Ultimate Guide to Nutrients: Fats – A short review

Hello everyone… I’m in the midst of a big assignment for school, so instead of moving on to the next topic in our series on fats, I decided to repost the three previous posts in the series. This will be a good review, since the last article on saturated fats, was posted almost 3 months ago! Sheesh, doesn’t time go so fast?!

Since the 1970’s, fat has been demonized as the primary cause of heart disease. There are so many questions about fat. Is it good? Is it bad? Does it cause heart disease? Does it clog arteries? Is it the cause of our obesity epidemic? These are questions, which were all researched in the 1970’s, and are still being researched by scientists today.

This series includes all of these questions and more, covering all types of fats.  (✅ = already covered)

  1.  Fat-the basics ✅
  2. Trans Fatty Acids ✅
  3. Saturated fat ✅
  4. Unsaturated fat
  5. Omega fat
  6. Fats to avoid
  7. Cholesterol

Below, I have provided links to the first 3 articles in the series. The following articles touch on fat basics, trans-fats and saturated fats, along with a bonus “Have you seen this?” article answering the question: “Is saturated fat good for you”



Understanding Trans-fats


Saturated Fat


Saturated Fat is good for you!


So, next month, we will get back on track, beginning with unsaturated fats, followed by omega fats in March, fats to avoid in April, and ending with Cholesterol in May. Since working through all of the macronutrients took quiet a bit of time, I’ll finish of with a review article, similar to this one, in June. After that, we will finally be finished with the Macronutrients. In July, we will begin working through the vitamins and minerals one by one, beginning with the water soluble vitamin Thiamine (B1).

I apologize for having to do this “review” article. However, despite my best planning, sometimes my school work gets the better of me and I just get behind.

If you have any questions, or have a nutrition topic you’d like covered, submit a comment through the contact form below, or email me at: purplealmondnutrition@gmail.com


Ultimate Guide to Nutrients: Saturated Fats


Saturated Fatty Acids have been demonized since the 1970’s and as far back as the 1950’s, when Ancel Keys published his famous “7 Country Study“. However, many studies are now beginning to show that saturated fat isn’t the bad guy we’ve been led to believe. For example, tropical oils are one of the items deemed “unsafe”, by the federal government, due to the high amounts of saturated fat in the oils. However, one study proved that coconut oil prevented cell death due to the high amounts of medium chain saturated fats, as well as polyphenolic antioxidants. (3) Other studies suggests coconut oil has anti-oxidant and anti-stress qualities, along, anti-cancer properties as well as the ability to lower serum LDL cholesterol levels (bad cholesterol) (5), (6). (7)


What is saturated fat?


Remember from my first fat article, there are 3 main classes of fatty acids. Mono-unsaturated, poly-unsaturated and saturated fats. Unsaturated fatty acids have either one or more double bonds, as seen below:

Saturated Fatty Acids – SFA – have all single bonds between the carbon. Because there are no double bonds in the chain, SFA’s are rigid and inflexible, and completely surrounded or SATURATED with hydrogen. This rigid nature makes them quite dense, and, therefore solid at room temperature. (as seen in the image below)

Screen Shot 2017-10-26 at 11.07.24 AM.png

Why we need saturated fat…

When you begin to worry about too much saturated fat intake, keep this in mind. EVERY CELL MEMBRANE IN YOUR BODY IS 50% SATURATED FAT! One article I read describes the cell wall as the “consistency of olive oil studded with proteins“. These proteins are anchored by saturated fats; without which the proteins would literally float away. (1) Our bodies do have the capability to produce saturated fatty acids from carbohydrates, however, this is in relatively small amounts, from 1 to 5 grams a day, depending on diet.  So intake of healthy forms of saturated fats, such as coconut oil, is essential.

Benefits of saturated fats:  (2)

  1. Strengthen bones by helping calcium fully incorporate into the skeleton. 
  2. Lower Lp(a), a substance in the blood that indicates proneness to heart disease. 
  3. Protect the liver from  toxins.
  4. Enhance the immune system.
  5. Needed for the proper utilization of essential fatty acids, such as omega-3
  6. Short- and medium-chain saturated fatty acids have important antimicrobial properties. 


Types of food that contain saturated fats:

When you think of saturated fats, you typically think of animal foods, such as beef and whole fat dairy. However, the foods with the highest percentages of saturated fat are actually plants. See table 1 below from www.westonaprice.org:

Screen Shot 2017-10-26 at 12.25.14 PM.png

Good saturated fats vs bad saturated fats.


