October 17, 2017

Keep Eating Coconut Oil, It’s Good For You!

By now, you’ve probably read the viral article advising you to stop consuming coconut oil, but before you eating-coconut-oilthrow out your mega-sized tub, keep reading.

It was only a matter of time before an article questioning coconut oil was released. Not because coconut oil is actually bad for you, but because the American Heart Association (AHA) has been preaching the same message since the 1970s: Saturated fat (found in coconut oil) is to blame for cardiovascular disease. But is it really? And should we trust the American Heart Association’s claims?

Should You Listen to the American Heart Association?

To begin, the American Heart Association relied on 50-year-old studies to state their case. As JJ Virgin (celebrity nutritionist) states in her rebuttal, “it’s really no wonder their conclusions are outdated and inaccurate.”

Second, visit the AHA site and you will see a long list of products that the American Heart Association endorses. Products that are mostly processed, non-organic, canned, high in preservatives or containing high amounts of sugar. In other words, not the healthiest of options, and definitely not good for the heart.

According to Dr. Wolfson the AHA is selective in what foods it endorses because of the corporations that support it. Wolfson states:

It is the corporations who control the lobbyist groups like the American Heart Association. That’s right… The AHA is a lobbyist group. They collect nearly 1 billion dollars every year to push the agenda of Big Pharma and Big Agriculture.”

Why is this a problem? Coconut oil is still a relatively small industry. The industry doesn’t have much of a lobby. In addition to this, coconut oil is much more expensive to produce than other oils like hydrogenated soybean, sunflower, and canola oil. Meaning food companies would rather save money than use healthier oils (like coconut oil) in their products.

This is not exactly a selling feature, is it? Corporations aren’t going to promote the fact that they use canola oil because it’s cheap. They want consumers to continue buying their products, and with more people choosing to consume coconut oil over other oils out there, something needed to be done. Hence, the AHA statement.  

But enough on the American Heart Association, let’s talk about why coconut oil IS healthy.

How Eating Coconut Oil Promotes Health

Coconut oil is rich in medium chain triglycerides, also called MCTs. Though MCTs once had a bad rap, new research proves that MCT oils can actually prevent two of the primary risk factors for heart disease: obesity and arteriosclerosis.

In terms of obesity, coconut oil promotes weight loss by speeding up your metabolism and reducing your appetite. In terms of arteriosclerosis, it helps prevent the hardening of arteries, as well as the fatty deposits that lead to heart attack and stroke.

Coconut Oil and Cholesterol  

We’ve heard about ‘good’ (HDL) and ‘bad’ (LDL) cholesterol for years. However, recent studies point out that everything isn’t so black and white.

The main argument of the AHA is that Coconut oil raises LDL. The truth is not all LDL causes damage. In fact, coconut oil can help decrease levels of overall cholesterol and triglycerides.

New research shows that LDL comes in two varieties. It can either be small and dense or big and fluffy. The bad LDL are the small particles that can build up as plaque in arteries; however the larger, fluffier LDL are essential in many areas such as hormone production, cognition, and mood.

Healthy fats actually promote the production of these large LDL particles, whereas sugar and refined carbs trigger the production of the small, more dangerous ones. Which means, not all LDL is harmful!

In fact, reducing your levels of large, fluffy LDL particles can actually cause an increased risk of heart disease. And that’s not all, coconut oil provides a wealth of other benefits to your health.

Benefits of Coconut Oil

  • Antifungal
  • Antibacterial
  • Combats disease
  • Slows molecular changes that lead to aging
  • Speeds weight loss
  • Decreases risk of heart disease
  • Supports brain function
  • Helps wounds heal
  • Strengthens hair
  • And more!

The benefits of coconut oil have been studied for over twenty years. Funnily enough, the AHA seemed to bypass these countless studies when writing their statement. In the end, all of this hoopla is just a great reminder to investigate the information you read and come to your own conclusions. My two cents: keep the coconut oil and ditch the AHA recommendations.

Read more on fats in my upcoming book Hack Your Health Habits. Click here to become an official #HealthHacker and gain access to cool freebies before the book even hits the shelves!

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