Coconut Oil

Last week I shared my sugar free eating plan.  I don’t think anyone is more shocked than me.  I’ve kept going and I’ve “thrown it out there”, and whenever I’ve done this in the past I’ve self-sabotaged.  This is now week 5, and I have no sugar, processed or fast food, and no alcohol – I know.  I feel FABULOUS. 

I’ve been cooking with Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, but an article came my way about this oil not being as brilliant as publicised.  I don’t get it, I put it in my natural hair as a conditioner, put it on my skin and cook with it.  Am trying to get my head around the negative reports. 

A lecture by a Harvard professor calling coconut oil “pure poison” has gone viral on YouTube, nearing 1 million views on. In a talk titled “Coconut oil and other nutritional errors,” Karin Michels, who is an adjunct professor of epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, says coconut oil is not healthy, calling it “poison” at least three times in the widely-circulated video. (I’d post the video but it’s all in German.)

Michels claims: Coconut oil is the worst food you can eat. Lard is like kale compared to this. Since coconut oil is almost exclusively comprised of saturated fatty acids, you’re on the fast track to clogged coronary arteries. Most so-called “superfoods” are ineffective marketing hype, so she doesn’t damn them. Coconut oil, however, is the devil incarnate.

Experts are questioning this extreme advice, however. As Business Insiderreports:

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicated that people who routinely consume cheese, whole milk, and other high-fat dairy products—in essence, products high in saturated fatty acids—are at no higher risk of dying from a heart attack, stroke, or other illness than those who avoid such products.

I highly doubt that Michels realised the backlash her lecture would produce. Now and entire country wants her to retract her statements… India decided to fire back as coconut oil is a dietary staple for their country, especially in the south.

The comments by Michels are “unsubstantiated and inconsiderate,” wrote B.N. Srinivasa Murthy, India’s horticulture commissioner, in a letter emailed last week to the dean of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He asked the dean to take “corrective measures” and retract the comments. Michels made “negative statements against the revered crop of billions,” Murthy wrote.

According to Healthline there are very definite benefits to using coconut oil…

  • Coconut Oil Contains Fatty Acids With Potent Medicinal Properties

  • Populations That Eat a Lot of Coconut Oil Are Healthy

  • Coconut Oil Can Increase Fat Burning

  • It Can Kill Harmful Microorganisms

  • Coconut Oil Can Reduce Your Hunger

  • The Fatty Acids In Coconuts May Reduce Seizures

  • It Can Raise The Good HDL Cholesterol

  • Protects Your Skin, Hair And Dental Health

  • Fatty Acids In Coconut Oil Can Boost Brain Function In Alzheimer’s Patients

  • Coconut Oil Can Help You Lose Harmful Abdominal Fat

  • Prevents Kidney Stones And Protects The Liver

  • Helps Prevent Yeast Infections

AND… interestingly enough, another recent article by Walter C. Willett, M.D.
(Harvard School of Public Health Department of Nutrition) says that, in moderation, it IS indeed helpful.

I’ve also noticed that coconut oil seems to be catching on these days. Coconut oil is about 90% saturated fat, which is a higher percentage than butter (about 64% saturated fat), beef fat (40%), or even lard (also 40%). Too much saturated fat in the diet is unhealthy because it raises “bad” LDL cholesterol levels, which increases the risk of heart disease. So it would seem that coconut oil would be bad news for our hearts.

But what’s interesting about coconut oil is that it also gives “good” HDL cholesterol a boost. Fat in the diet, whether it’s saturated or unsaturated, tends to nudge HDL levels up, but coconut oil seems to be especially potent at doing so.

Coconut oil is also healthy for your hair and skin!

  • Eczema & psoriasis
  • UV radiation
  • Dermatitis
  • Skin wound
  • Xerosis or dry skin
  • Antimicrobial activity
  • Prevents hair damage
  • Repairs already damaged hair
  • Controls dandruff

So it seems that, as always, moderation in eating Coconut Oil is the key. Scooping up heaping spoonfuls and putting it on everything probably isn’t the best idea but it DOES seem to provide benefits to the body in so many ways. What are your thoughts on Coconut Oil? Let’s talk about it on Facebook  Twitter and Instagram.