Unfortunately coconut oil has been doomed as a bad oil to use by “dietary dictocrats”. The truth is that you want to avoid any oil, including coconut, if it has been hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated! The hydrogenated (industrialized) oil is altered and trans fats are developed that way. Some manufactures even add perfume to the hydrogenated oils to cover up the rancidity. Disgusting, right? Look for quality coconut oil that is organic, extra virgin and expeller (cold) pressed, as nature intended it. Raw organic coconut oil is the best. This type of oil has all its nutrients intact and preserved just for you.
Coconut oil falls into the category of saturated fats, which are unfortunately blamed for many ailments. If it was true, how come that lots of degenerative diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc. appeared when vegetable oils and other processed foods started to be used? If saturated fats such as butter, lard and coconut oil were so harmful, we as species would not survive on this planet. Take time to really think about it! Just ask yourself what did your great-grandmother cook with? How about your ancestors? What did they eat and how was their health? And look at us now! We use margarines, canola, corn and soybean oils, we avoid the traditional (non-industrialized) fats (butter, lard, tallow, coconut) … and look around! I do not think that we are healthy at all! We are in a health crisis like never before in the history. People and children are obese and suffer from many degenerative diseases. (Please, read my previous post about traditional fats and myths.)
Your Cells and Fats
Every single cell in your body is made out of phospholipid-bilayer (fats) and therefore your cells need good traditional fats to be healthy! “[…] every cell membrane is ideally made up of about 50 percent saturated fat.” (Dr. Mary Enig, Sally Fallon: Eat Fat, Lose Fat, A Plume Book, 2006.) Your cells should be nicely permeable to let in the nutrients and let out the toxins your cells produce. “When we eat too much polyunsaturated oil and not enough saturated fat, our cells don’t function correctly.” (Enig, Fallon: Eat Fat, Lose Fat, A Plume Book, 2006.) If you eat newfangled (industrialized) oils (and processed foods), your cells suffer as well as the rest of the organism.
This is what an international expert on oils, Dr. Mary Enig (author of “Know Your Fats”) says: “Saturated fats are found predominantly in animal fats and tropical oils like coconut oil […], saturated fats are structured so that all available carbon bonds are occupied by a hydrogen atom, which makes them highly stable and also straight in shape, so that they are solid or semisolid fat at room temperature. […] They are less likely to go rancid when heated during cooking and form dangerous free radicals that can cause litany of ills, including heart disease and cancer.” (Enig, Fallon: Eat Fat, Lose Fat, A Plume Book, 2006.)
Dr. Mary Enig was the first one who made the public aware about the dangers of trans fatty acids. Like she said, saturated fats are very stable and therefore are great to cook with. “Your brain, nerves, hormones, and all your body’s intracellular communication systems require the right kind of fats to function.” (Enig, Fallon: Eat Fat, Lose Fat, A Plume Book, 2006.)
Coconut oil facts:
(Source: Dr. Mary Enig, Sally Fallon: Eat Fat, Lose Fat, A Plume Book, 2006.)
- People in countries where coconut is an important part of the diet have lower rates of heart disease and cancer than Americans.
- The body can use coconut oil for energy more rapidly and efficiently than any other fat source. It is a great oil to use for weight-loss.
- The fats in coconut help fight infections of all kinds.
- Coconut oil boosts our immune system.
- Some dieters have even reported that coconut oil has helped them get rid of cellulite.
- Coconut improves thyroid function in people with hypothyroid disease.
- Coconut oil is also great for oil pulling. (Stay tuned for my next post about this healing and detoxifying method.)
Myth: Coconut oil causes heart disease.
Truth: When coconut oil was fed as 7% of energy to patients recovering from heart attacks, the patients had greater improvement compared to untreated controls, […]. Populations that consume coconut oil have low rates of heart disease. Coconut oil may also be one of the most useful oils to prevent heart disease because of its antiviral and antimicrobial characteristics. (Journal of the American Medical Association 1967 202:1119-1123; American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1981 34:1552). (Source: The Weston A. Price Foundation booklet – Principles of Healthy Diets)
Coconut oil has many health benefits as listed above. Caution must be paid when buying any coconut oil, avoiding hydrogenated version (read labels) and focusing on quality cold-pressed, virgin, organic coconut oil. Traditional (non-industrial) fats are very beneficial to our health supporting our body, mind and spirit.
Anna Simpson is a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner through the Nutritional Therapy Association. She is the owner of a nutritional consulting business, Well Beyond Nutrition – Nutritional Therapy with Healing Foods. Anna is a member of the Weston A. Price Foundation and Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation.
Anna offers Nutritional Counseling with a focus on Foundations (Digestion, Blood Sugar, Fatty Acids, Minerals, Hydration) and a Properly-Prepared, Nutrient-Dense Real Foods Diet. Services range from package deals to individualized sessions based on your needs. Contact Anna for a free consultation to see how she can help you!
I, Anna Simpson, am not a licensed or certified doctor/medical professional. I do not diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any disease, physical or mental. My services are not intended as a substitute for regular medical care performed by a licensed or certified doctor. The information or advice provided here is for educational purposes only. I educate and inform about holistic nutrition and health. Should you choose to use any advice discussed here, you are taking responsibility for your own actions.