The Truth About Coconut Oil and the Misinformation
By: Robert Eilers | NightOwl.FIT Community | June 26th 2017
This week I am talking about coconut oil and saturated fats. It is hard to stay informed about the things you put in your body. Most of us are just trying to make it through the night shift.
A long time ago before major news media, large health organizations, and the constant barrage of social media there was just food. Good, clean, whole food. Back then it was easy. Someone could eat clean without even trying to eat clean. Of course, that was hundreds of years ago and a lot has changed since then. Into today’s days and age, it is almost a near impossibility to sift through the mountains of misinformation out there. I am not going to try and pretend I am an expert on all subject or even an expert on this one, but what I can do is tell you I travel in circles where there are plenty of experts who have devoted their lives to put out good information.
So here was the headline that I recently encountered on Facebook:
Coconut oil isn’t healthy. It’s never been healthy.
This was an article put out by the USA today and was more click bait than hard hitting reporting. The article itself was based on recent studies, or more analysis of studies, that didn’t deal with specifically Coconut Oil but with Dietary Fats done by the American Heart Association.
To understand where the AHA is coming from you have to understand where the saturated fat debate started. A man that shall forever remain famous because of his seven countries study named Ancel Keys attempted to prove the concept that saturated fats cause an increased risk of heart disease. This has since been disproved time and time again. However, it didn’t stop the myth from being propagated everywhere. There is still information today being pushed that the best way to loose weight it a low-fat diet. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. That doesn’t stop the AHA from re pushing this same bad information. The AHA just reconfirmed its condemnation of saturated fats in a new publication. Here is how it’s been reported in the news: “Coconut oil has more ‘bad’ fat than beef and butter: heart doctors;” “Coconut Oil May Have Just Lost Its Health Halo;” “Coconut oil isn’t healthy. It’s never been healthy.“
It’s pretty clear from the broad statements made in the AHA’s report that it’s only interested in furthering its long-held agenda that saturated fats are unhealthy—they’re not taking into account newer research with contrary findings. What makes matters worse is that they are pushing eating more unsaturated fats—particularly polyunsaturated fats, such as those found in popular vegetable oils. The studies they did cite only showed that coconut oil raised cholesterol, but looking deeper, we found that they showed coconut oil raised not just LDL cholesterol (the so-called “bad” kind) but HDL cholesterol as well. The truth is, science is still inconclusive on whether saturated fat raises LDL cholesterol at all, but doctors and nutrition experts uniformly agree that increases in HDL have a positive effect on cardiovascular health.
Saturated Fat Does Not Equal Cardiovascular Disease
Studies, because who doesn’t like numbers.
– In 2006, research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association looked at 48,835 women who reduced their total fat intake to 20% of calories and increased consumption of fruits, vegetables, and grains in place of fat. After more than eight years, the diet had not lessened the risk of heart disease, stroke, or cardiovascular disease, leading the researchers to conclude that “more focused diet and lifestyle interventions may be needed to improve risk factors and reduce cardiovascular disease risk.”
– In 1989, the Minnesota Coronary Survey followed nearly 10,000 men and women split into two groups to see if a lower-fat diet reduced cardiovascular risk. One consumed a diet with nine percent saturated fat and the other a diet with 18% saturated fat over four and a half years.
Were the people who ate double the saturated fat of the experimental group twice as likely to die? No. In fact, despite a 14.5% reduction in cholesterol levels in the low-fat dieters, the group who consumed high amounts of saturated fat proved to be healthier. There was no reduction in factors that damage the heart, or total deaths, in the experimental low-fat group.
– A 2010 meta-analysis in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that looked at 21 different studies is the grand-daddy of them all. Between five and 23 years, 347,747 subjects were followed, 11,006 of whom developed cardiovascular disease or strokes. The researchers’ findings couldn’t have been more clear: “Intake of saturated fat was not associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular heart disease, stroke, or cardiovascular disease… Consideration of age, sex, and study quality did not change the results.”
– In 1998, a paper from the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology examined people in up to 35 different countries around the world looking for a direct link between dietary fats and cardiovascular disease. “The positive ecological correlations between national intakes of total fat and saturated fatty acids and cardiovascular mortality found in earlier studies were absent or negative in the larger, more recent studies,” the authors wrote, concluding that “the harmful effect of dietary saturated fatty acids and the protective effect of dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids on atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease are questioned.”
Coconut Oil IS Healthy but be informed
Like any big health fad that everyone jumps on the big food companies like to jump on it as well. As such a TON of bad products get pushed on us with very little information to guide us in the right direction unless you are actually looking. That is is why it is vital for your health to read, to study, to learn. Because the job of the big food companies is to make money. And in order to make money they simply push products, sometimes the bottom line for them isn’t in the best interest for you.
So here is the main takeaway after all of that science stuff. One of the special properties of coconut oil is its medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), a type of saturated fat that the body seems to burn quickly for energy. The Journal of Nutrition found that subjects who consumed 10g of MCTs versus 10g of long-chain fats experienced purer fat loss after 12 weeks. Remember, the study looked at MCTs, not coconut oil, but it’s not hard to imagine coconut oil having similar potential due to its MCT content.
If you want to start incorporating coconut oil, or the purer MCT oil, into your diet 1 tablespoon of coconut oil when cooking is enough for a meal. Or if you want to use MCT oil you can simply incorporate it into your drinks or even coffee. Look for something that is in its original hard fat condition, cold pressed, unrefined.
Coconut Oil Benefits
Instead of writing out all the great things about coconut oil I pulled from a trusted site hosted by Dr. Axe. His site is full of great information and you should add it to your daily reading.
- Proven Alzheimer’s Disease Natural Treatment
- Prevents Heart Disease and High Blood Pressure
- Cures UTI and Kidney Infection & Protects the Liver
- Reduces Inflammation and Arthritis
- Cancer Prevention and Treatment
- Immune System Boost (antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral)
- Improves Memory and Brain Function
- Improves Energy and Endurance
- Improves Digestion, Reduces Stomach Ulcers & Ulcerative Colitis
- Reduces Symptoms of Gallbladder Disease & Pancreatitis
- Improves Skin Issues (burns, eczema, dandruff, dermatitis, and psoriasis)
- Prevents Gum Disease and Tooth Decay
- Prevents Osteoporosis
- Improves Type II Diabetes
- Coconut Oil for Weight Loss
- Building Muscle and Losing Body Fat
- Coconut Oil Benefits for Hair Care
- Candida and Yeast Infections
- Coconut Oil for Anti-aging
- Coconut Oil for Hormone Balance