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The Great Fat Debate - Why Virgin Coconut Oil Is Best

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  • Robert Sterling
    Please send as far and wide as possible. Thanks, Robert Sterling Editor, The Konformist http://www.konformist.com http://www.newstarget.com/022313.html
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 14, 2007
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      Please send as far and wide as possible.

      Thanks,
      Robert Sterling
      Editor, The Konformist
      http://www.konformist.com

      http://www.newstarget.com/022313.html

      November 30 2007
      The Great Fat Debate - Why Virgin Coconut Oil Is Best
      by Teya Skae

      (NewsTarget) There is so much media hype from the mainstream media
      and leading health authorities, including the naturopathic
      community, suggesting the many ill effects of consuming Trans Fatty
      Acids (TFA's) that the topic of the Great Fat Debate deserves a
      closer look for the sake of our heath and understanding.

      Whilst there is unanimous agreement that TFA's are problematic and
      are to be avoided at all costs, some explanations are confusing at
      best or misleading at worst. It is time for more clarity so we can
      all choose the fats that are good and avoid those that are bad.

      Let's look at some of these warnings:

      Rekha Balu, writing for the Wall Street Journal, states that TFA's
      are like saturated fats "which raise bad cholesterol, causing a
      build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries." That is incorrect as
      saturated fats raise both the good and the bad cholesterol and they
      do not cause fatty deposits in the arteries. An under-active thyroid
      coupled with stress and a diet high in polyunsaturated oils cause a
      build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries.

      Lynn Roblin, writing for the Toronto Star, advises consumers to
      avoid TFA's by consuming more vegetable oils, such as olive oil and
      canola oil, in preference to butter and coconut oil. Let's remember
      that vegetable oils such as canola and safflower are rich in omega-6
      fatty acids which have now been proven to cause oxidation of our
      cells. This reaction leads to inflammation which in turn promotes
      degenerative conditions and premature aging.

      Harvard nutritionist Frank Hu, featured in an article for the
      Washington Post, says butter is better than margarine, but tub or
      liquid margarine made from commercial vegetable oils is "a more
      healthful choice than butter." What Mr. Hu is promoting is the omega-
      6 fatty acids which have been hydrogenated and these are technically
      TFA's. Quite confusing indeed!

      Why is there so much confusion amongst health authorities in
      relation to fats?

      This is because in 1961, the American Heart Association published
      its first dietary guidelines aimed at the public. The authors, Dr.
      Ancel Keys, Irving Page, Jeremiah Stamler and Frederick Stare,
      called for the substitution of polyunsaturated oils for saturated
      fat. This was put forth even though Keys, Stare and Page had all
      previously noted in their published papers that the increase in
      Heart Disease was due to increasing consumption of vegetable oils.
      The 1961 report did not publish this fact, even after a 1956 paper
      by Dr. Keys suggested that the increasing use of partially
      hydrogenated vegetable oils (which is what TFA's technically are) is
      one of the culprits in the heart disease epidemic.

      Why was Dr. Keys report ignored?

      For obvious economic reasons the vegetable oil industry then
      squashed the reports on the dangers of vegetable oils and stealthily
      began their phony attack on making saturated fats - meat, eggs,
      cheese, butter and coconut oil responsible for heart disease.

      In actuality, saturated fats are shown to help in preventing heart
      disease. If we examine the health statistics along with the research
      on saturated fats consumption from the nations that consume large
      amounts of saturated fats in their diet, we find that they are among
      the healthiest nations /tribes/cultures in the world. Herein lies
      the big `fat' confusion.

      Let's look closer at the FAT debate:

      TFA's are typically found in processed foods such as cookies,
      margarine, fried foods, fried potatoes, potato chips, crackers,
      breaded chicken, and fast food. McDonald's has admitted its french
      fries contain a third more TFA's than they had thought. In New York
      City, there are hefty fines imposed upon restaurants if they are not
      compliant with avoiding TFA's in their cooking; this ordinance took
      effect as of July 2007.

      Polyunsaturated Fats Defined

      Polyunsaturated oils are liquid at room temperature. Polyunsaturated
      fats such as Safflower, Corn, Sunflower, Soybean and Cottonseed Oils
      all contain over 50% omega-6 fatty acids. Safflower oil contains
      almost 80% omega-6. Researchers have now discovered there are
      dangers in consuming more of omega-6 oils in our diet then we need.
      The ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 (the essential fatty acid) is
      1:1. This is easily achieved if one avoids the use of vegetable oils
      as omega-6 is far more abundant in our diet then omega-3 essential
      fatty acids, which is found in cold water fish - salmon, sardines
      and mackerel.

