Many of you have asked me about using butter and animal fat (these are both high in saturated fats) for cooking. Also, there has been a lot of attention in the news recently about whether saturated fats are good or bad for you.
There are two sides to this argument. The original argument (which is still used by many governments and doctors) is that eating too much saturated fat increases blood cholesterol and blocks the arteries. This increases the risk of heart disease and obesity. The other argument uses some recent studies that say this is not true and there is no link between eating saturated fat and heart disease. At the moment there is scientific evidence for both arguments, so which should you believe?
This argument is about the effect saturated fat has directly on the heart. Everyone still agrees that being overweight causes heart disease and that if you overeat fat (any type) you will get fatter. So if you overeat butter, nuts, seeds, avocado, coconut oil, olive oil (these are a mixture of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) etc you will get fatter and you will increase your chance of heart disease. Keep fat (all fat) to 20-35% of your daily caloric intake. Therefore saturated fat should not be more than about 10% of your daily caloric intake. Make sure the saturated fats (and all fats) you use come from good sources and are as unprocessed as possible!
The source of the fat (whatever the type) is important as well. Processed, mass produced fats will be bad for you (whatever the type) because of the chemicals and processing they go through. If animals are fed chemicals, toxins and other rubbish (this is used on large industrial farms to increase animals growth) these chemicals will be in the milk, butter and fat that comes from them. The reason I advise people to use olive oil instead of butter is because good quality olive oil is available at most supermarkets now. Unfortunately grass fed cows