The type of fat historically associated with butter and bacon baps has cropped up
in fleetingly trendy coconut oil and biohackers’ favourite butter-boosted beverage, bulletproof coffee. So what gives? Registered dietitian Jo Hollington (nutritionme.co.uk) explains that the links between saturated fat (a type of fat chain that’s saturated with hydrogen, making the chemical structure solid at room temperature) and artery-clogging low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, reinforced in studies since the 1960s, have been countered by recent research. Cue confusion and excitable tabloid headlines. Hollington, however, highlights laws in the research, such as the fact that scientists looked at individual fatty acids, even though no one food contains just one type of fat (eg, butter is made up of 63% saturated, 26% monounsaturated and 3% polyunsaturated fat).
THE BOTTOM LINE
Small servings of saturated fat aren’t the worst thing in the world – but your monounsaturated and polyunsaturated options are better. Crack on with oily fish, seeds, avocados, nuts and their butters (though stick to 15g servings of the latter).