they are more stable.
See what the researcher's diet is: "His own diet attests to that. Along with fruits, vegetables and whole grains, he eats red meat several times a week and drinks whole milk daily.
"He cannot remember the last time he ate anything deep-fried. He has never used margarine, and instead scrambles eggs in butter every morning. He calls eggs one of nature’s most perfect foods, something he has been preaching since the 1970s, when the consumption of cholesterol-laden eggs was thought to be a one-way ticket to heart disease.
"'Eggs have all of the nine amino acids you need to build cells, plus important vitamins and minerals,” he said. “It’s crazy to just eat egg whites. Not a good practice at all.'”
So how old is this researcher? 99... And still working in the lab and speaking with NY Times reporters at age 99... on a diet of saturated fats (red meat, eggs, milk, butter)... and of course the good stuff like fruit, vegetables, and whole grains, too. And it is important to note that in addition to avoiding trans fats (margarine), he avoid fried foods (thus avoiding polyunsaturated fats).
Now of course, he is just one person. Other factors (exercise, clean air) may have helped him live a long and healthy life. But from what I've read over the past 3 years, the science supports the notion that cooking in butter, ghee, or coconut oil is good for you because they can withstand cooking heat without oxidizing as much as do other oils more commonly used for cooking, like many vegetable oils.
I bet this explains why Indians, many who are vegetarians, are so susceptible to coronary heart disease.
So remember, oxidation of cooking oils is the real problem. Not just oxidized fat particles causing plaque build-up inside our coronary arteries, but in general, oxidized (or free radical) particles inside our bodies are bad for us. (It is after all why experts agree that anti-oxidants are good for us.) Saturated fats tend not to become oxidized when heated. Vegetable oils we use for everyday cooking do.
Read the article on the researcher and his ideas on trans and saturated fats here: www.nytimes.com/2013/12/17/health/a-lifelong-fight-against-trans-fat.html.