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Back in the 1960s when I was born, coconut oil was believed to be the “Devil incarnate” (in liquid form) with more saturated fat than lard or butter, rendering it a “cholesterol-raising” … “heart-attack-causing” … “artery-clogging” nightmare. But is this truth or fiction?
We’ve all heard the rhetoric about coconut oil being unhealthy due to the fact that it contains so much of the scary scary “saturated” fat. But according to Thomas Brenna (Cornell University professor) who has extensively reviewed the literature on coconut oil, a considerable part of its stigma can be traced to one major factor: “Most of the studies involving coconut oil were done with partially hydrogenated coconut oil … Virgin coconut oil, which has not been chemically treated, is a different thing in terms of a health risk perspective….”
The studies did not show that saturated fat (in coconut oil) is harmful, but they indicated that *hydrogenated* coconut oil is harmful. The fact of the matter is that all hydrogenated oils are bad, since they have been chemically altered. So, keep in mind that I’m referring specifically to virgin coconut oil, NOT hydrogenated coconut oil.
In the 1950s, Ancel Keys observed that heart disease appeared to be related to hydrogenated oils (“trans-fats”), but the vegetable oil industry then tried to redirect the negative publicity by vilifying “saturated” fats (like coconut oil). Coconut oil continued to be demonized by the vegetable oil industry throughout the ensuing decades. Adding insult to injury, the soybean industry began to condemn the use of tropical oils, particularly coconut oil. Science and good health took a back seat to profits, as they have on more than one occasion…
In 1981, researchers studied populations of two Polynesian atolls, with coconut being was the chief source of caloric energy in both groups. The results (published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition) demonstrated that both populations exhibited positive vascular health. There was zero evidence that the high saturated fat intake had a harmful effect in these populations. Despite the propaganda, the truth is this that UN*saturated fats and “trans-fats” are two primary culprits in heart disease, not saturated fats. If you want proof of this, just do a search for the “French paradox.”
Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, which converts in your body to monolaurin (the compound found in breast milk that strengthens a baby’s immunity). A great deal of research has established the fact that lauric acid is used by humans to destroy viruses, and various pathogenic bacteria and microbes such as yeasts, fungi, bacteria, parasites, and molds.
Coconut oil contains zero trans-fats and about 2/3 of the saturated fat in coconut oil is made up of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs). By contrast, most common vegetable or seed oils are comprised of long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs), which put strain on the pancreas and the liver, are chiefly stored in the body as fat, and harden the arteries with cholesterol. The MCFAs in coconut oil have antimicrobial properties, are beneficial to the immune system, and are easily digested for quick energy.
Over 50% of Americans are overweight. One of the principal benefits of coconut oil lies in its ability to stimulate your metabolism. Back in the 1930’s, Dr. Weston Price (a dentist) traveled throughout the South Pacific, examining traditional diets and their effect on dental and overall health. He found that those eating diets high in coconut products were healthy and trim, despite the high fat concentration in their diet. Then in the 1940’s, farmers found out (by accident) that when they tried using inexpensive coconut oil to fatten their livestock, it didn’t work! Instead, coconut oil made the animals lean!
How does coconut oil help you lose weight?
Apart from human breast milk, coconut oil is the only other food that contains such a high level of MCFAs. With respect to the thyroid gland, these fatty acids ensure that this gland functions optimally by balancing its activity. One of the main “jobs” of the thyroid gland is to control metabolism. In a hypothyroid state, the thyroid gland is underactive and this causes a sluggish metabolism.
Over time, this can lead to a variety of symptoms and conditions and one of them is weight gain. Coconut oil effectively speeds up a sluggish metabolism, thus promoting weight loss.
For 50 years or more, we have been “programmed” to believe that avoiding saturated fat was the “healthy” thing to do and would help us avoid cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
However, folks are becoming more aware of how coconut oil actually benefits health and longevity. Coconut oil is making a real comeback because people are beginning to understand that it’s not the “villain” of bad health. The truth is that coconut oil benefits the body in extraordinary ways and is an extremely heart-healthy choice. Many consider it a miracle food and medicine because it cleanses, heals damaged cells, promotes weight loss, and increases cardiovascular function. According to Dr. Bruce Fife, “coconut oil is the healthiest oil on earth.”
