October 23, 2014

Coconut Oil - Revised

Articles by Dr. Erdman are for informational purposes, and are not to be taken as specific medical advice.

Does a low fat diet really help improve your health?  Does eating saturated fat cause heart disease? Depriving your body of essential fats increases cravings of other foods, such as refined carbohydrates, that lead to weight gain. One of those naturally occurring healthy fats that have been demonized by the medical establishment is coconut oil.

Now, all saturated fats are not the same. There is a big difference between naturally occurring saturated fats in coconut oil, avocados and olive oil, and artificially manipulated, man-made fats found in junk food and cooking oils. These are called hydrogenated oils, and are terrible for you. These “trans fats”, as they are called, should be avoided for your good health.

Coconut oil is nature’s richest source of medium chain triglycerides (MCT’s), not counting breast milk. Virgin coconut oil is very stable, and does not oxidize or break down quickly. It has a shelf life of more than 2 years.

Coconut oil actually increases metabolic rates that lead to weight loss. MCT’s promote thermogenesis, making heat or energy in your body, which burns calories.

One of the most common underlying physical conditions found today is a low functioning thyroid. Have you heard of anyone who has the symptoms of a low functioning thyroid (can’t lose weight, memory loss, depression, sleeplessness, fatigue, dry skin and brittle nails, hair loss, muscle cramps and the list goes on)? These same people have their blood thyroid levels tested, and are reported as “normal.” There are very few options for those people these days. One of the latest scientific finds is that as these people lower polyunsaturated oils from their diet, and start incorporating coconut oil, their body temperature starts increasing, they have more energy, and some can actually start losing weight.

Another great use of coconut oil is with a myriad of skin conditions. Here in the United States, this is the most popular use of coconut oil. You eat it and put it on your skin for the best results. Coconut oil has the most positive affect on fungal skin infections. Coconut oil, as a medium chain fatty acid actually disrupts the lipid membranes of organisms with its high lauric acid content. Monolaurin is the actual compound found in breast milk which enhances a baby’s immunity. Capric acid, found in smaller amounts, is also a source of antimicrobial components found in coconut oil.

Coconut oil can also be used to help fight diabetes. Medium chain fatty acids, like coconut oil, are sent directly to the liver to use as energy. This makes coconut oil a quick source of energy, a function most think is served by simple carbohydrates. Have you ever heard of athletes who carbohydrate load before a big event? Here is the big difference between the two. Coconut oil does not produce an insulin spike in your blood stream, so diabetics can safely use it for quick energy.

In fact, a study done way back in 1980, by Geliebter, showed that by adding coconut oil to the diets of diabetics and pre-diabetics, it had a weight stabilizing effect, which dramatically decreased the likelihood of getting adult onset type 2 diabetes.

Did you know that in the Pacific Island population, where cardiovascular disease is nearly nonexistent, 30 to 60% of their total calories come from fully saturated coconut oil? Despite all the propaganda and hype over saturated fats in medicine, the truth is that unsaturated fats are primarily involved in heart disease, not the naturally occurring saturated fats. Dr. Barry Groves in, “Second Opinions: Exposing Dietary Misinformation: The Cholesterol Myth,” found this to be true, along with multiple other suppressed studies.

The polyunsaturated fats in vegetable and seed oils encourage blood clots by increasing platelet stickiness. Coconut oil helps promote normal platelet function.

Coconut oil is superiorly safe to use. Make sure to buy virgin organic coconut oil. This medium chain fat is used in baby formulas, in hospitals to feed the critically ill (those being tube fed and those with digestive problems, and even in treating aluminum poisoning.) It is exceptionally helpful for pregnant and nursing moms, the elderly, athletes and those concerned about digestive health and overall wellness. One to two tablespoons per day is a good recommended amount to obtain the healthful benefits.