Repeat it enough and it becomes the truth

Things come apart so easily when they have been held together with lies

Over the last 30 years or so, oil, or fat (actually they both are lipids, oil is when a lipid is in liquid state and fat is when a lipid is in a solid state) has been portrayed as the worst thing for our health that we could consume. People were being informed by the government, American Heart Association and others to stop eating fat because it leads to obesity and heart disease. Even today I think it’s fair to say most people are purchasing food marketed as being low fat, fat free. Evidence of this is the food manufactures are still making these products. Cookware is marketed as being able to reduce the amount of fat consumed in your meal.

With the reduction in consumption of fat, did weight gain subside and rates of heart disease decrease? Not really. Over the last 35 years, obesity rates in the U.S. have more than doubled. Heart disease is the number 1 cause of death in the U.S. The government’s recommendation to reduce fat consumption to address obesity and heart disease was wrong. For further evidence we can look at what is called the French paradox. The French have relatively low rate of incidence of coronary heart disease while having a diet high in fat.

When fat was removed from foods something had to be done to make the food palatable so sales would not suffer. What happened was the amount of sugar and sweeteners added to the products (high fructose corn syrup) were increased. Research is now showing that it’s sugar, not fat that causes heart disease. And sugar is in pretty much everything we eat from sauces, breads, salad dressings and even baby formula.

Basically fat has been demonized. And it shouldn’t have been. Another example of how governments are not doing what’s best for people. Our bodies need fat to function. Fats are used for energy, our cells and hormones need fat to function. Fats slow down the metabolism of our food so we feel full longer. Fats are needed for the processing of minerals and vitamins. It’s essential to our well being.

I didn’t intend to write that much about the history of why we live in a low or no fat age. So I’ll stop. What I do want to get into is an oil we should all be consuming because of many benefits. I thought it would be good to provide a back story regarding oil/fat. If one person has a better understanding regarding why everything is low or no fat, then it was worth it.

The oil

Having said that I am now backtracking a bit in that I need to tell you that coconut oil was also demonized back in the 90’s for being a saturated fat. Long story short, that was a long time ago, and it is no longer the case.

So what is coconut oil. Yes, it’s a saturated fat, but different. Coconut oil is a medium chain triglyceride (MCT) fat whereas most saturated fats are long change triglycerides.  So what does that mean? It means that MCT fats are metabolized by the liver unlike the long chain. This enables the fat to be used as a quick source of energy rather than being stored.

So lets get into some of the benefits of coconut oil:

  1. Can kill bacteria, fungi and viruses – Coconut oil contains Lauric acid. When coconut oil is digested, it also forms monolaurin. Both Lauric acid and monolaurin can kill bacteria, viruses and fungi.
  2. Stave off hunger – Consuming fats as part of a meal will slow down the digestive process, and give that feeling of fullness, killing off hunger. This is even more so with coconut oil because of the fatty acids it contains.
  3. May lower risk of heart disease – Contrary to what we have been told and are being told, coconut oil, a saturated fat, improves heart disease risk factors like LDL and HDL cholesterol. Studies in both rats and humans have shown this.
  4. Bones – Coconut oil improves the absorption of important minerals such as calcium and magnesium which are important in maintaining healthy bones. Especially important for women who are at risk for osteoporosis.
  5. Slow down aging – With it’s antioxidant properties, coconut oil can help in preventing premature aging due to damage to cells.
  6. Obesity – Due to the fatty acids coconut oil contains and the effect that has on staving off hunger, coconut oil should help prevent obesity. Also because coconut oil is an MCT oil, it can increase energy expenditure compared to long chain fats which can potentially lead to weight loss over a longer period of time.

Pretty impressive for a fat isn’t it. Who would have thought that a fat is good for you? Walk through the grocery store and read most of the labels and you would think fat is bad for you. OK, that was a bit of a generalization. Fats such as hydrogenated fats, palm oil are not beneficial to your health and should be avoided. I also believe that this helps substantiate the position of all calories not being equal. We need to stop thinking that all calories are equal because it can cause more harm than good. If you have read some of my previous posts you might have read about the dangers of sugar. Comparing the damage calories from sugar can do to your health and the benefits calories from certain fats can do for your health, how could they be equal?

How to enjoy

There are a lot of ways you can enjoy coconut oil. The simplest way is to grab a spoon, dig out a chunk from the container and consume. Really. It tastes pretty good. If this is not for you, here are a some other ways:

  1. Add a couple tablespoons to your smoothie. It’s not even noticeable.
  2. Cook with it. Replace oils you would normally use with coconut oil.
  3. Popcorn. If you are into the old school way of making pop corn, a big pot,oil and kernels, use coconut oil instead of vegetable oil. If you are not a big fan of the taste of coconut oil, don’t worry, it’s pretty subtle.
  4. Add it to your coffee or other hot drinks. This may sound weird, but add it to your drink and then mix using a blender. It will make it more creamier instead of oily.

Coconut oil can also be used in your hair and on your scalp, on your skin, and even to brush your teeth (it kills bacteria).

And more

If you decide to start using coconut oil try to stay away from coconut oil that has been bleached and or deodorized. To realize the benefits from coconut oil try to purchase a brand that is organic and raw, unrefined. The 6 benefits I listed are from eating coconut oil. There are also benefits we can realize from using coconut oil externally, on our scalp and hair, on our skin. You could probably replace any skin cream with coconut oil.

If you haven’t tried coconut oil, give it a try. Use it in your cooking, or eat it raw! Why not, it tastes great! And even though we hear the same message over and over on TV, at the stores, don’t believe it, it’s not the truth. Fat is not the enemy.

Yours in health,