3 comments

  • janisko

    Saturated fats increase your bad LDL cholesterol but do not decrease your good HDL cholesterol. There is no way to know exactly how much a certain amount of saturated fat will increase your cholesterol because genetics play a major role.

    Transfats are the worst because they decrease good cholesterol and increase bad cholesterol.

    The best fat to use is olive oil because it raises good cholesterol and doesn’t increase bad cholesterol.

    When it comes to things like something to spread on toast or put on a baked potato you’re best off using Smart Balance margarine. It has been proven to help cholesterol. Avoid all other margarines unless they state they reduce cholesterol. Most have transfats.

    As greenghost mentioned Smart Balance does have an Earth Balance (vegan line) that includes solid shortening that is pretty low in saturated fat. In some parts of the country they also have Smart Balance shortening. These products aren’t ideal but for someone who must eat low fat it at least gives them option for some of the home baked goods that can’t be made with oil.

    Yes, genetics are important but you can have your LDL cholesterol get out of control without family issues. Years ago when they first talked about margarine being so bad I switched to butter and had mine soar. Now I’m a low carber and have extremely low cholesterol, while I still enjoy using butter. In the absence of excess carbs, saturated fats are extremely healthy. They are loaded with great nutrients.

  • aznprideca

    Yes, given enough time

  • greenghost

    Fat’s don’t really turn into cholesterol, your body *can* use them to produce cholesterol though! As Janisko stated the primary factor is your own personal genetic code.

    But you can’t automatically ‘dis’ all saturated fat! It *is* true that long-chain sat-fat (normally found in animal products) will increase the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol; it’s also true that short-chain sat-fats (primarily from coconut and palm kernels) will lower LDL! Many infant formula’s (especially the ones aimed at premature infants) contain saturated vegetable fats since your body uses these short-chain sat-fats along with LDL to build myelin (critical for nerve growth). These beneficial sat-fats got a bad rap because the original research was only done on artificially hydrogenated coconut and palm oils instead of on non-processed ones.

    Trans-fats are the worst but an important source of them that normally gets ignored is that they are naturally present in most mammalian fats (like beef and pork).

    Besides Smart balance the same company also makes Earth balance which is based on non-hydrogenated palm oil, fewer strange chemicals than Smart balance and still good for HDL/LDL ratios!

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