When it comes to diet, being able to distinguish fads from facts could be life saving.
Coconut oil is a very good example of fad versus fact. Recently again I heard a fitness coach, recommend coconut oil as a healthy fat addition to someone, without asking anything about theirs and their parent’s health history.
About 11 years or so, news came out that coconut oil was the perfect oil. Its benefits range from skin care, hair care to weight loss, boosting immunity, raising HDL or good cholesterol and treating yeast infections. Its high temperature resistance, made it ideal for healthy cooking, or so we thought…
Indeed when applied topically, coconut oil is a very soothing oil for people with heated or inflamed skin.
However, the truth is coconut oil is one of the most potent agent for elevating cholesterol levels in the blood within hours of consumption.
HDL versus LDL cholesterol
Coconut oil advocates argue that it increases HDL or good cholesterol; however, high HDL doesn’t affect cardio-vascular disease risk. Even though having a high HDL predicts a lower risk of heart attack, raising HDL levels wouldn’t necessarily affect the disease risk.
On the other hand, coconut also increases LDL cholesterol and that has a definite adverse affect on cardio-vascular disease risk.
Coconut oil has become a nutritional fad, pushed by coconut oil industry looking to make a profit.
Separating Fads from Facts
The popular belief that coconut oil is healthy is not supported by facts.
In this video, Dr. Greger deconstructs the coconut oil myths.
Coconut oil should be treated like animal sources of saturated fats. When there’s a risk of cardio-vascular disease it should be avoided along with animal fats. For anyone else, use sparingly.
Personally, I love coconut milk and make my own but I use it sparingly in dishes to enhance the flavor. I use safflower oil to cook meals and no more than 2 tablespoon for 3 servings of food.
That’s why I appreciate Ayurveda so much! Because in Ayurveda, one man’s treasure can be another man’s poison! Everyone is uniquely affected by different foods.
My teacher at the Ayurveda College of Natural Health, Dr. Marc Halpern, has this saying, “Nothing is right for everyone and everything is right for someone!”
This has become a motto among his students.
This approach helps discriminate fads from facts. He adds, “Ayurveda is the science of understanding what is right for each unique individual.”
Wondering what fats are healthier? Check out my blog on essential fatty acids.
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