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Coconut Oil is the kind of food that, if it were a person, would be too pretty, too smart and too nice. It’s just so good that all the other foods are jealous. And that why coconut oil has made my wrongly vilified list.
Date incarcerated: The vegetable oil industry and followers of the vaguely cohesive theory called “The Lipid Hypothesis” rounded up all natural saturated fats, butter, lard, coconut oil and palm oil, locked ‘em up and threw away the key somewhere in the early 1950′s. That’s too bad because coconut oil is quite honestly the most enchanting food you’ll ever meet!
The Charges: The initial accusation levied in “The Lipid Hypothesis, is that there is a direct relationship between the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet and heart disease. Many studies since the 1950′s have successfully challenged this mere speculation, but the vegetable oil and food processing industries started promoting and funding even more research to support the lipid hypothesis. As if that wasn’t enough, they started the untrue rumor that coconut oil makes us fat. Pulling out the “fat card” is such a low blow!
The Vindication: The proof of innocence is quite simple. All one needs to do is take a look at populations who consume large amounts of coconut oil. Back in the 1930′s Dr. Weston A. Price, a dentist, traveled through the South Pacific, looking at traditional diets and their effect on dental and general health. He found that those eating diets high in coconut products were pretty much free of heart disease. Plus, they were healthy and slender. He observed this over and over again.
Skip ahead 50 years to a study in which researchers observed populations of two Polynesian atolls. Coconut was the chief source of energy for both groups. The results, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, concluded, “Vascular disease is uncommon in both populations and there is no evidence of the high saturated fat intake having a harmful effect in these populations.” Continue reading »