Tue, 20 Jun 2017 15:18:53 GMT
I'm sure many of you have seen the latest from the American Heart Association saying that coconut oil is NOT healthy, along with other saturated fats, and that we need to be consuming vegetable oils. Sigh. (See links below to see for yourself.)
First off, what is this, the 1980s?! We're still on this?!
This advice is flawed, missing some really important points and is nothing new. The AHA is essentially using the same arguments and limited science that they have for years (read Big Fat Surprise). Yes eating coconut oil may raise cholesterol but does that make it evil? No. They're not addressing all the other science that directly CONTRADICTS what they are recommending; all the science that shows the real cause of heart disease: inflammation--it's not just cholesterol! Cholesterol in itself is NOT bad!!! The AHA is exhibiting selection bias at it's finest; it's human nature to want to confirm what we already believe and that's what they're doing. But that doesn't mean it's right. It's 2017. Let's get with the times. Let's look at the counterpoints, arguments, and scie nce that goes against what the AHA says--there is a ton of it! (Dr. Cate Shanahan is another good resource and she was just on enduranceplanet.com.)
So if you're a coconut oil fan like I am, don't fret. You're not going to die if you eat it. Nor butter, nor beef fat, and so on.
Here's the thing, though: We shouldn't go crazy with coconut oil and overdo it, and especially if our diet or meals are high in refined carbs and sugars then coconut oil may not be the best addition. See, the AHA is just looking at cholesterol, but that is really a poor indicator of heart disease risk. What needs to be addressed is INFLAMMATION in the body, which the AHA largely ignores instead just singling out cholesterol. Inflammation can occur if you're eating your coconut oil and saturated fats with lots of refined carbs and sugars (Dr. Tommy Wood calls this the "cheesecake effect.") So instead eat your coconut oil and saturated fats as part of a diet that's rich in vegetables and whole foods, like I'm sure all of you do ;) Paleo, primal, Whole 30.... all those are fine templates, as are the recipes & articles right here on LPC.
We also should not solely use saturated fats for our cooking/dietary fats. Be sure to equally use avocado oil, olive oil (ok at low/moderate heat), and so on.
Meanwhile, the vegetable oils the AHA advises all promote inflammation... folks, this is the real problem! (Read "Good Fat Bad Fats" for a list of bad veg oils right here on LPC.)
Lastly, your individual needs and genetic makeup play a role too. Some do better with a high fat diet/saturated fats, while some may find that limiting their fats and even coconut oil works better. Data from 23andme or nutrigenomics reports can help you individualize.
Personally, I use coconut oil, on average, in one meal a day 5-7 times a week and I also will consume other coconut products in addition to that (coconut milk, etc). My cholesterol and inflammation markers look freaking fabulous and they have for years. I also use a ton, if not more, olive oil and avocado oil especially the latter for cooking.
Let's also not forget that coconut oil contains MCT oils (great for athletes to burn fat for fuel!), lauric acid (something in breastmilk so can that be so bad if it's what nature wants to feed babies?!) and lauric acid is also an antimicrobial that fights infections like candida.
WHAT DO YOU THINK? HOW MUCH COCONUT OIL DO YOU EAT? WHAT ARE YOUR OTHER FAVORITE FATS?
The unfortunate headlines: