In Defense of Coconut Oil (Again)
By Darlene Kvist, MS, CNS, LN
August 30, 2018
* This post was originally shared in June 2017, it has been slightly updated with more resources, but the gist (our love of coconut oil!) is still going strong.
The hot nutrition topic in the news right now (as it has been before) is why coconut oil isn’t as beneficial as we’ve thought. To which, we want to respond that we completely disagree and here’s our reasoning. First, the recommendation to avoid saturated fats is not new; neither is the argument that saturated fats cause cardiovascular disease. Despite repeated claims that saturated fat and cholesterol are linked to cardiovascular disease, a large, controlled study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found "no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD or CVD."1
Nutritional Weight & Wellness has long recognized that saturated fats, including coconut oil, play an important role in the health of all our cells. In fact, the cell membranes and tissues in the brain and in the mitochondria contain high levels of saturated fat. Dr. David Perlmutter, a renowned neurologist, calls coconut oil a near perfect oil because of its ability to fight off inflammation to support both the brain and the body.
For more information on coconut oil benefits read this blog post by Dr. Mark Hyman Coconut Oil – Are You Coco-Nuts to Eat It?, specifically the section near the bottom entitled “Is Coconut Oil Healthy?”
For an even deeper understanding of dietary fats, read Know Your Fats by Dr. Mary Enig, an authority and respected researcher of fats. Dr. Enig recommends saturated fats, such as butter and coconut oil, because they are stable fats that do not damage the tissue like many vegetable oils (polyunsaturated fats), such as soybean, canola, and corn oils.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Mar; 91(3):535-46.