COCONUT OIL: Healthy or Unhealthy? What You Need To Know

COCONUT OIL: You may have heard the American Heart Association recently declare that - despite being touted as a health food in recent years - it was never actually a healthy oil because it is high in saturated fat. But there is no study linking saturated fat to heart attacks, and not all saturated fats are created equally, for some very important reasons.

Here are some important notes to consider:

- SUGAR and simple carbs, rather than fat, have been proven time and time again to be a significant contributor to the development of cardiovascular disease.

- Not all saturated fat is created equal - consider this: if you put a slab of bacon fat on the counter in 37 C degree weather (body temperature), it remains in a solid state. But coconut oil becomes liquid at just 24 C. This is because each type of saturated fat has different chemical properties, and therefore has a different effect in the body. The source of the saturated fat matters - studies have found that it's healthiest when it's from fish, dairy (arguably) or plants (like coconut oil).

- The healthiest components of coconut oil are lauric acid (antimicrobial), and MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides), which when combined with the fatty acids found in grass-fed butter create an excellent source of fuel for the mitochondria (the organelles in our cells that create energy for our body, and which are especially important for cardiovascular disease and which tend to slow down in the aging process). This has become known as the "bulletproof" combination. And what may be even better is pure (100%) MCT oil, which is a special preparation of coconut oil (regular coconut oil only contains 12-13% MCTs).

- Although coconut oil can indeed be healthy, it can also become inflammatory (unhealthy) if it is combined with sugar or simple carbs (like bread and pasta), and the amount of coconut oil intake that is healthy varies from one person to the next.

- If you decide to make changes to your diet, have your licensed health practitioner monitor you to help ensure that you're on the right track

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      Note: the author of this article recommends a Paleo diet for everyone, but I do not agree that any one diet is right for every individual. Ask your ND to help you explore what dietary changes might be right for you.