Coconut Oil: A Culinary Controversy

Coconut oil is considered one of those wonder foods that have an unlimited amount of uses in and out of the kitchen.

Besides cooking with it, coconut oil makes for a great skin moisturizer, can boost the health of your hair, and is even useful for removing stains off of certain things, such as hair dye from skin.

Consuming a little bit of coconut oil every day can contribute to a long list of benefits. It acts as a stimulator for weight loss, can improve sleep, and even improve symptoms of depression and anxiety.

The list of benefits is extensive and seems to make coconut oil look like the be-all-end-all of superfoods.

Despite the praise coconut oil has received, the American Heart Association and other nutritionists emerged lambasting this ingredient, namely because of its high saturated fat content.

The AHA took a staunch stance opposing coconut oil, saying it should never have been called a health food in the first place.

Several other nutritionists and scientists who took an interest in the debate over this ingredient also agreed with the organization to varying degrees.

Some believe that the public’s opinion about coconut oil is slightly misguided, led by influencers and food bloggers who were excited to share their thoughts the food.

While it is true that coconut oil is high in fat, it should be used in the same moderation like any other fat and oil in the kitchen.

The harmful effects that some food experts warn about include higher levels of heart disease and more plaque in arteries that coconut oil can bring.

However, if consumed in large quantities in addition to a sedentary lifestyle, coconut oil will be no better than butter.

Likewise, if coconut oil remains part of a high-carb, high-sugar diet, contributes to higher cholesterol levels.

On the other hand, people who include it as a part of their daily food intake in small quantities saw a number of the benefits coconut oil is known for.

That is because in combination with a balanced and healthy diet, the healthy saturated fats in coconut oil function better within the body.

So, why would the AHA release a warning about coconut oil, despite numerous studies showing otherwise?

One reason could be the financial ties that many AHA members have with corporations that sell canola oil, vegetable oil, and other products that are less healthy than coconut oil.

Many AHA members receive checks from companies like Kellogg’s, Pepsico, General Mills, to name a few.

It is important to understand the reasons behind the AHA’s declaration of coconut oil as a sham while promoting the supposed health benefits of canola oil as a way to shed belly fat.

Researchers from Framingham Heart Study, one of the most influential investigations of heart disease, could not find a correlation between coconut oil and increased cholesterol levels.

Despite the warnings from the AHA, doctors, scientists, and health enthusiasts alike continue to promote the benefits of coconut oil. It doesn’t seem like people will stop buying this superfood any time soon.