Saturated Fat And Cholesterol

Discover the truth about saturated fat and cholesterol with Dr. Berg DC! Debunking myths and understanding the impact of these nutrients on your health.


Hey there! Have you ever wondered about the truth behind saturated fat and cholesterol? Well, Dr. Eric Berg DC is here to shed some light on the biggest lie about food. Cholesterol, a type of fat made by your liver, plays a crucial role in creating cell membranes, hormones, and even vitamin D. Saturated fat, on the other hand, stays solid at room temperature, unlike unsaturated fat, which is liquid. So, next time you reach for that steak or butter, remember that consuming cholesterol has little effect on total cholesterol levels, as your body already makes about 80% of it on its own!

It’s time to debunk the myths surrounding lard, red meat, and butter. Despite what we’ve been told, there’s no need to fear these foods when consumed in moderation. Cholesterol only becomes harmful when combined with sugar, smoking, trans fats, and seed oils. So, let’s set the record straight and embrace a balanced approach to our diet. Dr. Berg’s insights will help you navigate the world of saturated fat and cholesterol with a fresh perspective.

Understanding Cholesterol and Saturated Fat

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a type of fat that the liver produces and is essential for various bodily functions. It is used in the production of cell membranes, hormones, and vitamin D. While often associated with negative health outcomes, cholesterol plays a crucial role in supporting overall health.

What is saturated fat?

Saturated fat is a type of fat that remains solid at room temperature. It is commonly found in animal products such as meat and dairy, as well as certain plant-based oils like coconut oil. Saturated fats have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease when consumed in excess.

Different Types of Fats

Saturated fat

Saturated fats are often considered less healthy than unsaturated fats. Consuming high amounts of saturated fat has been associated with elevated cholesterol levels and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Unsaturated fat

Unsaturated fats, on the other hand, are considered heart-healthy fats. They can help lower bad cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease when consumed in moderation. Foods rich in unsaturated fats include avocados, nuts, and olive oil.

The Truth About Saturated Fat and Cholesterol

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Comparison of Saturated Fats

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is one of the richest sources of saturated fat, with 87% of its fat content being saturated. Despite its high saturated fat content, coconut oil has gained popularity for its potential health benefits, such as promoting weight loss and improving brain function.


Lard, derived from animal fat, contains approximately 47% saturated fat. While lard has been used in traditional cooking for centuries, its high saturated fat content raises concerns about its impact on cholesterol levels and heart health.

Impact of Saturated Fat on Cholesterol Levels

Meristic acid

Studies have shown that a specific type of saturated fat, known as meristic acid, can increase bad cholesterol levels. This fatty acid is found in higher amounts in coconut oil compared to other sources of saturated fat.

Effects on cholesterol

Consuming excessive amounts of saturated fats, especially those high in meristic acid, can lead to a rise in bad cholesterol levels. Elevated cholesterol levels are a significant risk factor for heart disease and other cardiovascular conditions.

The Truth About Saturated Fat and Cholesterol

Role of Dietary Cholesterol

Impact on total cholesterol

While it was previously believed that dietary cholesterol directly impacted blood cholesterol levels, recent research suggests that the body’s production of cholesterol plays a more substantial role in determining overall cholesterol levels.

Body’s cholesterol production

The body produces around 80% of its cholesterol, with dietary intake having a minor effect on total cholesterol levels. Consuming cholesterol-rich foods does not automatically lead to high cholesterol, as the body adjusts its production based on dietary intake.

Myths vs. Facts about Cholesterol

Impact of consuming cholesterol

Contrary to popular belief, consuming cholesterol-rich foods does not necessarily result in elevated cholesterol levels. The body’s intricate regulatory system manages cholesterol production in response to dietary intake, ensuring a balance is maintained.

Adjusting cholesterol levels

Small modifications in dietary cholesterol intake are unlikely to have a significant impact on overall cholesterol levels. Focusing on a balanced diet, regular exercise, and avoiding other risk factors such as smoking and excessive sugar consumption are more effective in maintaining healthy levels.

The Truth About Saturated Fat and Cholesterol

Relationship Between Sugar and Cholesterol

Sugar consumption

Excessive sugar consumption has been linked to increased cholesterol levels, particularly bad cholesterol. Diets high in sugar can lead to weight gain, insulin resistance, and other metabolic disturbances that contribute to elevated cholesterol levels.

Effects on cholesterol levels

Consuming sugary foods and beverages can lead to higher triglyceride levels, which are a type of fat linked to heart disease. Elevated triglycerides in the blood can worsen cholesterol profiles, making it crucial to limit sugar intake for heart health.

Misconceptions About ‘Bad’ Foods

Steak, lard, and butter vs. coconut oil

Traditional sources of saturated fats like steak, lard, and butter have been unfairly demonized in the past. While these foods contain saturated fat, they can be part of a balanced diet when consumed in moderation. Comparatively, coconut oil, despite its high saturated fat content, has gained popularity for its potential health benefits.

Sugar, smoking, trans fats, seed oils

Avoiding other risk factors, such as excessive sugar intake, smoking, trans fats, and seed oils, is vital for heart health. These factors, when combined with dietary cholesterol, can have a more significant impact on cholesterol levels and cardiovascular health.

Truth About Cholesterol and Heart Health

Combining cholesterol with other factors

The true risk of cholesterol lies in its combination with other harmful factors such as sugar, smoking, trans fats, and seed oils. When these elements interact in the body, they can lead to inflammation, oxidative stress, and the development of cardiovascular diseases.

Inflammatory effects on arteries

High levels of bad cholesterol circulating in the blood can contribute to the inflammation and buildup of plaque in the arteries. This process, known as atherosclerosis, increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular events.


Understanding the truth about saturated fat and cholesterol

While saturated fat and cholesterol have been historically viewed as harmful to heart health, recent research indicates a more nuanced relationship. The impact of these dietary components on cholesterol levels and cardiovascular risk is influenced by various factors, emphasizing the importance of moderation and overall lifestyle choices.

Implications for diet and health

By understanding the complexities of cholesterol and saturated fat, individuals can make informed decisions about their diet and health. Empowering individuals to focus on a balanced eating plan, regular physical activity, and the avoidance of other risk factors can help promote heart health and overall well-being. Remember, small changes can lead to significant improvements in health outcomes.