Health Facts of Coconut Oil + Why the AHA is Leading Us Astray
“COCONUT OIL IS PURE POISON”
a new claim released via video by a Harvard Adjunct Professor.
We find this statement COMICAL because the very nature of coconut oil (as in the scientific makeup) is the opposite.
RAW Coconut meat contains medium chain fatty acids, one in particular called lauric acid. Studies show that this microorganism is converted in the body into a highly beneficial compound called monolaurin, which is an antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial and literally destroys other organisms known to cause disease in the body.
Professor Michel’s claim against coconut oil comes from the sole fact that it is high in saturated fat. Yes, this is true.
On paper, coconut oil is higher in saturated fat than butter and some animal fat - Michel points out that its even higher (and therefore worse in health) than pork lard. This concern for saturated fat originated from a study conducted in the 1960s, showing that an increase in consuming saturated fat would also increase LDL count (known as “bad cholesterol”) and eventually lead to cardiovascular disease.
But! There is new research! Actually, this new research has been around and retested over the last 8 years and proves against the claim that ALL saturated fat is BAD. It's time to put this to bed.
Since then, over 2,000 studies have been performed on coconut oil, demonstrating a wide range of benefits. PLUS in 2010, studies showed strong evidence that saturated fat no longer have the direct link to heart disease (findings here). Unfortunately, the American Heart Association is STILL backing their 60 year old findings and continue to preach how terrible saturated fats are for your health.
To make it worse, this is the same group who STILL say, (and I quote the lead author of the study), “There’s nothing wrong with deep frying, as long as you deep fry in vegetable oil.”
Shocked? So are we ..and frustrated!
WHY ARE WE BEING MISLEAD? WHO GAINS FROM THIS?
Others are frustrated too, and have made efforts to share the truth.. NY Times, Whole 30 (first sect on saturated fats and pgs 147 & 167), Dr Mercola, Dr Williams Davis (of WheatBelly)
We'll say it again - Dietary intake of saturated fat is not associated with the increase of cardiovascular disease.
Melissa goes on to explain that the increase in LDL cholesterol can be thought of like a scale. The cause of somebody gaining weight is different from person to person. It's not necessarily a sign of poor health (ie gaining muscle weight) - which is why CONTEXT MATTERS.
There are other factors like triglyceride levels and HCL and dangerous inflammation that are being looked at closer to test the risk of heart disease.
Now, let's go back to that statement "it's okay, as long as you're frying in vegetable oil"
It's okay to deep fry food? Isn't it common knowledge that fried food is NEVER a good health recommendation? Specifically, cooking in these type of oils (polyunsaturated fatty acids) have been found to be incredibly harmful on the body.
The moral of the story is that cooking with processed vegetable oils, such as soybean, corn, cottonseed and canola oil, actually puts you at a higher risk for heart disease than cooking with coconut oil (in all of its fatty glory!) Read more
Processed vegetable oils produce oxidized cholesterol when heated, which increases thromboxane formation — a factor that clots your blood, as well as two toxins: cyclic aldehydes and acrylamide. "So we encourage people to cook with coconut oil to avoid consuming damaged, oxidized oils," says Dr Mercola.
But what about the fat in our Coconut Oil?
Yes. Coconut oil's make up is 90% saturated fat.
But as we've covered, this is not bad! Because not all fats are created equal.
In response to Professor Michel’s video, many nutritionists have stated that its inadequate research to compare a plant oil to saturated animal fat because they are different types of fats (compound makeup) and the body processes them differently. For example, plants like coconuts and avocados are made up of medium chain fatty acids (verses long chain). MCFAs (medium chain fatty acids) are rapidly metabolised into energy in the liver. The idea is that our body uses this type of fat more quickly and its less likely to be stored as fat. People who have maintained a diet incorporating MCFAs appear to have more energy, suppressed appetite (from filling up on healthy fats), higher athletic performance, and it can prevent blood sugar levels from spiking. More importantly, it's good to remember that the unique microorganism that exists in a coconut is lauric acid (benefits) - which has antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial agents that can destroy organisms known to cause diseases in the body.
**Moderation is still important. You only need to consume 1 tsp - 1 tbsp a day for daily nutrition**