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Coconut Oil

Let's take a look at Coconut oil to clear up some confusion about "Good fats / Bad fats".
1tbls Coconut oil = 14.3g = ± 123 calories (517kj)
1 slice of whole-wheat bread (40g) = ± 80 calories (335kj)

So why is Coconut all the rage at the moment?

Well, if you do a quick Google search on Coconut oil you'll get an array of opinions - from trusted talk-show hosts and ''wellness experts'' who have touted coconut oil as nature's ''miracle'' food, to many other health and nutrition experts who disagree.
Personally, I'm more inclined to reach for coconut oil to cook with than any of the GMO filled "vegetable" oils that's been over processed and chemically treated. And when it comes to frying anything, I reach for coconut oil before olive oil because coconut oil has a higher temperature tolerance which means it stays coconut oil at high temperatures whereas olive oil doesn't = free radicals.

So, whom should you believe?

Personally, I'd go for the research - supported facts, the proof and the tested! Hearsay, unsupported "facts" and backstreet research can sound awesome but can also lead us up the road paved with good intentions to the fountain of poor health, disease and and early death. Sound dramatic? Yip, all the different "flavours of the month/year" can sometime be rather drastic to us lay people :-) *research, research, research and research some more*. The only validated research I found was the correclation between coconut oil and depression. I'm not really convinced that breaking a rats arm and then giving it coconut oil to ease it's stress can be a viable bit of research. I reckon that poor rat will be happy to eat rat poison if it's in pain but that was the only validated research I've found on coconut oil! There's absolutely no research to prove that coconut oil heals arthritis, lowers blood pressure, prevents fungi or bacteria growth, reduces inflammation, burns fat, prevents or stops nose bleeds etc etc etc . . . . and if anyone actually finds any real study done on the above, please let me know!

Condensed facts.

There are many claims about coconut oil but the only thing that has been studied and researched extensively is coconut oil's impact on blood cholesterol levels, and the findings thus far don't show a clear-cut answer as to whether it's advantageous or detrimental.
There is little evidence to support some of the health-benefit claims, and most purported beneficial properties attributed to coconut oil seem to be more anecdotal in nature rather than based on scientific research. A couple 100 people all SAYING they felt better after using coconut oil doesn't quite cut it for me. I need to see the scientific facts, AND I also wonder how many people FEEL better because they BELIEVE they're going to feel better? Kind of like the "placebo effect"!

Some premature research has shown that Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT's) do indeed work differently in the body compared to other fats but again, this research is on MCT's not coconut oil specifically. The carbon chain makeup of MCT oil and coconut oil is entirely different. Caprylic acid and capric acid make up 99.9% of MCT oil, and only 10%-15% of coconut oil. A meta-analysis that compiled results from 60 studies looking at the role of individual fats in heart disease found that although coconut oil's fatty acids improved the total cholesterol ratio by raising HDL cholesterol (your good fat), it also raised LDL cholesterol (your bad fat).

Like many things in nutrition, moderation is key. Even if coconut oil turns out to be as healthy as people claim it to be, you can have too much of a good thing. This is the case for fats, proteins, fibre, water—pretty much anything you eat or drink. It's all about moderation and balance.

So, the bottom line is - we actually don't know, or don't have the proof …… yet!! Until we know better, my suggestion, as with all saturated fats, is to use them IN MODERATION. I personally will continue to use coconut oil as my oil of choice however, I'm more convinced that tumeric has more heart and health benefits than coconut oil does!

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