Originally published February 24 2009
Break Out the Coconut Oil: It is Good for You
by Amielia Ponds
(NaturalNews) If you could make one change in your current diet which would positively affect all other areas of your life, would you do it? If you knew that just three tablespoons of a saturated fat would positively benefit your current health condition, would you take those three tablespoons of medicine?
The Secret Fountain of Youth
The secret Fountain of Youth, of health and longevity, has been located. No, it`s not actually water, but the fountain-like tree of the Coconut Palm or Cocos nucifera, which is a member of the Arecaceae family. This family also includes the famous acai fruit, dates, and other drupe fruits which are popular in tropical and subtropical regions.
Many common products and foods are derived from the palm family. In fact, all through history palms have become symbols of life, victory, peace, fertility, and sustenance. The Coconut Palm, in particular, is often called the tree of life in the many cultures which rely on it for sustenance. Virtually every part of the Coconut Palm is used for something - from roof thatch to boats, from clothing to firewood, from garden mulch to a variety of culinary uses. In Sanskrit the name is kalpa vriksha, which means "the tree which provides all the necessities of life." While those in Malay refer to it as pokok seribu guna, or "tree of a thousand uses." In the Philippines, the coconut is affectionately termed "The Tree Of Life."
Wherein Coconut is The Main Course
If a person were to take a look at the countries in which coconut oil and milk were staples of the diet, they would notice that those who have not adopted any part of a western diet are beautiful and robust. If you were to take a trip to Sri Lanka, where coconut products are used in every meal and the population consumes an average of 120 coconuts per year, you would notice the health and fitness of the inhabitants. A little more research would show you that merely one or two deaths of every 1,000 are contributed to heart disease, compared to heart disease in America, which contributes to nearly half of all deaths.
Other countries which rely heavily on coconut include most parts of India, the Philippines, and most islands of the Pacific. You would notice that these people who have not adopted the modern Western diet - which contains unsaturated margarine and vegetable oils - and who consume this saturated fat of the coconut oil also have low instances of any major illnesses. Heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity and many other common complaints of the Western World are virtually nonexistent. Their secret is coconut oil.
When people of these regions have adopted the Western diet, researchers have found that the instances of these diseases became comparably close to that of Americans. In fact, a major study was performed on the remote islands of Pukapuka and Tokelau. The entire populations of these islands took part in the study. Before the study, coconut oil, milk, and meat was the main staple in the diet contributing to 60% or more of the populations` daily intake of calories from fat, while the American Heart Association only recommends that up to 30% of daily calories consumed come from fat and that no more than 10% of that fat should be saturated.
Despite this recommendation, those populations were consuming 50% of their calories are from saturated fat from coconut products. Yet, these people showed no evidence of heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, cancer, or any other immunological or degenerative disease common in the Western World. In fact, atherosclerosis and arthritis were not even heard of!
When researchers had half the population in the study begin eating a Western diet, they began to develop the disease found in the Western world within days to weeks of adopting the new Western diet. When they returned to their traditional coconut-based diet, the diseases disappeared.
The Right Kind of Fat
Make no mistake; this article is not discussing hydrogenated coconut oil. Refined and/or hydrogenated coconut oil, just like other refined or hydrogenated oils, should never be consumed. Refined or hydrogenated oils of any kind contain harmful metals and toxins as well as nonmetabolizable and indigestible fats, which promote diseases. When you hear reports about studies which claim that coconut oil does raise cholesterol levels and promote heart disease, they are leaving out the crucial point that the study was done with hydrogenated coconut oil.
No, this article is discussing pure, unrefined, organic, coconut oil. Dozens of studies over the past few decades have shown that natural coconut oil, the organic extra virgin kind, has no adverse effects on cholesterol levels. In fact, researchers have found quite the opposite is true. The fact is if unrefined coconut oil was the cause of disease, then these countries which rely heavily on it would show evidence of disease. In reality, quite the opposite is true.
Unfortunately, the fallacy of the reported negative research has slipped up many reporters and by and large the misinformed writers, healthcare professionals, and the public. While the reports were accurate, the conveyed information left out that refined and hydrogenated coconut oil was used in the studies, which developed diseases in the participants. This problem is compounded because everybody recites and repeats each others` false statements. If the public and health care professionals were only to read the new research and the full reports, they would find that they were in the dark ages of nutritional knowledge. So, if you hear about negative aspects of coconut oil and product, realize that the person is misinformed and kindly do some research of your own.
On the other hand, research performed with unrefined coconut oils resulted in some amazing findings. People who consumed the unrefined and non-hydrogenated coconut oils were healthier at the end of the study than those who consumed the refined and hydrogenated coconut and/or vegetable oils or a low fat diet. Manufacturers have become so pleased with the health benefits of coconut oil that they have begun to use it as a "secret" ingredient in their baby formulas and adult nutrition formulas used in hospitals for tube feeding. Research has now confirmed that coconut oil is one of the most nutritious and healthful foods available. It is recommended to everyone, including those with health problems, to include unrefined coconut oil into their diets daily.
The Miracle Non-Nut
While coconuts are called nuts, they are not actually nuts. Rather, they are the monocot seed of the palm family. It is rare that anyone has allergies or adverse reactions to the coconut. So rare, in fact, that none have been reported. However, many report the positive reactions they have felt from the coconut. Those who have diabetes have reported lower blood sugar counts. Those which have high cholesterol have reported lowered cholesterol. Those who experience lethargy or low body temperatures have reported their energy levels rising and their body temperature normalizing.
Even those experiencing common addictions have reported quitting smoking and drinking without even realizing it. Those who suffer from obesity have reported a reduction in food cravings and astounding weight-loss of around 2 pounds per week. They claim that the weight melts right off!
How much do you need to take to receive health benefits? The recommended daily dosage is three tablespoons. Of course, you can feel free to take more than that. Coconut oil is heat-stable oil. You can cook with it, fry with it, bake with it and even eat it right out of the jar. It is a delicious butter replacement and melts easily onto your toast. It adds a delicious, light flavor to everything it complements.
Since it is solid at room temperature and liquid at body temperature, it is shelf stable for months, even years, in the right conditions. Unlike other oils, even olive oil, it does not develop cancer-causing chemicals at moderately high heat. So, go ahead, replace your butter and cooking oil. You can even replace your favorite skin cream and lotion. Coconut oil is an excellent moisturizer and provides excellent health benefits both outside and in.
1. Eat Fat, Look Thin By Bruce Fife
2. Wikipedia: Coconut
3. Wikipedia: Arecaceae
4. The Coconut Diet By Banahaw Health Products Corp.
About the authorAmielia is passionate about so called super foods. She has been writing in the health and wellness field since 2004 for private clients and for Natural News since 2009.
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