In recent weeks, there has been tons of controversy regarding coconut oil. A recent headline on USA Today claims that coconut oil is not healthy. In an effort to clarify this matter for myself, I started reading all the research available on coconut oil and started to list what both sides are claiming.
The thing with some news headlines and articles is that, they don’t talk about the opposite view. They only present to the reader what they want the reader to read and know. As consumers, it is our responsibility to stop blindly following headlines and believing everything that we hear and see in social media. I understand that we are all short on time, and we just need someone to tell us what to do, what to eat, and how to eat, but if you want to live a healthy life, you need to start taking your health in your own hands and start educating yourself more.
In order to hopefully save you guys some time and hassle, I am going to dive deeper into this article and cite different researches available on coconut oil that I found and my take away from all of this. Hopefully you will be able to make the right decision for you and your family.
First, lets look at the Coconut oil fatty acid composition. Coconut oil is made up of a mixture of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. The oil contains close to 12 g of saturated fat per tablespoon. This makes up nearly 60 percent of your daily recommended saturated fat intake. According to Dietary Fats and Cardiovascular Disease advisory Saturated fats will increase LDL (bad Cholesterol). Hence, coconut oil will increase LDL. A study done in Us on over 120,000 people found that swapping Saturated fats with unsaturated fats could reduce the risk of dying by 27%. According to this report, the reason that an earlier study showed no relationship between reduction in saturated fats and cardiovascular disease (CVD), is because saturated fats were mostly replaced by refined carbs, which have been shown to increase the likelihood of CVD. My Take away, is yes, it seems like studies support that over consumption of coconut oil will increase your LDL, but according to DR. Hyman “the ratio of total to LDL cholesterol and particle number and size are a far bigger predictor of heart attacks than LDL itself.” Unfortunately Dietary Fats and Cardiovascular Disease advisory, fails to provide this information and we don’t have sufficient studies available to talk about these effects.
What got me absolutely stunned, was the recommendation to replace your coconut oil with vegetable oils. In one of my earlier posts, “Choosing the best edible oil” I explained how the imbalance between Omega 6 and Omega 3 ratio in most vegetable oils causes inflammation, and one of the main causes of obesity in our society is inflammation. To read more, please visit:
So my take home from this article and all my research is, that we do not have enough studies to either vote for or against coconut oil completely.
Coconut oil can cause an increase in your LDL, but this might actually be a good thing, we need more human studies. Using coconut oil occasionally in place of conventional butter and dairy products is actually beneficial since coconut oil has many health benefits, one of which is its antibacterial effect. Almost 50% of the fatty acids in coconut oil are the 12-carbon Lauric Acid. When lauric acid is digested, it forms a substance called monolaurin. The study shows that both lauric acid and monolaurin can kill harmful pathogens like bacteria, viruses and fungi.
For most of my cooking I will stick with my Avocado oil, which has a very high smoke point and is actually a fruit not a vegetable.
For my Salad dressing, I will keep using extra virgin- cold pressed (unrefined) olive oil, or hemp-seed oil, which both require minimal processing without the use of any harmful chemicals, compare to those of other seeds and vegetable oils that require tons of processing to extract the oils.
For my baking, I will use 100% grass fed butter or coconut oil.
So what are you going to do? Do you know? Feel free to leave me your comments below.
Stay happy and healthy