      TFA's Defined

      In order to have polyunsaturated fats last longer and make them look
      more appealing, food manufacturers use a process
      called "hydrogenation". Hydrogenation is a process that takes
      unsaturated liquid fat (usually some kind of vegetable oil) and adds
      hydrogen. The result is a TFA.

      During hydrogenation, oil is heated to an extremely high
      temperature; this causes the oil to rapidly oxidize and create free-
      radicals. In basic chemistry 101, free radicals cause prolific cell
      damage and is responsible for premature aging.

      Even using the so called "healthiest" organic vegetable oils, which
      includes olive oil, in baking and frying creates free radicals. This
      is because all vegetable oils oxidize; especially when used in
      cooking. They not only produce TFA's but form free radicals - lethal
      combination for our bodies. The only oil that does not oxidize, even
      at 170 degree Celsius, is Organic Virgin Coconut oil which is a
      saturated fat. Amazing!

      Avoiding TFA's at all costs is a must according to the WHO (World
      Health Organization). This is because TFA's are injurious to the
      heart and have been linked to cancer, atherosclerosis, diabetes,
      obesity, immune system dysfunction, birth defects, difficulty in
      lactation, and problems with bones and tendons. So we want to
      exclude them from our diet, yet it is difficult when some of the
      most tempting foods such as commercial cakes, biscuits, chocolates,
      and potato chips are laden with TFA's.

      Why Saturated fats are not TFA's

      TFA's have similar properties to saturated fatty acids when used in
      baked goods, but the claim that TFA's are like saturated fatty acids
      is incorrect in view of their molecular bonding/structure and their
      biological effect in our bodies. This is the area that has been
      mostly ignored by mainstream media and even among the naturopathic
      community according to lipid and nutritional expert Dr. Mary G.
      Enig. Enig campaigned against TFA's back in the late 1970's after
      completing her most extensive research on the analysis of all fats.
      For more extensive information, see Mary G. Enig's PhD Nourishing
      Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct
      Nutrition (www.newtrendspublishing.com)

      So which oils do we use now? A good option is Organic Virgin Coconut
      oil. This is a saturated fat that is unlike any other fat and truly
      deserves a classification of its own. With all the research and
      studies on saturated fats to date, health authorities still group
      TFA's with healthy saturated fats like coconut oil. Coconut oil is
      not only the healthiest saturated fat but is one of the healthiest
      foods we can consume on a daily basis. Let's examine the most
      misunderstood fat that is actually a super food.

      Why is Coconut oil unique and unlike any other fat?

      Coconut oil is made up of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA's). Two-
      thirds of the saturated fat in coconut oil is a medium-chain
      saturated fat. This important fact deserves clarification as MCFA's
      actually helps us to lose weight, lower cholesterol, improve
      diabetic conditions and reduce the risk of heart disease.

      One of the most outstanding benefits of consuming MCFA's is that
      they do not require the liver and gallbladder to digest and emulsify
      them. This means instant energy and increased thermogenesis
      (increased metabolic rate in the body) which leads to more heat
      production as well as improved circulation. For anyone with impaired
      fat digestion or a removed gallbladder, coconut oil is the only oil
      to consume as it is very easily digested.
      MCFA's are also known for having antimicrobial and anti-fungal
      properties, so they are beneficial to our immune system. In
      addition, coconut oil assists people with under-active thyroids by
      increasing the metabolic rate of the body and creating more energy.

      Ray Peat Ph.D., a physiologist who has worked with progesterone and
      related hormones since 1968, says that the sudden surge of
      polyunsaturated oils in the food chain post World War II has caused
      many changes in hormones. He writes:

      Their [polyunsaturated oils] best understood effect is their
      interference with the function of the thyroid gland. Polyunsaturated
      oils block thyroid hormone secretion, its movement in the
      circulatory system, and the response of tissues to the hormone. When
      the thyroid hormone is deficient, the body is generally exposed to
      increased levels of oestrogen. The thyroid hormone is essential for
      making the `protective hormones' progesterone and pregnenolone, so
      these hormones are lowered when anything interferes with the
      function of the thyroid. The thyroid hormone is required for using
      and eliminating cholesterol, so cholesterol is likely to be raised
      by anything that blocks the thyroid function
      (http://www.efn.org/~raypeat/efatox.rtf)
      It is very interesting to note that high cholesterol is not a sign
      of eating too much saturated fat. High cholesterol in a lot of the
      cases is due to an under-active thyroid which affects the liver as
      well as the many loops and feedback systems within the endocrine
      system. Stress and the over consumption of carbohydrates/sugars also
      form high levels of cholesterol.

      What are saturated fats and why do we need them?

      Saturated fats are semi solid at room temperature and are found in
      animal products such as meat, poultry, lard, poultry skin, whole
      milk, cheese, eggs, butter and tropical oils such as coconut and
      palm oil.

