Is Coconut Oil Really Healthier Than Other Oils?

Do you love learning about how to live a healthier lifestyle? I love learning about health because I strive to live as long as possible. If I am exercising, eating healthier foods, and getting enough sleep I tend to feel better throughout my day compared to when I eat only sugary foods and don’t get enough sleep. I bet you can relate!

It seems like a lot of people are focusing on being healthier in the US with the different options for online training, personal trainers, diet plans, and Youtube videos. But how do you know if a current health trend is really healthier for you or if it is just smoke and mirrors?

 

Coconut Oil, The New Popular Health Trend

With the new modern health trends in the world today, one of the largest ones that I continue to see is the idea that Coconut Oil is healthier than other oils. It’s such a popular trend that even my friend who is a nurse refused to let me leave the store until I put my PAM oil spray back for coconut oil spray because she wanted me to make a healthier change.

 

Why I Decided To Research Coconut Oil

I have always been the type of person to question the status quo and to challenge the ideas that are popular or trending. I don’t like to challenge them because I want to prove everybody wrong and be the smart guy in the room. I like figuring out if the trend is actually beneficial to us and if it is not then I don’t have to spend any additional money on a product that isn’t actually helping me.

 

(Photo Credit: usatoday.com)

USA Today Article About Coconut Oil

I found this article on USA Today that is currently really trending on social media that talks about Coconut Oil and most of the article is talking about how it is not healthy. I’m just going to a quick summary of the article, but you can access the article here.

The idea behind why coconut oils are healthier for us because it has more of the “good” HDL cholesterol than other cooking oils. At the beginning of the article, USA Today talks about how researchers didn’t see a difference between coconut oil fat content compared to butter, and beef fat; which means it’s not really as healthy as everyone thinks. The article then goes on to quote Frank Sacks who is the lead author on the report, and he states that coconut oil is almost 100% fat. But aren’t most oils mostly fat? So what is the benefit of using coconut oil?

Well, Marie-Pierre St-Onge told TIME magazine that “Coconut oil has a higher proportion of medium-chain triglycerides than most other fats or oils, and my research showed eating medium-chain triglycerides may increase the rate of metabolism more than eating long-chain triglycerides.” This is the reason that coconut oil has become such a popular trend. Because medium-chain triglycerides may increase your metabolism rate which can help with weight loss.

The writer of the article then points out that coconut oil only produces about 15% of the medium-chain triglycerides that other traditional oils provide. What this means is that coconut oil is not producing enough medium chain triglycerides as other oils, and the low dosage is not sufficient to spark an increase in your metabolism.

The end of the article talks about how the AHA recommends eating “no more than 6% of saturated fat as part of a total daily calories for those who need lower cholesterol.” It then seems like the article contradicts itself because it says that saturated fat is a loaded term because it might not lower the risk of heart disease because most people fill the void that saturated fat leaves behind. I don’t like that comparison because the writers don’t actually know that people fill that void, so for most people who use coconut oil as a saturated fat and nothing else, then there is nothing wrong with using coconut oil.

The writer of the article then suggests using vegetable oils or olive oils instead of coconut oil.

Summary of Article

I didn’t know what to think about this article, so I decided to dig deeper into the comments to see what a lot of other people had to say. Studies have shown that fat is not always bad. One of the comments stated that “In fact, fat is an essential part of a healthy diet, and we need a healthy amount of fat.” Which is true, however, coconut oil is 100% fat. In my opinion, I am not sure that something that is 100% fat can be healthy.

Another comment stated that “the nutritional opinions in the article are based from the 50’s in the sugar industry.” So it would seem that some people don’t believe the article is even credible.

At the end of the day, I think it comes down to moderation. If you use a moderate amount of oils in cooking, you will have a healthier diet. If you limit the amount of bad fats you eat throughout the day and eat a healthy amount of good fats; that is all that matters. The healthiest thing a person can do is choosing a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep. But of course, that is just my opinion on the subject.

Do you think coconut oil is healthier than other oils or do you think it’s just another bogus health trend?

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