For most of our lives, we have heard that saturated animal fats (like butter) are unhealthy, cause disease, cancer, heart disease and make you fat. I know this is going against everything you have probably heard, however, eating the right kinds of fats actually decreases inflammation, balances hormones and stabilizes blood sugar levels. It is not the healthy, saturated fats, but the trans-fats and hydrogenated fats that are toxic and the cause of disease.
Cholesterol has also been vilified in our culture. Cholesterol is vitally important for cellular function and makes up much of our cell's plasma membrane, nucleus, chromosomes, DNA, nuclear matrix (activating genes), mitotic spindles and aids in normal cell division. Without adequate cholesterol, cells divide irregularly, producing aneuploid daughter cells (i.e., they have an abnormal number of chromosomes). Aneuploidy is now coming to be recognized as an essential feature of cancer cells. There are many more intricate functions of cholesterol in our bodies but this gives you a small window into it's critical importance, just on a cellular level.
Several recent studies are showing that cholesterol does not effect cholesterol profiles. In fact, eating clean, healthy cholesterol actually improves cholesterol profiles. It is important to note that high blood lipids are not isolated to high consumption of fat. Diets high in excess carbohydrates cause fatty acid synthesis and will raise blood lipid levels. Also, many cholesterol studies do not differentiate between healthy, natural fat and artificial fat. Let's be clear, not all animal fat is created equal. There is a HUGE difference between natural, organic, grass-fed, wild meat and meat from animals fed pesticide-laden soy/corn/grain, injected with growth hormone and given antibiotics to control infections from living in unclean environments.
According to the USDA and the U.S. Census Bureau we ate about 20 pounds of butter per capita a hundred years ago. In recent years that number is less than 6 pounds per capita, however, heart disease has only gotten worse. The Framingham study found that people who ate more healthy fats and cholesterol were more active and weighed less with no heart disease (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15673620).
Another very important issue to address is the epidemic mental illness that exists in our communities today. This not surprising when realizing how everyone is so afraid to eat fat and cholesterol or are taking cholesterol lowering drugs, yet fat and cholesterol are the most critical nutrients to support a healthy brain. Low-fat diets are depressing, literally.
- Organic, Raw (unpasteurized) butter, (which contains beneficial cholesterol, lecithin, selenium and glycosphingolipids)
- Organic, Raw Milk and cheeses (Cow or Goat)
- Cold Water, wild seafood from clean waters
- Organic Eggs
- Fat from wild game or organic, grass-fed animals
- Fresh organic or wild raw nuts and seeds (not from bins), soaked/sprouted
- Coconut water/milk/cream/meat extracted from fresh coconuts; whole canned (not in aseptic boxes, without fillers/additives)
More information on Fats:
Framington Study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15673620
Cholesterol/ Healthy lipids and Mental Health:
Steegmans, Paul (2000). Higher prevalence of depressive symptoms in middle-aged men with low serum cholesterol levels. http://www.psychosomaticmedicine.org/content/62/2/205.full.pdf+html
Shrivastava, Sandeep (2004). Chronic Cholesterol Depletion Using Statin Impairs the Function and Dynamics of Human Serotonin 1A Receptors. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/bi100276b.