Coconut oil is full of saturated fat, and many people still think that saturated fat is bad for them. Do you? Saturated fats actually serve many purposes in the body, including providing structure for the cells, helping us to fight viruses, funguses and cancer and more. A good amount of saturated fat is needed in the diet in order for the body to incorporate calcium into to bone as well. Saturated fats also protect the liver from alcohol and other toxins, like drugs. In fact, many studies have shown that the more saturated fats you eat, the healthier you will be. Many people around the world who eat lots of saturated fat are healthy, long-lived peoples, including the Japanese and the French!
It Is Hydrogenated Coconut Oil That Causes Problems, Not Healthy Unrefined Coconut Oil
So how did coconut oil get so vilified in the American press? Americans used to consume a lot of coconut oil, and the food industry used it a lot as well, since it is such a stable oil. But during World War II, our supplies of coconut oil were cut off by the war, and that was when the vegetable oil industry started touting (erroneously) the benefits of using vegetable oils. Even Dr. William Douglas, MD (he writes the newsletter "Real Health News from Medicine's Most Notorious Myth-Buster"), says that coconut oil was vilified mostly because of the vegetable oil industry. In order to prove their point, they took a study that used hydrogenated coconut oil which caused a significant increase in blood cholesterol levels, and then said it was "saturated" fat that caused the problem. However, hydrogenated coconut oil is of course bad for you, like all hydrogenated oils, they turn to trans fatty acids and cause heart disease and more. It was not the saturated fats, but the hydrogenated oils that turned to trans fatty acids.
There was also an individual, Phil Sokolof, who had had a heart attack and decided to use his personal money to attack saturated fats as the cause, based on bad science. At that time, the experts of the day, including the surgeon general, called the coconut oil attacks "foolishness." But Mr. Sokolof had a lot of money to spend and over the years spent over $15 million on ads that attacked saturated fats like those in coconut oil as the cause of coronary heart disease. He, by the way, eventually died of heart failure, perhaps from taking his own advice??
Many, many studies have failed to show a link between consuming saturated fat in the diet and heart disease. On the contrary, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed two groups of Polynesians who consumed lots of coconut products, including coconut oil, and had very low rates of cardiovascular problems. And the famous Framingham, Massachusetts study showed that the more saturated fat you ate, the less you weighed and the longer you lived!
Natural Coconut Oil is the Best Oil To Use in Cooking
Dr. Mecola too, recommends natural, virgin, organic coconut oil as the "smartest oil you can use in cooking." He says that vegetable oils like corn, soy and canola, when heated, are likely to cause trans fatty acids, but not the highly saturated coconut oil. In fact, he says it is the only oil he cooks with. Olive oil is great for salad dressings, but it too is not so good when heated at high temperatures. We totally agree – toss out your supposedly "heart-healthy" vegetable oils and get some Nourishing Planet Coconut Oil today!