THEcoconut oil (or coconut butter) had entered fully in my daily food routine.
Before having thoroughly investigated to prepare this article I considered it relatively healthy, or at least interesting to use for certain of its properties ...
Every morning one or two teaspoons in the coffee.
It may sound strange "in the cafe" I realize, but I don't mind at all.
- 1 COCONUT OIL: BENEFIT OR HARMFUL?
- 1.1 DIFFERENT STUDIES THAT PROMOTE SOME BENEFITS OF COCONUT OIL ARE OUTPUT
- 1.2 INCONSISTENT BENEFITS OF COCONUT OIL
- 1.3 Regarding good cholesterol, HDL is said to ...
- 1.4 About the reduction of visceral fat
- 1.5 Regarding the anti-Alzheimer's protective benefits it is said ...
- 1.6 On coconut water
- 1.7 FREQUENT STATEMENT N ° 1 ON THE COCONUT OIL
- 1.8 The MCTs are not all the same!
- 1.9 NON ATEROGENIC MCT AND MCT ATEROGENIC: HERE ARE WHAT THEY ARE
- 1.10 Coconut oil exactly what MCT contains and in what proportions?
- 1.11 THE FATS (NATURAL) THAT EXCLUDE THE ARTERIES: THE CLASSIFICATION OF THE MOST INTEROGENIC
- 1.12 WHAT DO HARVARD UNIVERSITY, THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF CARDIOLOGY, 200 CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE EXPERTS AND 29 MEDICAL ASSOCIATIONS SAY ABOUT COCONUT OIL?
- 1.13 COCONUT OIL: BETTER TAKE IT TO CART OR LEAVE IT ON THE SHELF?
WHY I USED COCONUT OIL
The main reason that prompted me to start using coconut oil every morning was that it is a good fuel for my brain (I will soon explain why you actually do it). both).
Precisely this energy benefit for the brain could be linked to the protective effect that coconut oil has expressed towards Alzheimer's.
Furthermore, in some studies coconut oil has shown that it can help reduce waistline.
And these are the healthy effects, but ...
It is still necessary to understand if coconut oil does not also include harmful effects that could overwhelm the beneficial ones.
COCONUT OIL: BENEFIT OR HARMFUL?
I had been preparing this coconut oil full-immersion for a long time, because I wanted to understand - both for me and for the readers of the blog manuelcasadei.com- if, as is often said in the field of natural nutrition, it is really a good habit to use this vegetable oil frequently.
So far I have been pretty confident about using coconut oil, so much so that as I said I used it almost every day for about a year. So I also promoted its virtues (because in fact it has virtues, but these must be calculated on the total effects that have emerged, not in isolation).
Every time I do these in-depth studies, I always come back to thinking about how complex nutrition is!
And it's sometimes creepy to hear the phrase:
"I think the important thing is to eat everything in the right measure".
Yes, of course, goodnight! (to say the least). ????
Oh well, returning to coconut oil ...
Coconut oil is a perfect example of how complex the topic of healthy eating is. For this I will try to simplify as much as possible, but without losing important pieces of reasoning on the road.
DIFFERENT STUDIES THAT PROMOTE SOME BENEFITS OF COCONUT OIL ARE OUTPUT
Some of the benefits that are associated with coconut oil come from some research that does not seem crystal clear when looking at them closely.
Indeed it happens that these research has been "polluted" by some variables independent of coconut oil which have certainly weighed on the final result (example: weight loss, increase in HDL and no increase in LDL).
Here are some concrete examples of what I mean ...
- In some studies they used pure MCTs instead of coconut oil and / or in different proportions than those found in coconut oil
- In some studies the participants also performed intense physical activity
- In some studies the participants were also subjected to caloric restriction
- In some studies the participants used a high daily amount of fiber
- In some studies the participants used whole coconut and not coconut oil.
You see, these variables present in various studies on the presumed benefits of coconut oil have meant that the participants could achieve a beneficial result not thanks to coconut oil but thanks to that specific variable (caloric restriction, physical activity, fibers, etc. .).
This is why several studies of this type are not crystalline enough to rely on and cannot be used to decide favorably on the use of coconut oil.
Now let's find out more about why I wouldn't put my hand on the fire about the supposed benefits of coconut oil.
Let's start with what is often said about this vegetable oil in environments where healthy food is spoken ...
INCONSISTENT BENEFITS OF COCONUT OIL
Regarding good cholesterol, HDL is said to ...
In some studies (few to tell the truth) coconut oil has caused a rise in good HDL cholesterol.
The problem is that, while bad LDL cholesterol is a cause of artery obstruction, HLD cholesterol is not a cause of reducing arterial obstruction.
While a cause-effect correlation between elevated LDL levels and arterial obstruction is now evident High levels of HDL are only indicative of arterial health, not a cause of arterial health.
