Is coconut oil the enemy?
I’m sure by now you’ve seen the articles floating around about the web about the dangers of coconut oil, saturated fat, and even the paleo diet.
I’m here to tell you that this is poor information.
-Saturated fat is not the enemy. In fact, did you know that saturated fat actually raises HDL levels (the good cholesterol)? Ironic, huh? Unless you’re eating multiple tablespoons of coconut oil a day, it simply cannot be harmful to your health. In fact there is not one study out there showing that coconut oil can actually lead to heart disease.
-The root cause of heart disease is from inflammation, not saturated fats. The American Diet is laden with trans fats, sugar, boxed foods, and highly processed meats. Decrease the inflammation and you decrease your risk of heart disease. Saturated fats (certainly not coconut oil and grass fed butter) are not the culprits, fast food and poor dietary choices are.
-Most people who are proponents of the paleo diet recognize that it is a lifestyle change, not a fad. A true paleo diet should be high in vegetables and contain adequate amounts of meat, nuts/seeds, and quality animal protein. The media has skewed what a paleo diet is intended to be. It is not a diet of just bacon and butter- far from it in fact. Yes, saturated fats are encouraged with this lifestyle, but that’s because they are necessary for hormonal health, cell membranes, and brain function.
-Canola oil, vegetable oils, and margarine are NOT better options. They are high in Omega 6’s which the Standard American Diet is already far too high in. Not to mention, these oils are highly processed and DO increase the risk of heart disease. More on that HERE.
-Finally, what diet is the American Heart Association touting? Well let’s see…if you look at their study that came out last week (which was funded by the Canola Oil Industry by the way), you’ll see that they are advocating for a highly processed diet. They encourage consumers to eat vegetable oils, cereal grains, and low-fat dairy products. There is no science behind this. Not modern science at least. We know now that gluten, sugar, and processed foods cause inflammation. So encouraging us to eat those foods is simply poor (and dangerous) advice.
My advice? Eat fats, they’re good for you. And if coconut oil is your fat of choice, go for it.