BLOG 120 COCONUT OIL
Coconut oil has certainly made its debut lately on our grocery shelves, in recipes, and it’s all over the health trends we see. Recently, the media has depicted this product as actually not being “so healthy” for us, which meant I had to do some investigation. From the onset, I came into this blog with the understanding that any item in excess isn’t “good” for us and that moderation is the key (especially in a non-so-moderate lifestyle our society has created).
Let’s cover the ground work. History: “Coconut oil is made by pressing the fat from the white “meat” inside the giant nut. About 84% of its calories come from saturated fat. To compare, 14% of olive oil’s calories are from saturated fat and 63% of butters are. ‘This explains why, like butter and lard, coconut oil is solid at room temperature with a long shelf life and the ability to withstand high cooking temperatures,’ says registered dietitian Lisa Young, PhD. And it’s the reason coconut oil has a bad rap from many health officials” (http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/coconut-oil-and-health#1). The difference is that coconut oil fat is made up of triglycerides that our bodies handle differently than those found in traditional vegetable oils.
If following the standards, we are to consume no more than 13 grams of saturated fat per day. That’s the amount of 1 tablespoon of coconut oil.
Like most elements of life, there are pros and cons to the consumption of this oil. For example, “Fans of coconut oil point to studies that suggest the MCT-saturated fat in coconut could boost your HDL or ‘good’ cholesterol. This, they claim, makes it less bad for your heart health than the saturated fat in animal-based foods like cheese and steak or products containing trans fats.
But it also raises your LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol.
A quick cholesterol lesson:
- LDL — helps form plaque that blocks your arteries
- HDL — helps remove LDL”
So all in all, we want to get our fat from sources like nuts and avocado, not necessarily oils. Personally, I use PAM cooking spray which does have zero everything on the nutritional panel. However, I realize that means there is artificial galore in the ingredients. Here again brings up the point of pros and cons to the elements of life.
Coconut oil is also great for topical skin purposes. It can help alleviate dry skin and add moisture. Some argue they don’t like the greasy texture.
Nutrition is a key component of our fitness journeys and the more informed we are, the better choices we can make. When I hear a trend, I research to help every BODY. Fuel your BODY how you want it to operate and let the journey be a learning experience along the way.