Any form of processed food from either plants or animals

  • bacon
  • sausage
  • lunch/deli meat
  • Factory farm raised meat – including beef, chicken and turkey
  • Any form of farm raised fish
  • non-organic forms of dairy (especially ultra-pasteurized)
  • hydrogenated or partially-hydrogenated oil


Anything from a whole food source, either plant or animal

  • Coconut products including – Whole coconuts, coconut flakes, Extra virgin coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut cream, and coconut butter 
  • Organic, 100% grass-fed butter – (if you can find “raw” butter, all the better)
  • Organic, 100% grass-fed whole fat yogurt (again – raw is best, but difficult to find)
  • Organic Pasture raised eggs
  • Organic 100% grass-fed beef
  • Organic Pasture raised chicken and turkey
  • Raw Cacao butter
  • MCT oil (Medium Chain Triglyceride)
  • wild caught fish/salmon
  • Raw cheese


  1. https://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/abcs-of-nutrition/saturated-fat-body-good/
  2. http://www.health-report.co.uk/saturated_fats_health_benefits.htm
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28412883
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25452773
  5. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0009912004001201
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25452773
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28924490

Wellness Wednesday: 25 Mouth-Watering Ways to Use Coconut Oil. (And Why You Should!)

Did you know that there have been at least 1500 studies proving the health benefits of coconut oil? (1) As we begin our discussion on the health benefits of saturated fats, Coconut Oil is definitely one of those to incorporate into your daily diet.

91% of the fat in coconut oil is saturated. This superfood contains MEDIUM-CHAIN FATTY ACIDS (MCFA). These fatty acids provide our body with energy, because they are easier to digest then the long and short chain fatty acids normally consumed. (1) According to Dr. Axe.com, MCFA’s are: (1)

  • Easier to digest
  • Not readily stored as fat
  • Antimicrobial and antifungal
  • Smaller in size, allowing easier cell permeability for immediate energy
  • Processed by the liver, which means that they’re immediately converted to energy instead of being stored as fat

Here is Dr. Axe with some benefits, medically based, of coconut oil.


What type to buy: (2)

Most grocery stores  now days carry coconut oil. Don’t just buy any old coconut oil though. Make sure your coconut oil has the following items on the label:


How to use coconut oil: (2)

The best way to use coconut oil is to simply use it for cooking, in place of any other cooking oil, especially super unhealthy vegetable oil. Here are a few other ways to use it:

  • Put it in smoothies
  • On toast in stead of butter
  • Mix it in oatmeal
  • Use it to make popcorn – then put it on top, instead of butter!
  • Make your grilled cheese with it, instead of butter!
  • Make salad dressing/mayo
  • Mix it with sugar for a body scrub
  • Face moisturizer
  • Leave-in overnight conditioner – spread in hair and wash out in the morning
  • Season your cast iron pans
  • Feed it to your pets


Now that I’ve got the wheels turning in your brain, I’ve scoured the internet to find some of the best recipes using coconut oil. There are 25 recipes total, with everything from baked goods, to meat glazes to spreads and pasta. I hope you have fun looking through them as much as I had finding them! (MY COMMENTS ARE IN RED)


Coconut Oil Apple Crisp

Taste of Yum

For the apples
  • 4 Opal apples, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons almond meal
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
For the topping
  • ¾ cups + 2 tablespoons coconut oil (in liquid form)
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1¼ cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • ½ cup almond meal
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For the complete recipe, follow this LINK

Magic Hard Shell

The Coconut Mama



  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder (I use raw cacao)
  • 1/4 Cup Raw Honey or Maple Syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
  • Pinch of Sea Salt (I use pink Himalayan salt)

For the complete recipe, follow this LINK.

Blistered Green Beans with

Garlic and Miso

Bon Appetit




  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons white miso
  • 1 tablespoon coconut or agave nectar (DO NOT use agave, EVER!)
  • 3 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
  • 1½ pounds haricots verts or green beans, trimmed
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • Flaky sea salt, freshly ground pepper
  • ⅓ cup coarsely chopped cilantro

For the complete recipe, follow this LINK.

Erika McKenna’s Thin Mint Cookies (Gluten free)

Bon Appetit





  • 1½ cups gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup arrowroot
  • 1½ teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup organic sugar (I’d use raw rapadura sugar instead.)
  • ¾ cup virgin coconut oil, warmed, slightly cooled
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons mint extract

For the complete recipe, follow this LINK.


