Coconut oil, good or bad?
The last report released by The American Heart Association warned against coconut oil because of its high amount of saturated fats.
While the past decade coconut oil has been tout as one of the magic ingredient for a healthy diet.
Mmmm are we missing something? Probably yes. I don’t really trust much about all these reports and studies. Many times there is politic or financial influences behind so the result are not as certain as they should be.
But anyway, for those of you who are wondering if coconut oil is good or bad for our health, I just wanted to leave here my own personal reflexion about the subject.
- There are no miracles, there isn’t a magic ingredient we could be consuming all day long without getting unhealthy reactions. Not even water! I believe all natural ingredients consumed in moderation are good for you, unless you suffer from any allergy, intolerance or disease and you can’t have it at all.
- I was born in one of the mother country of olive oil. I’ve been raised consuming, using and enjoying olive oil. Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat, which has been proved to be sooo beneficial for our health (if consumed in moderation). So, why I would change olive oil for coconut oil? The trends, the foodies, instagramers have promoted coconut oil, making it an essential product. I admit, I have included it in my diet, but just sporadically, when I want a more intense coconut flavour or specific texture, olive oil can’t give me.
- Coconut oil is in fact very high in saturated fat. Saturated fats are those that naturally, are solid at room temperature and liquid when heated. Don’t misunderstand with trans fat, which are liquid fats processed by hydrogenation to become solid. Saturated fats are the ones found in coconut oil, red meat, whole milk or other whole-milk dairy foods like cheese. A diet rich in saturated fats leads to an increase of total cholesterol, bad and good (LDL and HDL) which can cause arteries to block or with other words, the risk of heart disease. The thing is that the percentage of increase is higher in good cholesterol (HDL), so the ratio gets better.
- Some studies have proven that the medium chain triglycerides (MCT) increases your metabolism. Because MCT molecules are smaller, they require less energy and enzymes to break them down, so they are digested and absorbed quickly. Having a high metabolic rate, means cells can heal and repair quicker and also burns fat at higher speed.
- Coconut oil is a wonderful ingredient for natural beauty treatments. You can use it as make up removal, as scrub if mixed with coarse salt. It brings softness to your hair, gets rid of dandruff or as conditioner. Coconut oil pulling help remove toxins and bacteria from you mouth helping with whitening and cavities.
My most sincere suggestions are:
- Use what it’s local available for you. Don’t change your good healthy habits just because some foodies or beauty trends. Trust in tradition.
- When buying coconut oil, always go for raw, cold-pressed and unfiltered
- Consume fats in moderation, no more than 2 tablespoons per day (5-6% of your total daily calories. Remember your intake of fat doesn’t depends only on liquid oils. Nuts, seeds, avocado, blue fish… all them are loaded with healthy fats.