A new report by the American Heart Association states that Coconut oil is not healthy. It very clearly states that it may not be as healthy as everyone is making it out to be. Now I have spoken about the benefits of Coconut oil in all my books, and take the job of a health practitioner seriously to take a stand on whether it is actually good for you or not; and I still say the same ‘it is indeed good for you.’
The AHA stipulates that an average man get 30 grams of fat per day and women get 20 grams. Most Indians go way beyond this in their consumption. So shouldn’t they actually be watching going beyond the stipulated fat requirement/ The AHA also draws light on coconut oil increasing LDL (bad) cholesterol, but the fact that it can also raise the good cholesterol that is HDL is not mentioned.
Should we not be addressing cellular damage, via other factors that are causing blood conditions amongst Indians to get thrown off: refined carbohydrates, too much sugar and the over consumption of processed foods. Also, the fact that the consumption of refined oils throws of the omega 3: 6 ratio causing pro-inflammatory compounds to be set off. This in turn, leads to oxidative stress and heart disease. So what’s actually clogging those arteries?
As Indians we are predisposed to eating one of the best saturated fats ‘ghee’ and therefore incorporating coconut oil as another good quality saturated fat is only going to augment our diets. Our cells need the saturated fats from these to support their membranes. Ayurveda, talks about the nerves and spinal chord being made up of cholesterol, and using coconut oil to boost it will only help.
If we want to focus on heart health, we need to use foods that will help the heart, People who abuse refined foods: packaged foods, sugar, refined flours, simple carbohydrates, animal foods (excessive protein in the diet), intoxicants like alcohol, drugs; rich and greasy foods, late-night eating, large dinners would build-up to a heart weakness. Apart from the diet which is given above focus on – all whole grains especially amaranth (rajgeera), buckwheat (kuttu), include pungent foods like raddish, onions, mustard, garlic, include magnesium rich foods as it will help alleviate the not so joyful state produced by heart weakness. In herbs, include dill (suha), basil,chamomile (babunphul), catnip (pudina), and use ghee and coconut oil.
Here is a lovely recipe incorporating Coconut oil –
Green Heaven Smoothie: Serves 1
1 ripe banana, frozen
2 handfuls of leafy greens
1/1/4 cup soy or almond milk
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tabsp of cold pressed coconut oil
Handful of ice
Method: Blend all the ingredients until smooth and creamy, add some milk (almond or soy) to thin it down