Welcome Saturated Fat Back

January 24, 2014
Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Award-winning nutritionist and New York Times bestselling author.

Smart eating for your heart and waistline


Wouldn’t you love to start eating these “forbidden” foods again, and even get off the dieting merry-go-round once and for all? Well, you can—and actually lose weight and protect your heart while you’re doing it. Fat is the body’s preferred fuel, and surprisingly, even saturated fat is cardio-protective.

If you’re familiar with my book Eat Fat, Lose Weight, you already know that certain fats (omega-3s, -6s and -9s) can not only rev up your metabolism to help you lose weight, but can also help lower the risk of heart attacks, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, breast cancer, and even menstrual irregularities from PMS to perimenopause and beyond.

Now, with the latest research, you can add an extra dose of satiety to your diet with a little saturated fat—no longer a heart health no-no.

Let’s be honest…

The no- to low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet model popularized during the last thirty years has failed miserably. In fact, in the past three decades, the caloric intake from consumed fat has decreased by 10% (from 40% to 30%), while obesity rates have doubled and heart disease continues to be the number one killer.

Today a whopping 69% of adults are overweight or obese. Along with this massive weight gain, the incidence of Type 2 diabetes has skyrocketed.

Moreover, the low-fat, high-carb diet has had virtually no effect on the prevalence of heart disease!

According to a 2013 article in the BMJ (British Medical Journal), “recent studies have not supported any significant association between saturated fat intake and risk of cardiovascular disease. Instead saturated fat has been found to be protective.”

So, put saturated fats back on the table.

In addition to being cardio-friendly, they are blood sugar satisfying, helping to cut down on hunger and cravings. They also support and strengthen cell membranes and raise HDL (high density lipoproteins).

But, remember that not all sources of saturated fats are created equal, I’m not talking about hot dogs or lunch meat. Get your saturated fats from clean dietary sources like grass-fed beef, butter, cream, omega-3 eggs, and coconut oil.

And, make sure you’re digesting them.

If you’re going to be adding more saturated fat to an already omega-rich Fat Flushing diet—one to two tablespoons of coconut oil, a couple of pats of butter, a tablespoon of cream—then by all means, do make sure you’re digesting it properly.

For most efficient absorption, assimilation and weight loss, you might consider adding lipase. This is a digestive enzyme secreted by the pancreas which breaks down fats and oils into small particles. In my testing, lipase is one of the most highly deficient enzymes for just about everybody.

Many of my clients who find that oils and fats repeat on them and have not been able to lose weight previously find that one to two capsules per meal is all it takes to budge the scale downwards and stop excess bloating and digestive distress. If this sounds like you, then you might want to call the good folks at UNI KEY (800-888-4353) who keep several extra bottles on hand for my clients and me. Lipase is not available online.

The Bottom Line: I predict that you’ll be seeing more and more research giving the green light to saturated fat for both heart health and weight loss in 2014.

Here’s one of my heart-smart Omega-3 favorites which also contains coconut, not only a healthy source of saturated fat, but deliciously satisfying.

coconut salmonCoconut Salmon
Makes 4 servings

1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 14-ounce can unsweetened light coconut milk
1 cup chicken stock
½-1 teaspoon red curry paste, depending on desired spiciness
4 salmon filets, 5 ounces each
Salt and pepper to taste
1 medium carrots, cut julienne
1 medium zucchini, cut julienne
1 medium summer squash, cut julienne
4 scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish


  1. Preheat broiler for fish. Warm oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add onions and garlic, sautéing until onion is translucent.
  3. Mix in coconut milk and stock. Add curry paste, then bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat and cook until liquid becomes slightly creamy, about 20 minutes
  5. Meanwhile, place salmon on baking sheet. Season to taste, then broil until it turns opaque, about 10 minutes.
  6. Add carrots, zucchini, and squash to creamy mixture and cook until tender-crisp, about 5 minutes.
  7. Place salmon on serving plates and spoon sauce over fish. Top with scallions.


Reference: Malhotra, A. “Saturated fat is not the major issue.” Bmj 347 (2013): F6340.


Related Articles and Podcasts

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!


  1. Hélène

    FINALLY Ann-Louise is incorporating sat fats!! YAY.
    I wish other nutrition experts/RDs would get off the politically-correct bandwagon of Key’s Lipid Hypothesis that benefits no one but the bloated veg oil industry who perpetrated the myth to begin with!
    Satiety is the key to weight loss as u won’t stay on a WOE if u hate it. FAT is the way to go for low-carbing.

    • liz

      I’ve been a fan of eating fat ever since Ann Louise’s “Eat Fat Lose Weight” was published. She really has been ahead of her time.

      As a fast metabolizer I too need the satiety that fat brings.

  2. MARY

    Too bad Dr Fuhrman does not agree with you.
    dr. fuhrman has a whole different way of looking at fats – NONE –

    It’s so confusing these days, so many doctors saying so many things.

    • liz

      Ann Louise has written over 30 books on health and has always been cutting edge. She was the nutritionist at the Pritikin Center and wrote Beyond Pritikin because one of the things she found was that the low fat diet was not working, and this was 30 years ago. She saw direct evidence. Dr. Fuhrman can say whatever he wants but it doesn’t make it true.

  3. Jenny

    Now on PBS, a new lady dietician saying NO to: Dairy, Eggs, Soy, Peanuts, Sugar, Gluten, and Corn. I have no problem with any of those except the Dairy and Eggs. Direct opposition to Dr Louise.

    • Deb

      interesting that it is a “dietician” and not a real medical professional like Dr. Gittleman making that recommendation….take that advice with a pat of butter 🙂

  4. liz

    Soy, peanuts, sugar and gluten have never been in any of Ann Louise’s programs. Dairy and corn are only minimally included partly because of the allergy connection for some people. Some people have allergies to eggs but it is not as common. Eggs are a good source of protein for the many people that can eat them.

  5. David Brown

    My take on saturated fats is that they are benign, if not outright healthy, over a wide range of intakes as long as they are consumed in the context of adequate supportive nutrition – vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that get used up in the course of normal metabolic functioning. In contrast, omega-6 linoleic acid becomes toxic when intake exceeds 1 to 2 percent of total calories. I have a history of excessive omega-6 intake – too much peanut butter. After I stopped eating peanut butter my leg pains went away, my gingivitis cleared up, my LDL cholesterol dropped 30 mg/dL, and my blood pressure returned to normal.

    • Team ALG

      Indeed, David, not all fats are created equally. Omega 6 needs to be balanced with Omega 3 intake in order to avoid inflammatory conditions.

  6. greta callan

    A tip of the hat to Dr. Charles Atkins who said all of this a long time ago. A true pioneer, treated distainfully by the medical community,was unfortunately, vindicated posthumously…Thank you, Dr. Atkins!

  7. Ann Louise Gittleman

    Thank you all for your comments. Dr. Bob Atkins, Greta, was a personal friend of mine whom I worked with closely in the latter years of his life. I was a frequent guest on his radio shows on WOR in NYC and a frequent guest in his clinic. We were both of the mindset that sugar – not fat – was the major dietary culprit in the American diet. None of this is really new news — its just becoming more mainstream and therefore much more acceptable with the popularity of Paleo style diets.

  8. Dorothy

    I’m glutin free but I cant loose weigh all my fat is in the middle,what can I do..


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