I eat saturated fat. And, I am not going to apologize for it.
I can just imagine my mom’s reaction to that statement–it’s a little unfair, given that I have said it before. I don’t even wince now.
I am currently working on an essay about fats and how they fit into a healthy diet. Then, I saw today’s prompt, and I felt like I couldn’t pass it up. I am not going to apologize for eating it or play the saturated fats apologist (two totally different things, believe it or not). Today, I am just going to talk about food.
Let’s start with butter. There are few things as delicious as cold butter on french bread. Butter offers a particular creamy goodness to a saute or cooked dish that olive oil, even the most prized extra virgin varieties, doesn’t provide. Also, butter pie crusts–if you just make them with oil, you might find that a butter pie crust is a revelation.
And dairy. A non-fat greek yogurt is a filling breakfast, but sub in one with fat (if you can find it–it is difficult since greek yogurt has this health food aura and I guess we don’t make full fat health foods) and you have a treat–something you might even eat for dessert. Whole milk, which has been demonized by the food pyramid for years, can make even the most bland cereal palatable and turns muesli into something special.
Even chocolate and coconuts have had to wear the hat of shame. I don’t care–I will eat chocolate (I take mine dark–you should, too) everyday if it pleases me 🙂 In all seriousness, few things can satisfy a sweet tooth and provide the richness you crave in as small a dose as a little square of a nice dark chocolate can.
The thing is, saturated fats definitely have a place in our diets. We need them to build stable cell membranes and to grow (yep–you can’t have more cells if you don’t get enough fats to make the new lipid membranes. And saturated fats are necessary for that). Not that we ought to completely go to town on them–all fats ought to be used moderately and ought to come from the best sources. That is because fats of all sorts can store chemicals we’d rather not eat. The trick, as I have said before, is to get meat and dairy from pastured animals and high quality oils (and chocolate! It tastes worlds better, anyway).
By taking care to use high quality, moderate amounts of fats (the stuff that makes food taste yummy and provides that pleasing texture), we can guiltlessly indulge in saturated fast–yes, even bacon.