Breaking News: Coconut Oil Isn’t Evil

March 7, 2011

Photo by legends2k

According to last week’s New York Times article, “Once a Villain, Coconut Oil Charms the Health Food World,” we partially have the vegans to thank for the renewed interest in coconut oil. Apparently vegans use coconut oil as a butter substitute when eating all sorts of healthy foods like pie crusts, scones, and cupcake icings….

Perhaps the more relevant reason why annual sales growth for coconut oil has been in the high double digits for the last five years, is that some scientists are reconsidering their anti-saturated fat crusade.

Check out the following quote by Thomas Brenna, a professor of nutritional sciences at Cornell University:

Most of the studies involving coconut oil were done with partially hydrogenated coconut oil, which researchers used because they needed to raise the cholesterol levels of their rabbits in order to collect certain data,” Dr. Brenna said. “Virgin coconut oil, which has not been chemically treated, is a different thing in terms of a health risk perspective. And maybe it isn’t so bad for you after all.”

There’s more:

“I think we in the nutrition field are beginning to say that saturated fats are not so bad, and the evidence that said they were is not so strong,” Dr. Brenna said.

Care to join me for a little primal victory dance?

My eyes glazed over the rest of the article though, something about federal Dietary Guidelines (saturated fat <10% of total dietary calories) and flaky pastry crusts…

The article does mention some practical uses of coconut oil though, like using it for sautéing vegetables and roasting sweet potatoes.

And I’m very pleased, although surprised, that so many of the comments for the article are actually sane. I’m glad to see more paleo-minded folks spreading the word, especially on mainstream forums that will reach the average Joe. Definitely makes it feel like primal / paleo is picking up momentum.

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Henry Gosling March 19, 2012 at 4:52 PM

There are so many uses for the coconut. I make a commercial coconut yoghurt down under in Australia,also we have it in the United Kingdom as well. Heaven in a mouthful it is.Check out Dr Bruce Fife site http://www.coconutresearchcenter.org it has so much information on this product from what they call the “tree of life”.


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