The Coconut Oil Debate


Fats are your friend.  Sugar is not.  I probably say this on a daily basis.  If you've been on social media, you've probably seen or read the articles about coconut oil and how it's actually not healthy for you.  It's caused quite a stir!  Here is my take on the coconut oil debate.

My first issue is cholesterol and LDL have this bad rapport.  Cholesterol is not the enemy.  Cholesterol is needed for every single cell membrane, needed to make hormones (like estrogen, testosterone, progesterone), needed for energy and vitamin D levels.  Plus, it also helps to carry away inflammation in the body.  If it was so harmful, why would the body make over 85% of cholesterol in the liver?  (Read more about the cholesterol myth here.)

Some of the sickest and most fatigued people I see are those who have been put on cholesterol lowering drugs - they walk around with joint aches and pains (some move around like they are twice their age), they have severely low energy, poor memory and feel awful.  But good news, their cholesterol is low (some even below 100—which is NOT good at all.) AHHH!  It is all a misconception in my opinion.  Aside from trans fat (which is vegetable oil that has been hydrogenated), fats are your friend!

The links the article sites aren’t even linked to increased heart disease.   They are linked to increased cholesterol levels which aren’t really a predictor for heart disease/strokes- you need to look at triglyceride levels and sugar handling (insulin), as well as CRP on blood work- those are MUCH better predictors.  Additionally, there was a large study in 2010 that stated that increased saturated fat intake didn’t increase cardiovascular disease.

IF (which I don’t believe is the case) saturated fats were really the issue, this article assumes that all saturated fats are the same.  Not true at all!  Coconut oil is 2/3 MCT (medium chain triglycerides).  MCT’s are used for energy and not stored as fat.  If you want more detailed description on the breakdown of that you should read this article.

In my opinion the issues lie with sugar, grain and flour consumption.  I don’t panic if cholesterol or LDL is elevated (unless it is SEVERELY high), I but look especially closely at triglyceride levels, insulin and CRP.  If any of these are slightly high that is when there is a red flag for me. It actually reflects sugar/flour/grain intake and how much inflammation is in the body.  I just think as a society we are focusing on the wrong blood markers for heart disease and there are many people that agree with me.  Give it 10 more years and maybe the American Heart Association will come around ☺.  

Also, lowering fat consumption causes most people’s hunger levels to greatly increase—which leads them to sugars, carbs and processed food—which leads to inflammation (not just in the body but the arteries as well).  

Another major bonus on coconut oil they fail to address is its fantastic microbial properties.  Caprylic acid and lauric acid found in large percentages in coconut oil which are antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral.  I have seen amazing changes in people’s immune system by just adding coconut oil into their daily routine.  You can’t say the same for vegetable oils at all.  The immune boosting properties of coconut oil are phenomenal!

That is just my 2 cents on the article.  I think the misconception of increased saturated fats to heart disease is #1 issue and #2 is blaming the wrong guy (aka sugars, grains, processed foods).   PLUS who funds the AHA?  Big pharma.  I believe money has a lot to do with the root of this topic too… but that is for another day ☺  

PS- this is the same organization that said margarine is good for you (and they may still do).  Margarine is a nasty chemical product that does more damage than any sort of good.  They also say Cocoa Puffs are heart healthy… so take that for what it is worth.

Don't worry, coconut oil, we're on your side.