Anyone interested in health and wellbeing will have read this headline and been appalled. Why do the British love a nutritional controversy? Have we become a nation of Jeremy Kyle? The newspapers like The Times, The Independent and Business Insider all ran with the articles that advised us that a Harvard Professor had announced coconut oil as a poison. The headline is what most people pick up because you are busy. So that message will have stuck into the subconscious, caused some concern, and maybe even changed a habit or two. Nutritionists like Dr Aseem Malhotra, an avid supporter of saturated fats and former cardiologist at Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey, said the headlines were bringing the prestigious Harvard University into ‘disrepute’. Dr Malhotra has called on the commentator to apologise for the ‘entirely false’ claim and to retract the comment. Where were these headlines? This is why I decide to write this blog and outline the benefits of Coconut oil.
What do you need to know about saturated fat: the research
The original discussion by Karin Michel’s didn’t denounce coconut oil, she had a passionate discussion in German about saturated fat, which of course coconut oil is full off. I know this sounds like a nuance but the headline screamed about coconut oil so it was hitting a popular public nerve so it is best to be clear.
Isolating the conversation about saturated fat being the baddie is also a little more in-depth.
Whilst research has proved that saturated fat increases your overall cholesterol, it hasn’t gone specifically down the line of which cholesterol – HDL, LDL or Triglycerides. Research has not been done to link saturated fat and the corresponding increase of the, particularly bad cholesterol LDL.
In addition, high cholesterol does not mean heart disease, for instance, the Pacific islands obtain 63% of their diet from coconut oil their total cholesterol is high but so is their good HDL cholesterol) .
Watch My Video Coconut Oil is a poison
Interesting the only study in 2016 that found LDL increased with cholesterol but carbs were also present, the results were, therefore, not conclusive. Scientists don’t know if it is the triglycerides that have increased LDL or saturated fat.
Nonetheless, the 2016 study concluded that sugar was a far worse indicator of health.
If you are interested in finding out more about beige carbs and why they are so bad for your health then click to read this blog: What are BEIGE carbs and WHY are they bad for you?
If this has led you feeling bewildered and confused then pick up a copy of my best-selling book Gorgeous!
What is the worse food combination for your health?
Carbs (sugar) in your diet keeps up the underlying inflammation in your body. It is the inflammation that causes the problem for cardiovascular disease – that put simply pokes holes into the veins for the LDL to fill up. LDL does rise with saturated fat but only if the saturated fat is presented with carbs.
So doughnuts and millionaire shortbread where the sugar and fat are together is the huge risk for raised LDL – bad cholesterol.
What are the benefits of coconut oil?
Why is coconut oil so good for you?
Long-chain saturated fats like grain oil – canola/corn/soy/sunflower are very long-chain saturated oil while coconut oil is medium-chain saturated oil. Research by another Harvard professor explains that
“MCTs are more rapidly absorbed by the body and more quickly metabolized (burned) as fuel.
MCTs efficiently convert into fuel for immediate use by organs and muscles.”
Dr. Vigen K. Babayan of the Nutrition Laboratory, Harvard University
MCT’s help with digestion and metabolism. Unlike most other fats they are not stored in the liver but instead are used as a direct source of energy.
The saturated fats in coconut oil, known as medium-chain acids (MCT’s) supports many of your important body functions, for instance:
- essential fuel for your brain,
- aid with metabolism,
- energy supply,
- mineral absorption,
- your immune system,
- your hormones,
- plus it contains powerful antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic properties.
1.Coconut oil and its antibacterial effect
Coconut oil contains caprylic acid, which is a useful anti-microbial compound, and it is especially useful in the treatment of infections.
Antibacterial – They help eliminate harmful bacteria that can lead to infections such as gum disease, urinary tract infections, throat infections and skin infections.
Antifungal – The three fatty acids in coconut oil, lauric acid, caprylic acid and capric acid help kill fungus and eliminate yeast infections including candida and ringworm.
Antiparasitic – Kills lice, worms and other parasites and helps detoxify any harmful substances they leave behind.
Antiviral – Lauric acid is converted by our body into monolaurin, an anti-viral agent that boosts immunity and helps fight off viruses. About 50% of MCT’s consists of Lauric acid. The largest source of Lauric acid in nature comes from coconuts and the second largest is found in breast milk – the first and essential source of nutrition for babies!
2. Coconut oil Nutrient absorption
The reason why coconut oil and nutrient absorption work particularly well together is thanks again to the MCT’s (medium-chain fatty acids). Coconut oil helps with nutrient absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin A, D, E and K.
- Fat-soluble nutrients such as vitamins A, D, E and K need fat in order to be absorbed by the body.
- Water-soluble nutrients – such as vitamin C and vitamin B – don’t need fat to be absorbed.
3. Coconut Oil is stable at high temperatures
Another reason why coconut oil is healthy is that it is the most heat-stable fat in the world
What is the alternative: Vegetable oils?
Vegetable oils are industrial oils made from seeds such as sunflower, rapeseed (canola), corn and soybean. They are very unstable, heavily processed fats that are already oxidized when you buy them. Unlike natural fats such as coconut oil and olive oil that is extracted by pressing them, these oils are produced differently. They contain a lot of chemicals, pesticides and additives and many of them are genetically modified (GMO) oils.
Vegetable oils have been promoted as a ”heart-healthy” alternative in the campaign against saturated fat. The problem is that they are not healthy at all and even less so when you cook with them.
The worst thing is what happens with them when they are heated; they oxidize very easily.
What does ‘oxidation’ mean and why is it important when cooking?
Oxidation occurs when fat is heated to high temperatures. So if you are cooking in an unstable fat like ‘olive oil’. then the delicate oil will burn at a much lower temperature.
If you can cook at high temperatures without burning the fat, then it is a healthier option.
Which fats burn quickly when cooking?
Here is a breakdown of how quickly a fat will burn in high temperatures:
1. Oils high in polyunsaturated fats such as canola, soybean, corn, sunflower, grapeseed and peanut oil are very sensitive to heat. They oxidize easily and should not be eaten at all, but should especially not be used to cook with.
2. Oils high in monounsaturated fats such as avocado oil and olive oil are more stable than polyunsaturated fats, but they do burn easily when heated and are therefore not recommended for cooking.
Extra virgin olive oil and sesame oil are exceptions due to their high content of antioxidants which protect against oxidation. They are safe for brief low-temperature cooking.
3. Fats high in saturated fats such as coconut oil, butter and ghee are the most heat-resistant fats, which makes them the healthiest option for cooking.
What are the ethics of coconut oil?
Coconut oil raises an ethical question that is worth bearing in mind.
Coconut oil has been used throughout history in countries in Asia, Africa, South America and the Caribbean where it has always been considered a healthy product. These countries have been using Coconut for food, skin & hair and even for medical purposes for decades.
In recent years coconut oil’s popularity has spread to the rest of the world and is now a commercially viable product. However, coconuts do not grow in western countries.
The science and research-backed popularity in the west is rapidly becoming a huge threat to Olive Oil, Canola, Sunflower & all other vegetable oils from the west and under the control of multinational corporations.
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Interested in A Gentle Reset to your diet?
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