Green Curry with Brown Rice Noodles and Swiss Chard

Bon Appetit




  • 4 scallions, coarsely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 3 green Thai chiles, coarsely chopped
  • 1 2-inch piece ginger, peeled, coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons green peppercorns in brine
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 cups cilantro leaves with tender stems, plus more for serving
  • ⅓ cup mint leaves, plus more for serving
  • ¼ cup virgin coconut oil, melted, slightly cooled
  • 2 13.5-ounce cans unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, bottom third only, tough outer layers removed, bruised with the back of a knife
  • 4 cups coarsely chopped Swiss chard leaves (from about 1½ bunches)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar or honey
  • Kosher salt
  • 8 ounces dried thin brown rice noodles
  • Lime wedges (for serving)

For the complete recipe, follow this LINK.

Coconut-Oil Chocolate Freezer Fudge

Free Coconut Recipes



Servings: 24

  • 2 cups virgin coconut oil (this is a good time to break out the Gold Label)
  • 1 cup raw or natural unsweetened cacao powder
  • 1/3 cup grade B maple syrup (you could also substitute honey)
  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts (raw or roasted), roughly chopped

For the complete recipe, follow this LINK.

Coconut Oil Brownies

(with gluten free option)

Handle the Heat


  • 4 ounces (113 grams) bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 cup (209 grams) virgin coconut oil, measured solid
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (I’d use raw rapadura sugar instead.)
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar (I’d use raw rapadura sugar instead.)
  • 3 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (96 grams) all-purpose flour (Could also use cup-4-cup gluten free flour)
  • 1 cup (80 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

For the complete recipe, follow this LINK.

Gluten Free Coconut Oil Pie Crust

A Saucy Kitchen

  • 1 teaspoon psyllium husk + 2 tablespoons warm water (not psyllium husk powder)
  • 1 1/4 cup gluten free all purpose flour without xanthan gum (175 grams)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons organic cane sugar
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil (65 grams) * see note
  • 3-6 tablespoons ice cold water

For the complete recipe, follow this LINK.

Rustic Gluten-Free Biscuits

with Coconut Oil

So-Delicious Dairy Free



  • 2 C. Gluten-free flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 3 tsp. Baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking soda
  • 1/2 C. Coconut oil, cold
  • 1 Tbsp. Agave nectar
  • 3/4 C. So Delicious Dairy Free Coconutmilk Beverage, Unsweetened
    • (You don’t have to use this, regular canned coconut milk would be fine~ probably better in fact)

For the complete recipe, follow LINK.

Coconut Oil Fat Bombs

Paleo Hacks


  •  2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
  •  1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  •  2 T raw honey
  •  4 ounces raw dark chocolate chips
  •  1/2 t vanilla bean powder, optional

For the complete recipe, follow this LINK.

Gluten-Free Coconut Oil Corn Bread

Make the Best of Everything


  • 2 cups of cornmeal that has been ground in the food processor for 5-10 minutes
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups of plain greek yogurt (Preferably, organic grass-fed, whole milk)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar (I’d use raw rapadura sugar instead.)
  • 1 cup of whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons of melted coconut oil

For the complete recipe, follow this LINK.

Gluten-Free Banana, Coconut

and Lemon Loaf

Nadia Lim

Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 7.55.45 AM.png


  •  ½ cup coconut oil or butter
  •  ½ cup honey (Raw)
  •  3 large ripe, mashed bananas
  •  2 cups desiccated coconut
  •  1 cup flour (e.g. plain, wholemeal, or gluten-free or buckwheat flour, or ground almonds to make GF)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (check it is gluten-free if required)
  •  4 free-range eggs
  •  2, zested lemons
  •  one pinch salt

For the complete recipe, follow this LINK.

Paleo coconut Oil Hollandaise Sauce

Against All Grain



  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, heated to about 95 degrees F
  • 2 med egg yolks (pasture raised or free-range)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika

For the complete recipe, follow this LINK.

Pumpkin Souffle (GF,DF)

Simply 123 Allergy Free

photo 5 copy souffle'.jpg


  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 4  whole eggs (pasture raised or free-range)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 5 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground clove
  • pinch of sea salt

For the complete recipe, follow this LINK.

Chocolate Black Cherry Tart

Unconventional Baker




  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted or very soft
  • ⅓ cup liquid sweetener of your choice (I used maple syrup)
  • ½ tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ⅓ cup water
  • ¼ cup apple butter (apple sauce would work too)
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • ¼ cup tapioca starch
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder


  • 1 ½ cups black cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 6 tbsp liquid sweetener of your choice (I used maple syrup)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

For the complete recipe, follow this LINK.

