Coconut oil is a greatly misunderstood saturated fat. Wrongly accused for causing cardiovascular disease, along with other saturated fats, it is considered to be an unhealthy choice due to its saturated nature. Native population is Asia have diets extremely rich in saturated fats based on coconut products without having heart of obesity problems for thousands of years. This was the case for the rest of the world of course until margarine and artificial vegetable oils became popular. Before 1930, when butter and lard were traditionally used in the kitchen, less than 3,000 cases of myocardial infractions were recorded in USA. After 1950, when “healthy” margarine and vegetable oils became popular, an astonishing 500,000 lives were claimed by heart attacks. Right now a monumental 17.1 million people die of cardiovascular disease worldwide. There is an amazing confusion concerning healthy and unhealthy fats at the moment.
So, coconut oil is healthy. The very fact that it is saturated makes it a very healthy fat to use for cooking. High temperatures have no impact on the structure of saturated fats. This has to do with their chemistry and how they react with other molecules. Heat cannot cause any chemical or structural changes to saturated fats. Except for this important fact, coconut oil has been found to have significant antimicrobial and antiviral properties. This makes a big difference during digestion, when the contents of our stomach proceed to the gut. The gut and the digestive tract in general is the barrier between the internal part of the body and the external environment. The food we consume is full of bacteria, dust and many other potential pathogens that go undetected. It is massively important for our body to prevent all these dangerous agents from being absorbed along with the valuable nutrients. So, if the very oil we cook our food into is antimicrobial, imagine how much this helps in cleansing the food from harmful pathogens and how much this alleviates our body’s defense systems! Coconut oil consists at least 40% of a fatty acid called Lauric acid. This fat is found in breast milk and research since the 60s has shown that this very substance is responsible for the antiviral and antimicrobial protection babies receive from their mother’s milk. Further research showed that the human body uses Lauric acid to produce a chemical derivative, which subsequently attacks and dissolves the membrane many viruses are covered with in order to be able to infect healthy cells.
Finally ladies, you will be happy to know that coconut oil has anti-aging and incredible weight loss properties. During the 40s, “dedicated” farmers were trying different protocols to get their animals fat as quickly as possible. One of the experimental diets they tried was based on coconut oil but they got the exact opposite results, their animals became lean and slim! Coconut oil has the ability to stimulate thyroid function. Active thyroid means elevated metabolic rates and more efficient fat loss even while you sleep! In the presence of adequate thyroid hormone, cholesterol is converted in extremely important hormones (anti-aging steroids, progesterone, pregnenolone etc) that fight off heart disease, obesity, cancer and other degenerative diseases. The farmers of the story were obviously disappointed to see their animals lean and fit so when it became known that coconut oil stimulates the thyroid function, tried to feed the animals anti – thyroid drugs to shut the thyroid gland down and make them fat. While that happened, they also developed cancer in higher rates. Then, they realized that they could have the fattening result without the cancer if they just fed their livestock with soy bean and corn! This last piece of info makes it a lot easier to distinguish between healthy (coconut) and very unhealthy oils indeed.
Helen Davies MSc is an experienced medical researcher, holding a Master Degree in Human Molecular Genetics. As the founder of Primal Health company, she has been involved in research in the Nutrition area. Her expertise focuses on Nutritional Genomics and Functional Medicine. If you are interested in state of the art Nutritional advice, visit our website –> http://www.Primal-Health.com