Saturday, December 7, 2013

Coconut Oil...The Truth

One of the biggest fads these days in the food world and Pinterest universe is the clout surrounding the use of Coconut Oil. I'll admit...I was on that bandwagon for a while. In fact, last Thanksgiving, we substituted all of our butter for Coconut Oil in every recipe we did (from pie crusts to stuffing)...and my poor family just about died. Stomach pains, multiple trips to the "oval office," and just plain cruddy feelings. But still, I knew that it helped keep off belly fat. I knew that it was good for my heart. I knew that it was a miracle fat because that's what all the bloggers on Pinterest had told me.

And there are a lot of people out there that truly believe it. But, is it true?

On my post the other day with my Carrot Cake Cupcake recipe, I mentioned that Coconut Oil is pretty bad for us. After I decided to make the change to a Plant-Based, Whole Foods lifestyle, one simple fact smacked me square in the face: A Fat, is a Fat, is a FAT. If it looks like fat, feels like fat, is called a fat, then it's a fat. It's as simple as that.

One of my favorite Plant-Based "intellectuals" is Julieanna Hever, or The Plant-Based Dietitian. In one of her posts just a couple months ago, she dissected the myth surrounding Coconut Oil, pulling an excerpt from a new book by Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina (respected Dietitians) called, Becoming Vegan.

Essentially...Coconut Oil is concentrated over-processed (yes, even if you get the unrefined stuff) nutrient deficient saturated fat.

Now, not that it's going to kill us if we use it. It's like any oil...less is best. Especially for those who are over the age of 30 and beginning to see signs of high-cholesterol and high blood pressure.

The excerpt does mention Coconut Oil's possible benefits, but the same benefits can be found in healthier and more nutrient dense foods. You want anti-inflammatories? Flax seeds, whole grains, dark leafy greens, nuts, soy, peppers, tomatoes, beets, ginger, garlic, onions, and more. You want antioxidants? Berries, beans, apples, potatoes, pecans, and more! Plus, you get all the healthful nutrients and vitamins that are natural to those foods. Winner, winner, tofu dinner!

So, moral of the story? Use coconut oil on your hair. Use it in your sugar scrubs. But try hard to keep it out of your food. With oils, less is always BEST!

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