The “science” regarding milk, eggs and other foods has swung like a seesaw over the years in much the same way, leaving health-conscious consumers totally unsure of what really is and is not the healthiest way to eat.
The latest victim of this “medical confusion” is the humble coconut. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health professor, Karin Michels, recently insisted at a talk delivered in Germany that coconut oil is “pure poison” and “one of the worst foods you can eat.” She claims that even lard – the unhealthy fat derived from the abdomens of pigs which was popular back in the 1950s – is a healthier choice than coconut oil.
The U.K.’s Daily Mail explains that coconut oil started gaining in popularity in the early 2000s, after two Columbia University studies found that the medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) in this oil burn fat more quickly than other types of fat. But, while the fat-burning properties of this oil are impressive, they are certainly not the only reason for its massive leap in popularity. Coconut oil is pure medicinal magic, as Natural News explained in an earlier article:
Research indicates animal fats have long chain saturated fat, while coconut oil contains healthy, healing, medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). This saturated fat is considered a rare and important building block of every cell in the human body, and can actually reduce cholesterol and heart disease.
This incredible food boosts immunity, kills bacteria and viruses, protects against cancer and other degenerative diseases, and prevents osteoporosis by promoting calcium absorption. It also slows down ageing and is good for skin radiance.
Dr. Michels claims that the Columbia University studies are inconclusive, since the study participants were given 100 percent pure MCTs, while coconut oil only contains 14 percent.
Her statement is misleading, however, because MCTs are not the only powerful ingredient in coconut oil; it also contains high levels of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, which give it powerful antioxidant, antifungal, antimicrobial, antibacterial and general immune boosting properties. This powerhouse combination of ingredients results in healthier skin and hair, lower cholesterol levels, weight loss, increased levels of immunity, proper digestion and metabolism. It has also been shown to provide relief from kidney problems, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, HIV and other viruses, while improving bone strength.
And, while the true causes of Alzheimer’s disease remain unclear, there is reliable evidence that coconut oil may reverse the course of this devastating illness. As reported by Natural News:
[A] Florida doctor was actually able to reverse her husband's Alzheimer's disease just by giving him 4 teaspoons of coconut oil per day. In the course of a year, not only did he regain the ability to exercise and to care for himself, but his brain atrophy was completely halted.
The most cutting-edge research suggests that Alzheimer's may stem from an inability of the brain to process glucose, leading to cell death. But the brain has another source of fuel: ketones, produced by the body from mid-chain triglycerides like those found in coconut oil.
In fact, the most promising experimental Alzheimer's drugs being tested today are nothing more than medium-chain triglycerides derived from coconut and palm kernel oil.
So, while there is little evidence that lard is anything but bad for one’s health, there is overwhelming evidence that increasing our consumption of coconut oil provides serious health benefits. It certainly cannot be described as "pure poison," no matter what Dr. Michels may claim.