Poison or superfood? Why coconut oil is creating such a buzz

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Coconut oil
It's important to remember that no one food is inherently all 'good' or all 'bad'

Harvard professor’s claim about coconut oil being “pure poison” has angered many Indians

Last month, claims by Dr Karin Michels, a Harvard professor that coconut oil is “pure poison” and “one of the worst things you can eat” triggered a fierce debate about the health benefits of coconut oil.

A staple cooking medium in many parts of India, there would probably not be a household in the entire country that does not use it in some form or the other.

While making a speech at University of Freiburg in Germany, Dr Michels suggested that the oil contains alarmingly high amounts of saturated fatty acids.

This goes against the common belief that coconut oil is good for health. Some even claim it to be a “superfood” that can be used in any meal, and with curative powers to boot.

Medibulletin explores the coconut oil conundrum.

The long history of coconut oil

The general argument in favor of coconut oil is that it’s been used for centuries in Southern states of India as well as other Southeast Asian countries like the Philippines and Indonesia. Many took offence that a Western doctor was “imposing” her beliefs on a product that non-Western countries have used for decades. We in India also use it as hair oil as well as for skin care.

 It’s important to remember that no one food is inherently all ‘good’ or all ‘bad’.

But in the past five years or so, people in the United States and other Western countries have come to embrace coconut oil with a fervent passion. So much so that coconut oil has moved into the rarefied world of “health-halo” status. Meaning, its health benefits are perceived to include curative properties too.

So how concerned should you be about its presence in your diet?

Coconut oil is almost all saturated fat and if consumed with a diet high in saturated fats, you may be consuming well over the recommended 20g per day for women and 30g per day for men.

Doctors say that eating foods that contain saturated fatty acids can increase your risk of developing coronary heart disease, due to a rise in the amount of bad cholesterol in your blood.

In addition to coconut oil, other foods that are high in saturated fat include butter, cheese, ghee, and red meat.

On the other side, foods that are high in unsaturated fat include fish, nuts, seeds and vegetable oils.

So should you exclude saturated fats from your diet?

Whether or not to reduce one’s fat intake as part of a healthy diet has been a source of controversy for quite some time. A study published in The Lancet last year said that following a low-fat diet can increase your risk of early death by a quarter.

Doctors say that there’s nothing wrong with consuming coconut oil when done in moderation. It’s important to remember that no one food is inherently all ‘good’ or all ‘bad’.

1 COMMENT

  1. For countless numbers of a long time coconut has been a primary component of the Pacific Islanders’ diet regime. The milk of the coconut is a principal ingredient used for cooking. The juice or drinking water of the coconut is consumed as a delicious and refreshing beverage.The meat is also used for ingesting and cooking, and can be dried and offered for use in baking and desserts. The oil from the coconut is not only utilized for cooking and frying, but for medicinal needs as well.It was in the 70’s and the 80’s when coconut oil earned a bad rep because of its higher material in saturated excess fat. What scientists failed to recognize is that this examine was accomplished on partially hydrogenated coconut oil and not from its raw, organic state. When any normal oil is hydrogenated, its entire chemical make-up is changed, turning it into a trans body fat. Trans fats are extremely unhealthy for you and can lead to heart condition. Virgin coconut oil that has not been hydrogenated, processed, or refined is really a saturated excess fat that is great for you.What some men and women do not realize is that not all saturated fat are bad for you, especially some that arise normally, these kinds of as coconut oil. It is regarded a medium-chain fatty acid (MCFA) that can be very easily digested and burned off. This is as opposed to most of the foods and oils we take in and use each day that are created up of long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs) that our bodies cannot simply breakdown and end up storing as body fat.The oil from coconut also consists of a really exceptional organic fatty acid known as lauric acid. It has antimicrobial qualities that destroys viruses and microorganisms. You can really set coconut oil on cuts and burns due to the fact not only does it kill germs, but it also gives a protective barrier from microorganisms and an infection. Lauric acid is also acknowledged to enhance high-density lipoprotein (HDL) in the entire body, or in other words, raises the “great cholesterol”. This encourages a healthier heart and less threat for coronary heart ailment.Yet another gain of coconut oil is boosting your metabolic rate. Given that coconut oil is a medium-chain fatty acid, it can very easily be digested and speedily turned into energy. This in change will help market fat loss. It also assists support a wholesome immune system due to the fact having a increased metabolic charge can velocity up the healing procedure. A larger metabolic charge can also boost thyroid activity, which is also a reward to people with thyroid problems and uncover it tough to lose bodyweight.When applied topically, coconut oil does wonders on the pores and skin. The Lauric acid and its antimicrobial homes can actually aid mend and handle pimples. It can even be made into a scrub for exfoliating the encounter. It is abundant in vitamin E and can also be employed as a moisturizer and assist reverse the consequences of aging and reduce wrinkles. It can also support reduce the indicators of eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, rashes, or dry and flaky pores and skin. You can use it to treat a dry and flaky scalp, help handle dandruff, and treat dry and damaged hairThe listing truly could go on and on of all the great results coconut oil has on the human human body. It has rightly acquired its title as the “wonder oil”. Whether taken internally or utilized topically, the biggest advantage of coconut oil is getting ready to look and come to feel younger and healthier.

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