- Some have been conducted studies in which the pharmacologically induced lowering of LDL cholesterol has systematically reduced the cardiovascular risk (atherosclerosis).
- On the contrary others studies in which the pharmacologically induced elevation of HDL was carried out did not lead to a reduction in cardiovascular risk.
Then, it is not important to try to raise HDL, but it is instead essential to keep LDL low. And as you will soon discover coconut oil unfortunately is not able to help, on the contrary ...
About the reduction of visceral fat
In others studies[3,4] the ability of coconut oil to help reduce visceral fat (a highly inflammatory fat that we should always keep to a minimum) was investigated.
A reduction in abdominal circumference occurred only in men and not in women. But above all the sample examined in this study is small: only about twenty individuals. Too few to make decisions based on these results.
Regarding the anti-Alzheimer's protective benefits it is said ...
It is curious to see how coconut oil was even inserted in the book by prof. Valter Longo "The Diet of Longevity”In the section on beneficial foods against neurodegenerative diseases.
Using coconut oil could have a therapeutic meaning for people with Alzheimer's (always at the expense of cardiovascular health).
At the same time, however, many anti-aging benefits of a dietary approach such as the one presented in this book (diet of longevity + mimic fasting diet) could be strongly depotenzianti from a food that like coconut oil has a strong propensity to occlude arteries in the long term (which does not go very well with the concept of healthy longevity ????).
I remind you, in fact, that only one is mentioned for the alleged anti-Alzheimer benefits of coconut oil study.
That being said, a person with Alzheimer's is understandable that he may want to try coconut oil to test possible positive effects on the symptoms of the disease. The possible benefits in this case could overcome the potential side effects.
However probably similar benefits for the brain could also derive from MCT other than lauric acid (of which coconut oil is rich). In fact, there are MCT oils also used in sports that include medium chain fatty acids other than lauric acid.
In this case, perhaps the positive beneficial effects of MCT on the brain could be maintained while avoiding atherogenic risk.
Even more interesting is the hypothesis that anti-Alzheimer's benefits may derive from thecoconut water (which contains no fat!) ...
On coconut water
This part about coconut water is particularly interesting because several experiments highlight a range of neuroprotective effects of coconut water.
Coconut water contains a class of compounds called cytokinins that express antiaging and protective benefits against neurons.
In particular, several effects of cytokinins could be useful for an antineuregenerative therapy including Alzheimer's dementia.
So, if studies indicate this, could we not concentrate on using coconut water (which has only advantages) against neurodegenerative diseases rather than coconut oil (which also includes several controversial aspects)?
FREQUENT STATEMENT N ° 1 ON THE COCONUT OIL
"Coconut oil is rich in saturated fats, but these are largely represented by MCT (medium-chain triglycerides), that is medium chain triglycerides ".
MCTs have a high propensity to be immediately used by the body to produce energy and are not accumulated in the form of fat storage. Consequently, coconut oil rich in MCT could be a very healthy source of calories.
At first glance it may look like this, but ...
If you look at the larger picture, controversial elements emerge.
The MCTs are not all the same!
MCTs are a particular group of saturated fatty acids called "medium chain".
In the sense that the chain of carbon atoms that constitutes them is of medium length (halfway between short and long chain fatty acids), from 6 to 12 carbon atoms.
If it is true that coconut oil is rich in MCT (medium chain triglycerides) it is necessary to understand exactly which MCT contains and in what proportions. Only in this way can the characteristics of this vegetable oil be fully judged.
In fact some MCTs are burned at the speed of light by the body and leave no traces of undesirable effects. Others, on the other hand, also possess a marked ATEROGENIC nature.
NON ATEROGENIC MCT AND MCT ATEROGENIC: HERE ARE WHAT THEY ARE
In general the longer the chain of carbon atoms of fatty acid the more potential health problems arise.
For the MCTs the principle for which from 6 to 10 carbon atoms prevail the energetic effects without collateral problems is valid.
Here are the MCT benefits:
- Caproic acid (6 carbon atoms)
- Caprylic acid (8 carbon atoms)
- Capric acid (10 carbon atoms)
... While starting from 12 to 18 carbon atoms begin to weigh the possible undesirable effects on LDL cholesterol then on the health of the arteries.
Here are the atherogenic MCTs:
- Lauric acid (12 carbon atoms)
- Myristic acid (14 carbon atoms)
- Palmitic acid (16 carbon atoms)
- Oleic acid (18 carbon atoms)
Coconut oil exactly what MCT contains and in what proportions?
As we have just seen, the MCTs are not all the same. Each has particular characteristics that are not always beneficial to health.
