Cooking is a minor hobby of mine, and you end up working with different sorts of fats - olive oil, butter, fat from meats (chicken, beef, pork). Both in cooking and in the later cleanup, each is different.

Could it be that the kinds of fat that are “good” or “bad” for human consumption can largely be determined by simple feel?

Olive oil is liquid at room temperature, feels slippery on the finger, and with a little agitation disburses easily in water. Cleanup with a bit of warm water and soap is very easy. In contrast, beef fat is solid at room temperature, and feels somewhat sticky. Cleanup requires very hot water (well above body temperature) and is a bit of a pain.

Could it be that this simple measure tells us a great deal about the artery-clogging risk of various fats?

Add to this huge use in “processed” foods of fats altered to be sticky and have a melting point much above body temperature - in the pursuit long shelf life. Disgusting stuff … oddly not found in the cooking section of your local market. Sounds darn near ideal for clogging arteries.

There is another joker.

Take a good swig of an ice-cold drink. Feels good, especially on a hot day. Now take an equal amount and dump on someone’s back. Bet they yelled. Our skin is very sensitive to cold, but our insides not. That cold liquid you drank passes very near your major arteries. Eat a fatty meal followed by a cold beverage - seems a good bet that any fat with a high melting point in your blood will instantly stick to your arteries.

Add to this the American tendency to consume almost all beverages cold … and suddenly the idea of consuming a bit of red wine at room temperature makes a lot of sense. :)