(NaturalNews) A recent study reveals new evidence that could turn the tide in the ongoing debate about which fats are the healthier choice: saturated fats like coconut oil or polyunsaturated fats like soybean oil. Many natural food experts will tell you without question that coconut oil is one of the healthiest fats, but since giants like the Food and Drug Administration and the American Diabetes Association maintain that saturated fats are bad, the public is tossed back and forth between two polar beliefs.
The study - which is yet to be published in print - included 40 women between the ages of 20 and 40 years old. All of the women were instructed to follow the same balanced, low-calorie diet while maintaining a moderate daily exercise routine over a 12-week period. Half of the women were given a 30 ml supplement of coconut oil each day, while the other half was given 30 ml of soybean oil. Over the course of the study, overall carbohydrate and caloric intake decreased. Fat, protein and fiber intake remained unchanged during the study.
One week before the study and one week after, the women were evaluated on a number of factors: waist circumference, lipid levels, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol were all noted, as well as the HDL:LDL ratio. At the beginning of the study there was no significant difference in these factors in either group of women.
At the end of the study, both groups showed a decrease in body mass index (BMI), but only the women taking coconut oil showed a notable decrease in waist circumference as well. Evidence shows that a decrease in waist circumference can significantly lower one's risk for conditions like type II diabetes and heart disease.
The study also showed that the women taking coconut oil had an improved cholesterol profile, with higher HDL levels and a higher HDL:LDL ratio. Those taking soybean oil, however, did not receive the same benefits. In fact, the soybean oil group had higher total cholesterol, higher LDL cholesterol, lower HDL cholesterol, and a lower HDL:LDL ratio.
In the words of the study authors: "It appears that dietetic supplementation with coconut oil does not cause dyslipidemia and seems to promote a reduction in abdominal obesity."
In layman's terms, results like this completely contradict what the FDA and other major associations have been spoon-feeding the public for decades while the rate of disease and obesity climb at alarming rates. Maybe it's time to rethink our conventional theories about fats.
Assuncao ML, Ferreira HS, Dos Santos AF, Cabral CR Jr, Florencio TM. Effects of Dietary Coconut Oil on the Biochemical and Anthropometric Profiles of Women Presenting Abdominal Obesity. Lipids. May 13, 2009. [Published Online Ahead of Print Publication.]
About the author
Elizabeth Walling is a freelance writer specializing in health and family nutrition. She is a strong believer in natural living as a way to improve health and prevent modern disease. She enjoys thinking outside of the box and challenging common myths about health and wellness. You can visit her blog to learn more: www.livingthenourishedlife.com/2009/10/welco...
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