There has been some recent media publicity stating coconut oil is 93% saturated fat and that saturated fat is bad. To say coconut oil is bad simply because it is saturated just doesn’t make sense.
After reading the article in question, I had a look at the recipes by the chef making those accusations. Many of them included meats, butter and dairy - all of which are saturated fats.
I figure if I am confused, perhaps you are too? So let’s clarify a few things about fats and oils and their levels of saturation.
There are three kinds of fats and oils:
Oils fit into one of the above categories based on their level of saturation and they differ by their molecular structure. That is the number of carbon atoms versus hydrogen atoms and how they are joined. To say oil is good or bad because of its molecular structure or level of saturation is misleading.
Each category has both good and bad oils. Cold pressed flaxseed oil is healthy and processed hydrogenated soya bean oil is not. Both are polyunsaturated. Animal fats and coconut oil are both saturated fats. Animal fats carry the cholesterol of the animal. Coconut oil is plant based with the added health-promoting factor of being made up of predominantly Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFAs).
Trans fats are highly processed synthetic versions of polyunsaturated fat developed for use in processed and fast foods in order to reduce costs and preserve shelf life. This is definitely not healthy!
In 1961, Time Magazine published an article with the research of scientist Ancel Keys. It stated that all saturated fats are bad and that we should not consume tropical oils or butter. This was the beginning of what became a worldwide misconception about coconut oil. In 2014, Time Magazine published an article saying that in 1961 they were wrong and that saturated fat is healthy!
I have completed almost six years of research on fats and oils, in particular coconut oil, which is how and why I founded Coconut Magic. Delia McCabe is a leading scientific researcher in nutrition for the brain. Delia boasts more than 20 years of research on fats and oils. Here is what Delia has to say about saturated fats, coconut oil and cholesterol.
“Fats and oils are a very complicated subject and too many people who have very little experience are claiming expertise. Not all saturated oils are bad, and not all are good. Not all polyunsaturated fats or monounsaturated fats are good either, as processing causes damage, resulting in trans fats, a toxic fat that cells cannot use efficiently. Coconut oil is a healthy saturated fat. It contains Medium Chain Triglycerides that have wonderful health benefits. However, it can also be unhealthy, if it is processed.
Two of the primary drivers of cholesterol are stress and a lack of fiber. Cholesterol is the foundation for cortisol, so stress increases the production of cholesterol because the body requires cortisol when stress is being experienced. Instead of being concerned about cholesterol from food it is more important to learn how to manage cholesterol, and the bodies need for cholesterol.
Animal forms of Saturated fat can increase cholesterol, however this is not the main reason for high levels of cholesterol. Plant forms of saturated fats act differently to animal forms in the body - it is processed by the liver directly into energy and does not have a negative effect on cholesterol. Another important thing to know is that 60% of the dry weight of the brain is made up of fat. Between 20-25% of that 60% is made up of essential fatty acids and the rest is saturated fats. Coconut oil being a saturated fat has some unique benefits for the brain.“
Back in the 1930’s the misconception started that all saturated fats are the same. This information was incorrect, and a clear distinction has now been made between animal saturated fats, and plant based saturated fats such as coconut oil.
I was asked recently what my latest findings are with regards to coconut oil and cholesterol. For me, nothing has changed since my very first discovery and the beginning of my research in Thailand in 2009. Coconut oil is amazing and it is one of the healthiest oils in the world. It always has been and, for me, it always will be.
If you love coconut oil (like we do) please share this article to ensure others will also continue to reap the health and beauty benefits of this miracle oil.
Fats that heal, fats that kill. Erasmus U. Burnaby BC, Canada:
Alive Books; 1993.
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Author: Jenni Madison
Jenni started Coconut Magic when she returned from living in Thailand in 2011.Whilst abroad, Jenni had discovered the most amazing quality of coconut oil and experienced her own health transformation. Jenni returned with very little other than her coconut oil discovery and a desire to share it with the world. Just a few months after her return coconut oil and a whole new perception of well being started to become 'rediscovered' in the west. People were looking for clean, pure and sustainable, health products. People were eager to learn about health food, raw food and healing with plant-based nutrition. Based on this, alongside Jenni's passion to share what she had discovered in the East, the company grew fast.
Coconut Magic is committed to bringing you the highest quality coconut products, backed by sustainable, fairly traded production, and well being education.
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