The American Heart Association would have us believe that the coconut has “has no known offsetting favorable effects.” It’s interesting that in societies where coconut is a staple of the diet, vascular disease is low to non-existent, whereas in western or westernized societies, where saturated fat is demonized, vascular disease, and it’s friend obesity, are epidemic.
For example, in Tokelau and Pukapuka, where a main staple of the diet is coconut, vascular disease is rare. Another example are the Kitevan of New Guinea, who consume a considerable portion of their diet in coconut, but for whom researchers found no coronary heart disease.
For 100 benefits for using coconut oil go to: //thecoconutmama.com/coconut-oil-uses/
Here are 10 reasons coconut oil is good for you: Coconut oil is good for your heart – it has been shown to raise HDL (the good cholesterol) and improve the type of LDL cholesterol by making it more pattern A than pattern B which is a good thing as we saw in last weeks article.
- Coconut oil is good for your brain – it is the only thing that has been shown to reverse the effects of Alzheimer’s when combined with exercise. It contains medium-chain triglycerides that have been shown to have therapeutic value for people with certain brain disorders, ADHD and epilepsy. I use ¼ cup of coconut oil in my tea every morning. I notice a significant difference in brain fog if I do not use it.
- Coconut oil is good for your thyroid – Unlike soy oil and other vegetable oils, coconut oil does not interfere with thyroid function. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation that may lead to hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.
- Coconut oil is good for weight loss – As a medium chain fatty acid coconut oil is the perfect “fuel” as it goes straight to the liver and is used as almost pure energy. Because it gives us this instant energy, we are less likely to snack on sugary items to get that jolt of energy that we need sometimes. It also suppresses your appetite. Coconut oil does not spike insulin. It has also been shown to help rid the body of excess fat.
- Coconut oil is good for the immune system – Lauric acid, which makes up about half of it’s fatty acids, can eliminate harmful pathogens such as fungi, bacteria and viruses. It has been shown to prevent cold/and the flu and to alleviate the symptoms of hepatitis C, Herpes and Epstein-barr.  I have had the flu once in my life and cannot remember the last time I had a cold.
- Coconut oil is good for getting rid of candida – In a mouse study comparing coconut oil with soybean or beef tallow, coconut fed mice had a 10-fold drop in gut candida. Candida infestation wreaks havoc in the body and is very difficult to treat ordinarily.
- Coconut oil is good for your teeth and gums- Swishing with coconut oil for 15 minutes every morning eliminates bad breath and has been shown to prevent plaque.7 It may also prevent encephalitis which is more likely if you have gingivitis (gum disease.) I put a teaspoon in my mouth while I am standing in front of my near infrared sauna every morning. My dentist is always raving about how healthy my gums are.
- Coconut oil is good for your hair and scalp– Making your own shampoo with coconut oil can help with dandruff as well as with other scalp conditions.
- Coconut oil is awesome for your dog’s coat – Coconut oil makes a great dog shampoo as it helps to eliminate odor. Just add a little though or you get a greasy doggie.
- Coconut oil is a natural meat tenderizer – but don’t use it for fish as you will end up with fish mush. I think the tenderizing quality is what makes it a good cellulite remedy. No research though to back that up, just my anecdotal observations.
7 J Indian Soc Peridontol. 2014 Jul:18(4):441-6
A Word About Saturated Fats in General
There are over a dozen saturated fats, but we mainly consume Butyric, Palmiric, Myristic, Lauric and Stearic saturated fats. Unsaturated fats, also called the Omegas 3, 5, 6, 7, and 9 are either monounsaturated or polyunsaturated and either essential or non-essential.
When a fat is saturated, it means that the molecule has all of the hydrogen atoms it can hold.
Unsaturated means that there are spaces between some of the hydrogen atoms. This can be a problem because opening the structure of the molecule makes it susceptible to attack by free radicals. Notice that this is the opposite of the way we are taught to think of fats.
Free radicals can damage healthy cells and cause a whole host of health issues. When unsaturated oils are exposed to free radicals through the process of hydrogenation, the cells in the oil age, and the oils can become rancid. Not only are they capable of becoming rancid in the jar in which they are stored, they may also become rancid in our bodies, which contributes to a variety of the illnesses that are currently plaguing Americans.
Saturated fats have many benefits if they meet the following criteria: Grass-fed, raw or lightly pasteurized dairy (milk, cream, butter, cheese, cottage cheese); Grass-fed/grass-finished beef; Pastured sustainably grown pork and poultry (that are fed Non-GMO, organic grains only when absolutely necessary); Coconut and palm kernel oil; and Cacao have the following health benefits:
The benefits that saturated fats offer us are:
- Saturated fatty acids constitute at least 50% of our cell membranes. They give our cells their necessary stiffness and integrity, and they prevent cell damage
- Saturated fats play a vital role in the health of bones. For calcium to be effectively incorporated into the skeletal structure, at least 50% of dietary fats should be saturated.
- Saturated fats lower the substances in the blood that increase the likelihood of heart disease.
- Saturated fats protect the liver from alcohol and other toxins.
- Saturated fats enhance the immune system.
- Saturated fats are needed for the proper utilization of essential fatty acids.
- Specifically, omega-3 essential fatty acid, which are critical to cardiovascular health, are better retained in body tissue when the diet is rich in saturated fats.
 “The Skinny on Fats,”
Stay tuned for the last article in this series on why the AHA might be promoting the lipid theory of heart disease and what you can do about it to ensure that you are heart healthy.
Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity.
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Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.
©2017, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2017, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/
7 J Indian Soc Peridontol. 2014 Jul:18(4):441-6
 “The Skinny on Fats,”