Strawberry Mousse

A Girl Worth Saving


  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 large ripe bananas
  • 1 1.5 oz bag of Dehydrated Strawberries
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (Himalayan salt)
  • 12 ripe strawberries
  • 1 medium avocado
  • 1 Tablespoon B grade maple syrup

For the complete recipe, follow this LINK.

Tomato Soup

The Paleo Couple



  • 5 large cloves garlic
  • 2 1/2 C sliced and chopped sweet onion
  • 1/2 C coconut oil
  • 2 28-oz cans diced, fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 C beef broth
  • 1 C red wine (we used a cabernet sauvignon)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 C loosely packed, torn basil leaves

For the complete recipe, follow this LINK.

Raw Sweet Potato Salad with

Curry Almond Sauce

Jesse Lane Wellness



  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup dried currants
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Curry Almond Sauce

  • ½ cup almond butter
  • ½ cup melted coconut oil
  • 6 tsp curry powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp tamari

For the complete recipe, follow this LINK.

Easy and Delicious Coconut Oil

Chicken Glaze

Real Food


  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp minced onion

For the complete recipe, follow this LINK.

Coconut Lime Chicken

Holistically Engineered



  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into strips
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 Tbsp coconut aminos (a soy sauce substitute)
  • Juice of 3 limes
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock

Coconut Butter Spreads

(5 recipes)

The Lunch Box Bunch

trio-coconut-butters 41strawberry-coconut-butter 4


Cinna-Banana Coconut Spread
5 Tbsp virgin coconut oil
pinch salt
1 banana
2-3 dashes cinnamon
2 tsp maple or agave syrup

Espresso Cacao Chip Coconut Spread
5 Tbsp virgin coconut oil
1 shot espresso, warm (about room temperature)
1 tsp raw cacao nibs
1/2 banana
2 tsp cacao powder – or another tsp of nibs
dash cinnamon
2 tsp maple or agave syrup
pinch salt

Spicy Goji Coconut Spread
5 Tbsp virgin coconut oil
2 Tbsp goji berries, soaked in warm water for at least 20 minutes (drain water before adding)
1 banana
2 dashes cayenne (optional)
1-3 tsp maple or agave syrup

Simple Strawberry
5 Tbsp virgin coconut oil
5-6 strawberries
pinch salt
2 tsp maple or agave syrup

Almond Butter Coconut Spread
2 Tbsp almond butter
3 Tbsp virgin coconut oil
1 banana
1-2 tsp maple or agave syrup
pinch salt
dash cinnamon

For complete instructions on how to make these spreads, follow this LINK.



  1. https://draxe.com/coconut-oil-benefits/
  2. https://www.swansonvitamins.com/blog/natural-health-tips/using-coconut-oil






Have you seen this? Saturated Fat is Good for You

Today is nutrient Tuesday at The Purple Almond. The next nutrient in our discussion in the Ultimate Guide to Nutrients will be saturated fat. Look for my in depth article on saturated fat, what it it, why it’s healthy and good sources on October 24, 2017. (I need a bit more time to research it properly.) For today, I wanted to share a few videos with you, which discuss the myths behind and health benefits of SATURATED FAT.

Since the 1970’s and even back as far as the 1950’s we have been told that saturated fat is the “bad guy” where fats are concerned. The present day policies, established in the 1970’s, were built on very little scientific evidence. What evidence they did have was shaky at best. Much of the evidence for the policies came from a man by the name of Ancel Keys and the famed 7 Country Study, which he claimed provided proof as to the dangers of saturated fat. What they don’t tell you, is that the study he was referencing, had data from 22 countries, however Keys picked only 6 countries from the list. What happened to the data from the other 17 countries? Keys threw it out because it didn’t fit into his narrative. (1, 2)





Here’s a short video explaining what Keys had done:

Scientific studies are now beginning to show that saturated fat is actually healthy for us. Keep in mind, at least 50% of the fat in our body is saturated fat. So, we have a lot of saturated fat in the body, we can’t form cells without it, but it’s bad for us? Hmmmm.

If you need further proof that the current policies demonizing saturated fat don’t hold water. How about obesity rates? We are fatter now then ever before. If the current policies are valid, why is America (and the rest of the world) growing fatter? Take a look at the charts below:





Onto the videos! Here are 3 short videos which give you an idea as to the health benefits of saturated fat.

Why Saturated Fat is

Actually Good for You!

Huffington Post

Saturated Fat is Good for you.

Dr. Axe

Why Saturated Fats are Good for You.

Dr. Wolfson


  1. http://asianwithoutrice.com/the-longest-fad-diet-in-american-history/
  2. https://www.dietdoctor.com/the-hidden-truth-behind-ancel-keys-famous-fat-graph