Coconut Oil and the Controversy Attached

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coconut oil

Over the past ten (10) years, the popularity of coconut oil, and its uses has been on the rise. It was most common in South East Asian cooking. But has quickly found its way into; an alternative to other cooking oils, skin ointments, hair care products and more. 

Some ‘experts‘among other articles and findings, suggested that coconut oil was healthier than other oils. Some reports went as far as deeming it a ‘superfood’. And, that is kind of a big deal, and likely a result of the surge in its use. 

The AHA Study that Shook the Coconut Oil World Up

In June 2017 the American Health Association released a study (that you can find here) that stayed coconut oil was very high in saturated fat. Needless to say this is when things got a little bit crazy. Well, crazy in the world of self proclaimed coconut oil experts. 

Pretty heated. On one side you had the coconut oil advocates and the others on the attack. Then, when you throw in the self proclaimed experts and enthusiasts in the mix, making things even nuttier (and no pun there since .. we’re not talking about an actual nut!) Many have criticised the American Health Association (AHA), which is apparently funded by various food and drug companies, making it a biased source.

The study also only looked at existing data, and some say that data was only chosen that supported the claim.  

Dr Tania Dempsey, an expert in chronic disease, autoimmune disorders and mast cell activation syndrome was among those who ‘defended the oil‘. Her article makes several suggestions relating to the previous mention above of a bias report. And, specifically who was responsible for funding it. 

And to make things worse, the media was selective in the pieces they took from the study. Then, they slapped it on every headline they could. The problem (well, one of) is that if you are taking a quick read or a quick scroll on the internet, it is the headlines you remember.

It is the headlines people run with, even without having read the article itself. coconut oil

Talk About Confusing!

This can be very confusing for people, as the headlines linked to communication of studies can create alarm, and the research will at times focus on one specific aspect of the coconut oil, for example in this case the saturated fat component, and draw negative conclusions from there, without taking into account additional factors,” (Dietician and educator for Bioceuticals Belinda Reynolds)

Here is what we can say with certainty.

Balance and moderation are key (even coconut oil), and if we consume a diet rich in;

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • A variety of fat sources
  • Lots of fibre
  • Limited sugar and alcohol
  • Sufficient rest and physical activity

.. then coconut oil is not going to cause heart disease, and may in fact be beneficial to health — especially if it is replacing other fat types. 

Reynolds went on to say that, ‘Ideally, to minimize the negative impact fat can have on health we need to be keeping inflammation at bay by;

  1. Eating a plant-rich, anti-inflammatory diet
  2. Keep sugar and nasty deep-fried, trans and hydrogenated fats to a minimum

(*please note this type of ‘diet’ is one that Ki’s Kitchen follows without fail)

It seems that the main concern talked about coconut oil is due to its saturated fat content. And, suggestion that it may increase risk of heart disease risk. However, it is important to also understand that there are plenty of beneficial factors associated with coconut oil.

The Coconut Oil Verdict

There is research that suggests, that coconut oil can assist in the following areas;

  •  Management of healthy blood sugar
  • Reduce oxidative stress (support healthy blood pressure as well as healthy growth and development)
  • Reduce inflammation in the joints.
  • And, reduce inflammation throughout the intestinal tract

Certain components of coconut oil, primarily the medium chain triglycerides that make up a portion of the saturated fats in coconut oil, are also known for their ability to support cognition in certain areas of the population, to be antimicrobial, and to support energy production.

All in all, would love your thoughts and feedback on coconut oil. And, if we can answer any specific questions you may have – based on our experience and knowledge, please feel free to contact us anytime!

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Thank you so much for visiting! I hope you have found some valuable information, if so, I’d love to hear about it! Please feel free to share this post with anyone who might benefit, and comments are always welcomed and appreciated. 

I look forward to connecting with you next time!

And be sure to check out why you should order your family’s next meal courtesy of Ki’s Kitchen  
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From our kitchen to yours,

Love + Peace

Kiran 

 
 
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