In quantitative order the coconut oil has the following MCT fats:
- 48,5 Lauric acid% (12 carbon atoms)
- Mystic Mystic 17,6% (14 carbon atoms)
- 8,4% Palmitic Acid (16 carbon atoms)
- Capric Acid 6,4% (10 carbon atoms)
- 0,8% Caprylic Acid (8 carbon atoms)
- Caproic Acid 0,6% (6 carbon atoms)
In addition, there are also LCT (long chain) fatty acids:
- 6,5% Linoleic Acid (18 carbon atoms)
- 2,5% Stearic Acid (18 carbon atoms)
So, to sum up, coconut oil is essentially made up mostly of lauric acid, myristic acid and palmitic acid.
Ok. And do you know the scale of atherogenicity of these 3 fats from the most atherogenic to the least atherogenic?
THE FATS (NATURAL) THAT EXCLUDE THE ARTERIES: THE CLASSIFICATION OF THE MOST INTEROGENIC
Here is the ranking:
- Lauric acid
- Myristic acid
- Palmitic acid
This means that coconut oil contains the most atherogenic fatty acid (myristic acid) in greater quantities, followed by myristic acid (the second in the atherogenicity scale) and palmitic acid (the third in the atherogenicity scale).
Practically a disaster ... or at least half a disaster.
Now let's not forget that almost everything in the field of nutrition and health is DOSE-DEPENDENT and frequency dependent.
Translated: a small spoon of coconut oil occasionally does not have the possibility of negatively affecting the atherogenic risk. But if the use of this vegetable oil is frequent then it is a warning sign! (and cholesterol levels should be monitored every six months).
For example, if you nourish yourself so well that you have LDL cholesterol under 60-70mg / dl then a couple of teaspoons of coconut oil a day might not negatively affect you.
But in all cases where one wants to reduce the cardiovascular risk then he should avoid coconut oil.
This is why a large number of authoritative experts and medical organizations suggest avoiding the use of coconut oil or reducing it as much as possible.
WHAT DO HARVARD UNIVERSITY, THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF CARDIOLOGY, 200 CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE EXPERTS AND 29 MEDICAL ASSOCIATIONS SAY ABOUT COCONUT OIL?
On coconut oil, Harvard University says:
"Starting from the existing knowledge on the relationship between saturated fatty acids and heart diseases, the evidence suggests that coconut oil raises blood fats and in the absence of a large and well documented study on humans published in scientific journals that clearly demonstrates the benefits coconut oil, its frequent use should be discouraged". (translation from English).
In fact, look at the image below. The first one I circled in red is coconut oil ... compare the black bar with the second one circled in red which is palm oil.
Coconut oil contains twice as much (????) of saturated fats compared to the much feared palm oil.
On the coconut oil the American Society of Cardiology says: "Coconut oil increases LDL with no known beneficial effects".
On coconut oil 200 experts in cardiovascular diseases and 29 medical organizations in a recommendation their patients say: "Coconut oil is one of the most powerful agents for raising serum cholesterol".
One study reveals that coconut oil can be worse than animal fat (beef steak) in raising cholesterol.
In an other study coconut oil has been shown to raise cholesterol levels of + 40%.
Another experiment has linked the high coconut consumption of an indigenous population of Polynesia and their high average cholesterol levels (from 185 mg / dl in boys from 15-19 years up to 245 mg / dl in adults from 55-64 years).
Then there is one study quite shocking that showed how coconut oil negatively impacts the elasticity of the arteries after a meal like a Mc Donald meal consisting of eggs and sausage (Egg McMuffin® and Sausage McMuffin®).
Then there's coconut milk ...
Everything that has been written about coconut oil here is equally valid for coconut milk. With the difference that coconut milk has a lower concentration of fat while coconut oil is completely made up of fats.
In fact, the frequent use (3 times a week) of coconut milk is associated with an increase in vascular risk in adults.
COCONUT OIL: BETTER TAKE IT TO CART OR LEAVE IT ON THE SHELF?
For this reason in the food tables of the Compass I decided to downgrade coconut oil from the table "Yes, with measurement" to the table "Use them less".
The Compass is a mini food guide composed of 3 tables to quickly understand what to put in the cart and what to leave on the shelf.
Each food or drink is inserted in only one of the three columns identified with "Use them more","Yes, with measure","Use them less”On the basis of all the most important health variables characteristic of each food.
The Compass is a gift included in the Complete PAC7 Food Plan.
Do you have any questions? Or do you want to report your experience with coconut oil? S.crivi at the bottom of the article in the space dedicated to comments. Thanks!
See you soon,
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The information provided by the manuelcasadei.com website is not intended to diagnose, treat and prevent any discomfort or disease. The user of this website is always responsible for his health and Manuel Casadei encourages you to follow these advice with the approval and supervision of a trusted doctor and disclaims any responsibility for actions taken following what is written in these pages.
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