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Coconut oil is not “Pure Poison!”

USA Today recently came out with an alarming article on coconut oil.  Now, everyone is asking me…Is coconut oil good or bad?  First let me make it known that my family consumes coconut oil on a daily basis and I truly believe that we are not at risk for heart disease or cancer. As a Registered Dietitian, I have done the research and pure coconut oil (extra virgin) is beneficial. Learn about it’s benefits:

  • Immune Enhancer:  Coconut oil contains two important fatty acids (Lauric and Capric fatty acids). These fatty acids have unique benefits, such as anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-protozoal, and anti-microbial functions. Therefore, coconut oil is a fabulous immune enhancer.
  • Boosts Metabolism:  Unlike most saturated fats, coconut is a vegan source so it’s structure is different. The saturated fat in coconut oil is made primarily with medium chain triglycerides (MCT’s). There are several studies that have shown that MCT’s increase your metabolism and promote weight loss.
  • Increases HDL (“good” cholesterol): Pure coconut oil has been shown to increase the good cholesterol (HDL), not the bad cholesterol, like saturated fats from animal sources.

While reading research articles and studies, I read the entire study. Most of the studies stating that coconut oil is the worst oil to consume are using hydrogenated coconut oil. Hydrogenated ANYTHING is linked to causing chronic diseases so of course their data will show that.  It’s hard to trust the American Heart Association’s stance on coconut oil when they still tell people it’s O.K. to consume margarine!

References: 

  1. Harvard Medical School. Ask the doctor: Coconut oil and health. Harvard Health Publishing. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/coconut-oil. Published May, 2011. Accessed March 19, 2018.
  2. Chinwong S., Chinwong D.,  Mangklabruks A. Daily Consumption of Virgin Coconut Oil Increases High-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol Levels in Healthy Volunteers: A Randomized Crossover Trial. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2017; 2017: 7251562. Published online 2017 Dec 14. doi:  10.1155/2017/7251562
  3. Dayrit F. The properties of lauric acid and their significance in coconut oil. Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society (JAOCS). 2015;92(1):1-15.https://login.dax.lib.unf.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=100240738&site=eds-live&scope=site. doi: 10.1007/s11746-014-2562-7.
  4. McCarty M., DiNicolantonio James. Lauric acid-rich medium-chain triglycerides can substitute for other oils in cooking applications and may have limited pathogenicity. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. 2016; 3(2): e000467. Published online 2016 Jul 27. doi:  10.1136/openhrt-2016-000467
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