12/03/2015

Why Coconut Oil is Not a Healthy Option

It really worries me, the volume of people who blindly follow the pack without question or reason when it comes to personal health.
The coconut oil 'FAD' in particular concerns me a great deal.

With a range of excellent cooking properties and the fact that it comes from coconuts, I can understand why the assumption can be easily made that you've stumbled on the holy grail of cooking oils. Unfortunately, this is far from truth.

Essentially, oils are fats nothing else qualifies on the nutritional labels to receive a mention apart from the occasional vitamin or mineral mention which in most cases will be removed in any cooking process anyway and only receives a mention so you think you are receiving additional benefits.

But if oils are just fat, shouldn't they all be equal? Fats are evil artery clogging, pimple inducing, obesity makers. How could any of them be considered a healthy option?

Facts on fats

Our bodies need a small amount of fat to help provide energy, absorb certain nutrients and maintain your core body temperature.
The recommended daily intake is on average 30% of your total energy intake.
However, not all fats are created equal.

Saturated fat found mostly in butter, lard, milk, cheese, cream, and the fat in meat and poultry.  Tropical oils like palm and coconut oils also contain large amounts of saturated fat.
Saturated fat is most closely associated with increased health risks.  This fat has been shown to increase “bad” cholesterol (LDL) levels and decrease “good” cholesterol levels .  
Trans-fat or hydrogenated oils, acts like saturated fat by increasing “bad” cholesterol and potentially decreasing “good” cholesterol. Trans fats naturally occur in some dairy products, beef, veal, lamb and mutton.
Monounsaturated fats have been found to lower “bad” cholesterol levels in our blood while increasing “good” cholesterol.
Polyunsaturated fats like monounsaturated fats, lower total cholesterol levels in our blood, especially when used as a replacement for saturated fats.

Experts still agree that saturated fats should add up to no more than 10% of your total daily energy intake. (I am sure I will get a few arguments on this so please back them up with proven facts and I will be more than happy to entertain the possibility that I am wrong.)
"You should try and check genuine research papers, rather than just believe what is published on blogs or other health websites."
-Rosmary Stanton
**She also recommends trying to see if the person writing the article has any conflicts of interest.
Back to my main point, how does Coconut oil compare to the other main contenders?
Oil Content overview


It is clear, at least from the labels, that coconut oil's saturated fat (increases LDL-bad cholesterol)  content far outweighs it's poly and mono (reduces LDL- bad cholesterol) content in comparison to other types.

If you are a vegan, I might be able to see the benefit of coconut oil if you are not getting enough saturated fat, however for those who consume dairy and meat on a daily basis I would be suggesting that you are already getting enough saturated fat and should be looking at a healthier option than coconut oil.

What oils do you use and why?
What factors determine a healthy voice for your family?