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Ty, can I buy copies (DVD ) of “quest for the cure”.
I buy natural cold pressed, organic virgin Coconut oil non gmo….there are a variety of brand names that make it…my new jar is the brand name “Tahitian Sunset”….cold pressed is best as it’s not processed and retains its full nutritional value
How much oil should you take per day to lose weight?
Anita bowden says
My sister has stage melanoma she is taking 2 different types of medication and she is also using coconut oil please tell me about the coconut oil?
Does cooking (frying) cause coconut oil to become hydrogenated? Should it not be heated, or over heated?
Janice Malovich says
Since I have read so many conflicting articles on coconut oil, as a cancer survivor I have been leary to use it. Thank you so very much for this very informative article. I read and take notes on everything you & Chris Wark talk about~I am very grateful & thankful for your information. Janice
Customer Success says
Thank you for your nice words and we are grateful for your support, Janice!
Have a blessed and healthy day.
Richard Pawley says
I stopped using veggy oils before I knew they were all Glyphosate Modified Organisms (GMO) but wouldn’t use them if organic. Olive oil and organic apple cider vinegar goes on my salads but I have only used Organic coconut oil to cook with for the past 12 years. I also heat around two tablespoons of Organic raw coconut oil in a half cup stainless steel measuring cup and put it and about 17-18 ounces of coffee in a mug which holds 26 ounces of liquid (I use 2 slightly heaping tablespoons of organic medium coffee and 20 ounces of deep well water to make the coffee) and I whip it for a minute with the heated coconut oil with a hand held $20 dollar tool that I got from Walmart. Tricky not to spill it while whipping but 30 seconds makes it look like I added cream but it’s so much healthier. Have had this most mornings for years!
Barbara Twynstra says
Hello Ty and Charlene,
Thank you very much for all of your amazing works,
I’ve really appreciated viewing the docuseries, and learning so much, but this coconut article is awesome.
I’ve been onto coconut oil for a long time, pardon my French but I put that shit on everything and I love it. I, as a matter of fact , I ingest it every day as well. It is amazing stuff, I use it as sunscreen and brush my teeth with it. I always new it was extremely good for the human body, but I hadn’t done a lot of research,, so I was just going on a personal beleif, little did I know that it was completely justified.
So thank you very, very much for the awesome articles. I enjoyed them thoroughly.
Customer Success says
Hello, Barbara 🙂
And thank YOU for the great feedback on the article and your support of our mission!
Have a healthy and blessed day.
Maryann Delicata says
Thank you very much for this useful information and I too would like to know how much can be taken everyday, if it’s still good when it’s heated or used in cooking and some ways we can incorporate it into our diet. thank you.
Mary Dandridge says
Hi Ty & Charlene,
Love all your articles. I have a question about Coconut oil. Why and how does deoderised coconut oil fare against the organic, cold-processed oil. I often find it difficult to buy cold-pressed oil and the shelves in supermarkets are full of deoderised oil, which i don’t buy. I only buy cold-pressed oil when I find it. I have once bought heat expressed oil in Mozambique, but was not happy as I could not find out the real process. Your opinion would be appreciated.
Kind regards, Mary
peggy spence says
We use “Tropical Traditions” If you go to that website it explains all about their product, how it’s processed and where, etc. We order it online and have been for quite awhile now. Hope this helps. Have a blessed day.
Benny Pezzino says
I just use it to FRY once in awhile. Somethings in the pot I always
use Virgin Olive Oil and I mix it with the Coconut Oils.
Can’t think why I would use it any other time.
Years ago, when doing my search, I was told that Extra Virgin Olive Oil breaks down with high heat.
So I always cook with the regular olive oil and smother my salads with Extra Virgin.
my kids don’t like the taste of the coconut oil when I fry with it ? what else I can do ? thanks TY