Ever ask yourself why obesity rates have been escalating in the face of the war on fat? If fat loss and optimal health are your goals, then sorting out which pantry oils you buy should be as much of a concern as what foods you buy. Saturated fats like coconut oil and other natural fats like cheese and butter from grass feed herbivores are making a strong comeback after being wrongly accused of being “artery-clogging fats.â€ The ridiculous war on natural fats is over – it was junk science all along.
Long before we learned about this beneficial oil, its medicinal properties were revered by ingenious peoples living in the tropics. In fact, coconuts remain a staple in the diets of Polynesians. Perhaps the best example of a coconut loving South Pacific population is the Tokelauans. The diet of these New Zealand natives show more than 50% of caloric intake comes from eating coconuts. These natives are the biggest consumers of saturated fat in the world with a surprising low incidence of heart disease, cancer and other chronic diseases that plague our modern societies.
Research studies on native diets high in natural saturated fats like coconut oil (and the meat of free range grazing animals) show these populations to be far healthier than western nations where saturated fats have been demonized and replaced in favor of “healthierâ€ polyunsaturated vegetable oils and hydrogenated fats. So what’s wrong with manufactured vegetable oils and fake fats like margarine? Everything! The chemically altered hydrogenated oils that line grocery store aisles and the shelves of fast food kitchens are foreign fats to your body. They oxidize at high temperatures (trans fats) during the manufacturing process and again when you cook with them – creating free radicals that damage cells and cause inflammation. Hydrogenation (when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil) increases the shelf life and flavor stability of fats. Bingo – once again the food industry profits and the uneducated consumer pays the price.
Trans fats are commonly found in processed foods made with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (soybean, safflower, corn), vegetable shortenings, and margarines. Avoid crackers, candies, cookies, snack foods, fried foods, and baked goods known to have trans fats. Did you know that trans fats were recognized as a health hazard years ago? Processed food makers have been required to report these bad fats on their labels since 2006. Proof that many Americans do not read people or pet food labels!
Time to toss out these supermarket fakes and shop for pure tropical oils. Coconut’s unique composition of fatty acids makes it highly resistant to oxidation when heated – perfect for cooking methods which require high heat, such as frying. Note to health conscious cooks: Use only expeller pressed oils (no heat used), like virgin olive oil for salad dressings. These are cold oils and should never be used for cooking.
Coconut oil is also nature’s richest source of lauric acid. Science has validated the efficacy of lauric acid’s killing power against common pathogens like bacteria, viruses and fungi.
For health enhancement, adults should consume 2 tablespoons of virgin coconut oil daily. For dogs, use 1/4th teaspoon per 10 lbs. of body weight 2 times daily.
Find peer reviewed published studies and other reliable sources of information at CoconutOil.com.
Read the heartwarming and somewhat shocking story of a family in the Philippines that is helping countless people successfully battle illnesses for which there is no modern-day cure in the book, Virgin Coconut Oil by Brian and Marianita Jader Shilhavy.
Next week in Part Two, discover how coconut oil is turning the clock back on Alzheimer’s disease. This is truly amazing stuff!