      Our body actually needs saturated fats to stay healthy. Why?

      1) Saturated fats constitute at least 50% of our cell's membranes -
      the phospholipid component of every cell. Saturated fatty acids are
      what gives our cells structural integrity, so the cell walls are not
      weak and can protect the inside of the cells.

      2) Saturated fatty acids play a vital role in the health of our
      bones. For calcium to be effectively utilized by the bones, at least
      50% of the dietary fats should be saturated.

      3) Saturated fatty acids actually lower Lipoprotein (a), a substance
      in the blood that leads to heart disease, whereas excess consumption
      of vegetable oils increases it.

      4) Saturated fatty acids protect the liver from alcohol and other
      toxins, including Tylenol, a pain reliever.

      5) Saturated fatty acids are needed for the proper utilization of
      omega-3 essential fatty acids because omega-3's are better retained
      in the tissues when the diet is rich in saturated fats (particularly
      organic virgin coconut oil)

      6) Saturated stearic acid found in beef and cocoa, and palmitic acid
      found in coconut oil are the preferred foods for the heart; which is
      why the fat around the heart muscle is highly saturated. The heart
      draws on this reserve of fat in times of stress.

      7) Saturated fatty acids such as caprylic acid found abundantly in
      coconut oil, is anti fungal and helps combat candida (yeast
      overgrowth that is common in our society).

      8) While saturated fats raise both the bad and the good cholesterol,
      TFA's as well as excess consumption of omega-6 fatty acids raise the
      bad Low Density Lipo-protein (LDL) and suppress the good High
      Density Lipo-protein (HDL) cholesterol, making it even worse.

      In conclusion, avoiding TFA's is a must. There are no tolerance
      levels. They are serious culprits of degenerative conditions
      disguised in some of the most tempting foods to date. Avoiding over
      consumption of polyunsaturated oils (omega-6 fatty acids) such as
      flax oil and completely avoiding corn, soy, safflower and canola is
      a great start, as polyunsaturated oils have been shown to contribute
      to heart disease, inflammation, under-active thyroid and weight gain.

      Use virgin organic coconut oil. I stress the importance of using
      only virgin organic coconut oil because the refined version of
      coconut oil no longer has the same structure and same health
      benefits as the virgin organic coconut oil. In fact, consuming plain
      coconut oil can even give someone a headache or nausea.

      The food manufacturers will not willingly return to using naturally
      saturated fats such as coconut oil, palm oil, butter and lard
      because they are more expensive. Only a concerted demand by educated
      consumers will bring traditional healthy fats back into our
      commercial food supply and restaurant cooking.

      Using organic coconut oil in all cooking and baking is the best
      choice for a healthy alternative. Because virgin coconut oil is
      completely saturated and no TFA's can be made from it, it is
      therefore harmless. In addition, it does not oxidize, even at 170
      degrees Celsius.

      Virgin Coconut oil is the fat of fats as it also helps us burn body
      fat for energy because of its unique molecular structure of medium
      chain fatty acids. So do enjoy eating more organic virgin coconut
      oil, drinking organic coconut milk/crème in your teas as well as
      pouring it over your porridge and munching on macaroons made from
      organic cocoa and desiccated organic coconut for health and
      longevity.

      References

      Keys, A., "Diet and Development of Coronary Heart Disease", J.
      Chron. Dis. 4(4):364-380, October 1956
      Rekha Balu, "Trans Fat: Taste Buds Cry `Yes!' but Arteries Demur,"
      The Wall Street Journal, June 8, 1998
      Lynn Roblin, "Not all fats are created equal," The Toronto Star
      Health Talk, June 24, 1998
      Fred Tasker, "A Churning Controversy," The Washington Post Health,
      June 2, 1997
      Mary G. Enig PhD. Know Your Fats: The Complete Primer for
      Understanding the Nutrition of Fats, Oils and Cholesterol(Bethesda
      Press 2000)
      Sally Fallon and Mary G. Enig, PhD Nourishing Traditions: The
      Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet
      Dictocrats (NewTrends Publishing 2000, www.newtrendspublishing.com
      www.mercola.com/2006/dec/26/the-health-harming-confusion-about-
      saturated-fats.htm
      The Healing Miracles of Coconut Oil, by Bruce Fife (Piccadilly
      Books, 2001).
      Eat Fat Look Thin by Bruce Fife (Piccadilly Books, 2002).

      About the author

      Teya Skae M.A., B.A.,Dip Health Sciences, Dip Clinical Nutrition
      Kinesiologist/Nutritionist/Writer
      Health/Life Coach and Educator
      Teya is the founder of Empowered Living
      www.empowered-living.com.au
      specialising in Metabolic Typing Nutrition and Results Fat Loss.
      Teya writes article for various publications and runs courses in
      health and human potential.
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