Coconut Oil: Superhero or Supervillain?
Some people tout coconut oil as if it has special powers, used for the good of saving all humanity.
But now the headlines are making it out to be a fatal, fatty fiend.
Who is right? And more importantly, will humanity prevail? Tune in now to find out…
Let's Talk About Coconut Oil
The American Heart Association recently caused a big meltdown regarding coconut oil. Their main point was excessive saturated fats are associated with cardiovascular disease.
In case you haven't heard: This is not new information.
Coconut oil is over 90% saturated fat and a processed plant oil almost entirely devoid of any essential nutrients – no matter how it was refined. Whenever we begin to alter any whole food product we diminish the nutrients available.
But what does this mean? Should you eat it or not?
For every next level scientific argument saying coconut oil is bad for you, there’s a next level scientific argument saying it’s good. It all starts getting confusing very quickly. So I’ll spare you the science lesson.
There is no need to stress the complex details. The one fact that matters is: consuming large amounts of saturated fats is unhealthy.
However, before you ditch coconut oil completely, none of this means it can’t be a healthy part of your diet.
Let’s Talk About Fats
Other than coconut oil, saturated fats come from animal fats (eggs, dairy, meats, butter, cheeses). North America has already proven we can eat more than a sufficient amount of these. So you can see why the AHA might suggest skipping the coconut oil.
But if you really like it and want to continue eating it, one of two things needs to happen (possibly both):
1. Eat a balance of three fats: Polyunsaturated, Monounsaturated, Saturated
Focus on adding unsaturated fats to your diet to balance the saturated fats:
2. Limit lots of saturated fats, sugar and refined carbs. (Basically the staple of the Western Diet.)
In this context, coconut oil isn’t the problem. It’s everything else we’re eating.
If you consistently eat a balanced diet, you probably aren’t randomly eating an excessive amount of saturated fat. And adding a little coconut oil is fine because you’re getting a good balance of all fats.
But if you tend to eat out a lot, or have a lot of prepackaged/processed foods, you probably already consume too much saturated fat, and coconut oil is just adding to it.
So if you want to safely include coconut oil in your diet, you’re going to need to start eating a lot less processed food.
The Epic Conclusion
Coconut oil isn’t a superhero or a supervillain. It’s just coconut oil.
If you really like it, go with one of the options above, or even a combination of the two.
If both options seem too complicated to you, or you don’t like coconut oil anyway, you’re better off avoiding it.
It's really all about balance. If you enjoy coconut oil then use it wisely; don't cook with it at every meal.
It’s not the magical diet fix. In fact that applies for any oil; the plant oils are best used in limited amounts for cooking, salad dressings and/or baking.
If you are stuck and need healthy ideas for switching out some of the saturated fats in your diet, let me know and I can give you alternatives.