Dr. Karin Michels recent video has sparked off a debate on coconut oil and its heavy saturated fat content. She claims its “pure poison,” which to people like me who profess its benefits comes as a shock. The claim is, that coconut oil will raise LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and lower HDL (good cholesterol).
Last year the AMA (American Heart Association) recommended not using coconut oil. In the Times of India article, dated August 23rd, 2018 we were asked to swap it with olive oil, which is not the answer either; as olive oil is not a pure saturated fat with the same properties (its good of course). The higher saturated fats foods are ghee, coconut oil, butter, fatty meats, full-fat dairy, dark chocolate.
Here are your key takeaways from this debate –
1. Coconut oil Saturated fat does not push cholesterol alone, it’s the combination of saturated fat with sugars and carbs that does it
2. When it comes to cholesterol, you cannot look at LDL in isolation. You need to look at the total cholesterol, its ratio to HDL (the good cholesterol). Ideal ratio is to keep it under 5
3. Coconut oil raises HDL the good cholesterol (Quality, size and type of cholesterol gets better with this kind of saturated fat)
4. Lots of research does exist on ‘no link between saturated fat pushing heart disease’
Core of the debate: Coconut oil added to a diet that is free from high sugars, high starch, processed foods refined carbohydrates; with the rest of the food groups like protein (even if its from moderate meat consumption), vegetables, added omega 3 and 6 (not overdoing the omega 6) keeps inflammation at bay — will not harm your cholesterol or lead you to heart disease or type II diabetes and other ailments.
The key here is no sugars in your diet and coconut oil added on – up to 60 kilos in weight 1 tbsp a day is good.
We need some saturated fat – why from coconuts?
1.It’s a MCFA (= Medium Chain Fatty Acid — lauric acid 50 percent) it does not require bile for digestion, but goes straight to the liver giving you instant energy
2. Easier to digest, as its processed by liver
3. Anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial (I use it for oil pulling)
4. It has caprylic, capric acid and MCTs (medium chain triglycerides) together with lauric acid increases good cholesterol or HDL and fights candida (cancer as well – use it for my cancer clients)
5. MCTs aid with weight loss that’s for sure
6. Definitely fights inflammation
7. Maintains gut ecosystem, maintaining gut flora
8. I use it for my sports nutrition clients, to provide endurance
9. Builds gut integrity when combined with bone broth, ginger and turmeric
10. Great for skin health
11. Helps with the thyroid, transporting thyroid hormone to cells
12. Makes you antibiotic resistant – i.e., aids with antibiotics
13. Best for our Indian cooking; because of high smoke point
14. Tropical, so best suited for Indians