Coconut oil, a new, scary saturated fat – is this true?

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Coconut oil, a new, scary saturated fat – is this true?

Have you heard about the latest news release from the American Heart Association (AHA) regarding saturated fat being directly tied to raising LDL “the bad cholesterol”?

It especially targets coconut oil this time.

Here’s my take

We can all calm down and still eat coconut oil as part of a healthy, balanced diet.

I thought of sharing all the research with you guys, but the truth is we don’t really need to give this whole coconut oil thing much of our attention.

Let’s zoom out for a moment and focus less on worrying about one specific food and take a wide angle of the whole picture – getting back to the basics of eating real food much like our ancestors did.

Let’s instead spend our energy on getting fresh air, sunshine, resting, drinking water, loving, doing our best to manage stress, having meaningful relationships, doing things that bring us joy and serve others, and moving our bodies daily.

And for the final word, I’ll always point back to YOU – to listen to your own body, your wisest and most honest teacher within.

The health of your heart and the rest of your body is about so much more than just coconut oil intake, or any other one food.

At the end of the day, that is what I hope we will have faith in. It served many generations before us and serves many other non-Western countries today who are healthier than Americans.

We should stay up-to-date with what is happening with our food supply, yes, but we need not freak out when a new scary recommendation comes out that tells us we’ve been doing it all wrong, despite our best efforts.

I can’t make people promises of immortality because we eat healthfully, but I can say in full confidence that if eating real food is the foundation of your wellness faith, you have a far better chance of thriving in health than habitually consuming these food-like products that are on the market for profit.

Real food is and has always been, the best medicine.

So nothing has changed. It’s still okay to enjoy coconut oil as part of a healthy, balanced diet.

Rotate it with other healthy fats like grass-pastured butter, ghee, olive oil, avocados, fatty fish like salmon, sardines, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, chia, hemp, flax seeds. And even a bit of pastured pork lard can occasionally be in the mix.

So you ask – when should I NOT eat coconut oil?

There are times when even a good-for-you food isn’t always good for YOU. P.s. this goes for more than coconut oil!

  • If you’re allergic or intolerant to it
  • If you use it exclusively or use A LOT of it every day
  • If you already eat a steady diet of saturated fats and processed sugar, like pizza, cakes, breads, cookies, bagels, pasta – then yes, adding more fat to your diet in any form is likely not a good idea. Focus on adding more vegetables and fresh foods rather than picking on coconut oil.
  • If you take interest in the sustainability of our planet and the ecological impact of harvesting/shipping coconut (unless you live in a country where it’s grown), you might consider using it more sparingly and in rotation with other healthy fats

You do what’s right for you.

That said – Some of what the AHA publishes is solid advice. Some is not.

I actually would worry more about what they are NOT publishing and NOT telling us.

Like the damaging and highly inflammatory affects of added sugar running rampant in our food supply right now.

Like the sky-rocketing increase in disease and obesity since they told us fat was bad 20+ years ago.

Like how we are all sort of guinea pigs in a big science project consuming all the food-like products they’ve flooded the market with.

They would rather spend their energy defensively picking on a health food.

How sad.

You likely won’t hear the AHA release any claims of those likes.

There’s too much money to be made in the sugar and food product industry. Remember, this is a for-profit industry, not one based on social wellness.

I hope that changes one day, but it’s the unfortunate truth of our present.

I’m not sure what exactly got the AHA’s underwear in such a twist last week.

Maybe Cheerio revenues are down and coconut oil stocks are up?

But this old, unfounded fat-phobic scare tactic is behavior that shows they are increasingly feeling intimidated by the health food and wellness industry. So they throw a big scary wrench in the cogs and publish a warning like the one from June 15th.

Let’s think for ourselves and not get caught up in that ugly battle.

I like how simply Michael Pollan puts it:

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

“Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.”

And if you want to get back to the basics of eating real wholesome food as your lifestyle but don’t know where to begin, I’d love to help you do that.

It’s exactly why I founded Pure Roots Nutrition. It’s why I created the Summer Sugar Cleanse (next one starts July 5th).

It’s about getting back to the basics of eating real food, trusting ourselves, being empowered when it comes to our own wellness, and so we can rest our heads in the midst of all this overwhelming nutrition information out there.

Yours in health,

Shelly

2018-02-26T14:56:15+00:00

About the Author:

Based in Richmond, Virginia, Shelly Rose is a Nutritionist and Natural Foods Chef. She founded Pure Roots Nutrition to fuel the lifestyles of outdoor adventurers and fitness enthusiasts. She's happiest when she's playing outside, eating outside, and napping in her hammock outside.