I have to say something towards the recent articles that have been coming out saying to throw out your coconut oil based off the AHA Advisory called "Dietary Fats and Cardiovascular Disease". Here's my 2 cents:
1. The information isn’t new. What IS new in scientific research is the understanding that saturated fat is not the be all and end all link to heart disease. Even that statins (cholesterol lowering drugs) do more harm than good.
2. The article doesn’t say that coconut oil consumption has been linked to heart disease. It talks about the types of fats that have been link to heart disease (old news).
3. Saturated fat in modest amounts is not the enemy. In fact, it is a crucial component of our diet. Healthy fats and cholesterol are needed for brain health, hormonal balance, mood, Vitamin D production, nerve health, fat digestion and many other functions in the body. (see photo)
Typically, people eat far more saturated fat than necessary (which I'm not advocating), but when it goes to the other extreme of Fat-Free or Cholesterol-Free Diets, our bodies start to fall apart.
4. What is important is that we keep our total diet in check (which the article discusses – the Mediterranean Diet is fantastic). For example are we eating healthy fats from good quality sources? Are we eating highly inflammatory foods? Are we eating large amounts of refined grains and sugars? Are we eating a colourful balanced whole food diet? These are essential factors when it comes to heart disease prevention.
5. Here are a couple ways to make sure you’re not eating bad fats:
6. Finally, it’s always interesting to note who funded the paper… (see screen shot)
So I won't be throwing out my coconut oil just yet. And I in no way would recommend canola oil or corn oil in place of it! But what I will continue to do and recommend for heart health is a whole food, varied, colourful Mediterranean or anti-inflammatory diet, exercise, making sure to get enough omega 3's, not smoking, and reducing stress (those are the basics anyway).