Coconut -The new fad food

Workers processing coconuts

Is coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut flour and other foods made from coconut good for you?

Lets examine history and see a pattern. Industry pay the media to influence consumer options, choices and purchasing behavior, which drives markets to benefit everyone but the consumer.

Olive oil has been the product of choice among health conscious people, despite the fact that it is expensive to mass produce.
Soy was the new super healthy food, and everything from infant formula to supplements started including it in their ingredients. Then it was discovered that soy caused hormonal imbalance and that it wasn't so great as industry financed research lead people to believe. Yet, it is still in many products we use.

Canola was the next big thing to be promoted as a "good for your heart" health fad, and consumers looked for products that continued it. However, it was later found to cause muscular heart lesions. Canola is not a plant, but the derivative of the rapeseed plant. Rapeseed is so naturally poisonous, due to lethal erucic acid, that insects avoid it and it's also an ingredient in "mustard gas", used in chemical warfare.

In search of an affordable substitute to olive oil, the food industry collaborated with the chemical industry to genetically engineer this plant in the mustard family, to make rapeseed oil acceptable to the US market, that was monounsaturated, low erucic acid rapeseed oil. The food industry collaborated with the American Heart Association, numerous government agencies and major universities to advocate polyunsaturated oils as being heart healthy and receive the Generally Recognized as safe (GRAS) approval from the FDA. However, the consumption of polyunsaturated oils; canola, corn and soybean oils in particular, cause inflammation in the body by introducing foreign, genetically engineered DNA, trans fats and toxic chemical residues, which are directly connected to cancer and heart disease. Canola oil depletes vitamin E, which is needed to counteract degeneration of lipids caused by oxidative stress and block the invasion of cell membranes by free radicals. When heated, polyunsaturated oil becomes unstable, light and pressure, which causes oxidation and releases free radicals inside the body. Candida oil produced high level of acrolein, butadiene, benzene, formaldehyde and other toxic chemical compounds when heated, which then becomes part of the cooked food. All traces of the beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids are destroyed.

This GMO seed (Roundup resistant) was developed in Canada, and since the word "rape" didn't promote a positive image, the food industry combined the words "Canada" and "ola" - meaning oil, into Canola Oil. Canola oil is manufactured using abrasive refining, degumming, bleaching, deodorizing, high heat and chemicals of questionable safety to create the final product. Because it is cheap to manufacture, canola oil has become a dominant ingredient in many processed foods.

Sadly, much of what consumers hear and repeat as fact, is fed to them via the aggressive marketing tactics of the industry and food companies who benefit enormously.

Coconut oil, flour, milk and other products are all the rage these days. The benefits of using coconut oil have been a focus of media attention lately. Recently my ears took in information about how coconut oil helps Alzheimer's patients. It may appear so on the outside, but I know that what is being seen is the body's attempt to fill a nutritional void for essential fatty acids, with what ever will suffice, all but poorly, in an attempt to survive. If the Alzheimer's patient stops taking coconut oil for one day, they deteriorate rapidly. This tells me that the root cause of the problem is not being healed and that a band-aid is being applied, not a true remedy. It is a very poor substitute for what the body truly craves, and that is Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids from animal protein, like deep sea, cold water fish, which include salmon, mackerel, sardines, etc.

Coconut oil acids act as a herbicide. It contains 7% Caprylic acid and Capric acid, which is are antimicrobial pesticide. It kills fungi, bacteria, algae = plants. It will kill the beneficial bacteria in your intestines, along with the Candida yeast that is very likely the root cause of your problem, literally.Coconut oil has strong antibiotic properties, which means that it can kill healthy bacteria in the gut. That is not desirable, for any reason. Your gut microbiome is your life line. Anything that unbalances the environment of the intestines leads you down a path of disease.

Coconut is in the "avoid" category for every blood type, because it contains lectins that agglutinate cells in the body, and can cause chronic inflammation when consumed on a regular basis. Inflammation deteriorates tissues and leads to chronic disease conditions. This is especially true when the inflammation is in the intestinal mucosa, contributing to a condition known as Leaky Gut.

As a general rule, whatever the media is pushing, I avoid like the plague. Look at who is funding the research that promotes the products that the media is pushing. The coconut oil industry promotes their products as a good saturated fat, but facts have been twisted. They point out that the Polynesian peoples, who consume a diet that is high in tropical oils, enjoy low rates of heart disease, but their oils have not undergone manufacturing processes that involve the use of solvents. In addition, they fail to point out that those people also have a diet that is high in dietary fiber, heart healthy omega-3 EFA's from fish and very low sodium, plus they tend to be non-smokers and are very physically active.

There are studies that say how people in other parts of the world, where coconut grows naturally, benefit from the abundance of healthy saturated fats in the form of medium chain triglycerides, one being lauric acid, which helps support the immune system. However, what is overlooked is that these people and their ancestors evolved with this food source for thousands of years, while the rest of the world's populations have not. That's like asking someone who lives in South America to consume the diet of an Eskimo, which consists of whale blubber. Whale blubber fulfills a nutritional need for the Eskimo, who lives in a very cold climate. The whale blubber is not meant for someone living in the tropics. Culture has changed much faster than human biology. When people have not evolved with a particular food, their biochemistry is not compatible with it.

All oils are composed of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, but there is a big difference between whale blubber and tropical oils. The oil is usually identified by the fatty acid that is most abundant in that oil, but there are so many other components that synergize to create the nourishing qualities of that food.

Some saturated fats are long-chain, (12+ carbon atoms) aka stearic acid, which has little impact on LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. Some saturated fats are medium-chain (less than 12 carbon atoms) varieties, like caprice, caprylic and capric acids, which do not have an impact on cholesterol levels in the blood.

Coconut oil contains a large proportion of lauric acid, a saturated fat that increases both high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Although this may create a more favorable total blood cholesterol profile, the possibility exists that persistent consumption of coconut oil may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease through other mechanisms, particularly via the marked increase of blood cholesterol induced by lauric acid. However, long-chain saturated fatty acids, like those that make up coconut and palm kernel oil (called palmitic, myristic and auric acids), do raise LDL cholesterol considerably.

Let me tell you something that the media will omit. Coconut oil is 92% long-chain saturated, artery clogging, LDL raising - fat, which is known to cause hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) in people who's lifestyle is sedentary. Unless you are a manual laborer, working 8 hours per day doing a physical job, or training for the Olympics, you are not likely to have a lifestyle that will offset this. Ounce for ounce, coconut oil has more saturated fat than butter, beef fat or lard from pork, so coconut oil raises bad cholesterol more than animal fats!

I don't believe claims that coconut oil is good for you! As with soy products and canola oil, this is all a marketing gimmick used to create hype and result in profits for the coconut industry. Coconut oil is not for preventing high LDL cholesterol levels, or for heart health and overall wellbeing. In fact, it does the exact opposite. I use organic goat butter and cold pressed organic extra virgin olive oil, sparingly and never at high heat.

The medium chain fatty acids in coconut have been promoted as a dietary weight loss supplement, to help the body burn excess calories, however, a systematic review of the evidence concluded that the overall results were inconclusive. Due to its high content of saturated fat with corresponding high caloric burden, regular use of coconut oil in food preparation may promote weight gain. Also, medium chain fatty acids are not beneficial to improve exercise performance.