Is Coconut Oil Really Bad for You?

American Heart Association says it is.

Long a staple of the health conscious community and low carb fans, coconut oil has recently come under attack by the American Heart Association.

“Because coconut oil increases LDL cholesterol, a cause of CVD [cardiovascular disease], and has no known offsetting favorable effects, we advise against the use of coconut oil,” the American Heart Association said in the Dietary Fats and Cardiovascular Disease advisory.

Unfortunately there are a couple of problems with this statement.

  1. Eating cholesterol doesn’t increase your cholesterol. Apparently the body is pretty good at regulating the amount of cholesterol in your blood. Your body manufactures most of what you need anyway and, if you are otherwise healthy, eating foods that contain cholesterol shouldn’t matter. “The body creates cholesterol in amounts much larger than what you can eat, says Dr. Steven Nissen on the website of the Cleveland Clinic. So avoiding foods that are high in cholesterol won’t affect your blood cholesterol levels very much.” Actually cholesterol plays a very important role in our bodies and is involved in creating cell walls, sex hormones and vitamin D among many other things. Perhaps this is why there are seemingly so many side effects from cholesterol-lowering drugs like statins.
  2. High cholesterol doesn’t seem to cause heart disease. According to an article in the Telegraph in the UK last year, “Cholesterol does not cause heart disease in the elderly and trying to reduce it with drugs like statins is a waste of time, an international group of experts has claimed. A review of research involving nearly 70,000 people found there was no link between what has traditionally been considered “bad” cholesterol and the premature deaths of over 60-year-olds from cardiovascular disease. Published in the BMJ Open journal, the new study found that 92 percent of people with a high cholesterol level actually lived longer.”

So, what are people to think?

It appears based on the most recent studies that it is inflammation that causes heart disease and this inflammation by and large is probably coming from eating sugar and processed foods and too much stress. Stay away as much as possible from Sugar and Processed Foods and try to reduce stress through meditation, better sleep and exercise.

Another big red flag is the number of big food and big sugar companies that are sponsors of the American Heart Association. It certainly be good for them to come out in favor of eating less cereal.

What do you think? Do you consume coconut oil? Would you reconsider that decision now?

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