Healthy or Not?
Fun Fact: There are no studies showing that coconut oil causes heart disease, but there are studies showing that low-fat diets cause heart disease.
Fun Fact II: We need cholesterol and saturated fat for the health of every cell membrane, for your brain cells, your sex hormones, and more.
Fun Fact III: Breast milk contains 24% saturated fat.
Do we need saturated fats?
- Yes! It’s important to get some saturated fats in the diet (4 – 7% of calories).
- Saturated fats prevent your cholesterol molecules from oxidizing; oxidized cholesterol is what causes heart attacks!
- Get your saturated fats from whole foods, including the following:
- coconut oil
- nuts and seeds
Benefits of coconut oil:
- raises HDL (the good cholesterol)
- improves the quality, size, and type of cholesterol
- lowers total cholesterol to HDL ratio
- contains MCT oil (boosts metabolism)
- reverses insulin resistance
- improves cognitive function
- contains lauric acid (great for immune function)
Higher smoke point = better for cooking
- The smoke point is the temperature at which the oil starts to smoke, and harmful products of oxidation form.
- Although unrefined coconut oil is healthier, it should not be used in cooking. (Its little particles lower the smoke point to 350 degrees.)
- Refined coconut oil: 450 degrees smoke point
- Oils start to break down as soon as they’re opened.
- Refrigerate/freeze coconut oil after opening.
- Unopened oils will last 6 months to a year before going rancid.
- Rancid means the chemical decomposition of oil that produces bad flavors, odors, and a harmful breakdown of products which can be cytotoxic (toxic to cells) and genotoxic (toxic to DNA).
- Use white wine, water, or a broth when frying. At the end of the cooking, add a little oil for flavor.
- Put a teaspoon of coconut oil in some hot cocoa.
- Put a small amount of oil you’ll be using that week in a different container for easy access. (Keep the rest in the refrigerator or freezer.)
Can cacao help prevent depression?
- veghealth.com interview with Brenda Davis
- Mark Hyman’s article: Coconut Oil — Are You Coco-Nuts to Eat It?
- Eat Fat, Get Thin (Mark Hyman)