(NaturalHealth365) There has been a lot of confusion and contradictory research on the impact of saturated fats on your health. In addition, over the past 50 years, a majority of healthcare professionals have told us that saturated fats, like coconut oil, are ‘bad for us.’
But, in studies on certain Pacific Island populations, there is practically no evidence of cardiovascular disease even though the majority of their daily fat intake comes from coconut oil. So, what’s really going on here?
The truth about coconut oil
Coconut oil has been growing in popularity, since 2011, after decades of being put down by many conventionally-trained doctors, dieticians and nutritionists. This change started in March of 2011 when New York Times author, Melissa Clark, wrote an article titled, “Once a Villain, Coconut Oil Charms the Health Food World.”
The article compares a study of movie theater popcorn with a visit to her local health food store. What she found was that, “a considerable part of [coconut oil’s] stigma can be traced to one major factor,” which Dr. Thomas Brenna, a professor of nutritional sciences at Cornell University, said:
“Most of the studies involving coconut oil were done with partially hydrogenated coconut oil, which researchers used because they needed to raise the cholesterol levels of their rabbits in order to collect certain data. Virgin coconut oil, which has not been chemically treated, is a different thing in terms of a health risk perspective. And maybe it isn’t so bad for you after all.”
Surprising to most people: All saturated fats are NOT created equally
There are two types of saturated fats: naturally occurring saturated fats and man-made, artificially manipulated saturated fats. These man made saturated fats are created through a process called hydrogenation in which the oils have hydrogen atoms added to them while heated created a thicker oil that creates a longer shelf life and, of course, increases corporate profits.
The medical community recommends avoiding these type of vegetable and seed oils – which are often referred to as trans fats. As you may know, trans fats are now banned in certain cities and states. Naturally, the vilification of hydrogenated saturated fats has resulted in confusion over the health effect of naturally occurring saturated fats, such as coconut oil.
Celebrity endorsement puts coconut oil in the spotlight
Slowly but surely, people have started to discover that not all fats (and not all coconut oils) are created equal. Coconut oil went from being something that could harm you, to just being okay in moderation – until international supermodel, Miranda Kerr, spoke up.
In July of 2011, Miranda Kerr stated in an article for Cosmopolitan that she doesn’t, “Go a day without coconut oil,” and that she, “Personally take[s] four tablespoons of coconut oil per day,” in her salad, cooking, and green tea.
Kerr’s statements sent ripples through the news industry, where her statements were repeated on ABC News, The Huffington Post, and Vogue. Suddenly, Kerr’s “secret” was out of the bag and coconut oil was in a new light.
What does the future of coconut oil look like?
Coconut oil continues to grow in popularity – over time – and is now sold in grocery stores and health food stores alike. In fact, coconut oil has gone from being something that is unhealthy to something that is not only healthy, but can do ‘almost everything.’
With a quick search online, you can find dozens of useful purposes for coconut oil – ranging from oil pulling for healthy teeth and gums to natural skin care. Coconut oil even has its own Internet meme were people poke fun at its popularity by stating things like coconut oil can even ‘get you out of debt.’ (but, let’s not get carried away here)
Is coconut oil just a fad? In a word, no! Remember, anything that is made from nature ought to be respected and is (usually) never ‘just a fad.’ Simply put, coconut oil is here to stay and offers tremendous health benefits.
About the author: Jonathan Landsman is the host of NaturalHealth365.com, the NaturalHealth365 Talk Hour – a free, weekly health show – and the NaturalHealth365 INNER CIRCLE, a monthly subscription to the brightest minds in natural health and healing.
Reaching hundreds of thousands of people, worldwide, as a personal health consultant, writer and radio talk show host, Jonathan has been educating the public on the health benefits of an organic, non-GMO diet along with high-quality supplementation and healthy lifestyle habits, including exercise and meditation.
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