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 Nutrition  HolisticOnline.com

Nutrition and Vitamins Infocenter

The Truth About Coconut Oil

By Ray Sahelian, M.D.

Readers of my newsletter have been asking me if what they've been reading on the Internet about the benefits of coconut oil - which used to be considered detrimental to heart health - is true.

Some websites are making claims for coconut oil that seem to go beyond what the limited research tells us. One website claims, "Coconut Oil Is The Smarter Fat That Helps Promote Weight Loss." Another claims, "Coconut Oil Can Cure Your Hypothyroidism." Still another claims, "In traditional medicine around the world coconut is used to treat a wide variety of health problems, including the following: abscesses, asthma, baldness, bronchitis, bruises, burns, colds, constipation, cough, dropsy, dysentery, earache, fever, flu..." and the list continues through the rest of the alphabet.

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Most smart nutritionists never thought coconut was unhealthy. After all, people in many parts of the world have been consuming coconuts for many years, sometimes in large amounts, with no apparent adverse effects. Coconuts and coconut oil are healthy additions to one's diet. The problem arises when marketers and promoters make it seem that these are miracle foods, and people then think that the more they consume, the healthier they will be. Thus, their diet goes off balance and they fail to incorporate other healthy food choices.

Those who never or rarely consume coconut or coconut oil products would likely derive some health benefits by incorporating coconut in their diet. However, those who consume coconut on a regular basis aren't likely to incur additional benefits - particularly if the excess coconut increases their caloric intake or is a substitute for the beneficial oils found in flaxseed or fish oils.

I don't think that large amounts of any oil are healthy... no matter what you read on the Internet. Instead of consuming large amounts of one type of oil, try small amounts of a variety of oils. This way, you'll get the benefit of a number of different fatty acids rather than just one. In my opinion, fish oils and flaxseed oil are your healthiest options, but olive oil and small amounts of coconut and other oils can certainly be part of your diet.

As much as possible, ingest your oils without heating them. If you do use them for cooking, keep the cooking temperature as low as possible.

See Also:

Fats: For Your Health
Many people are confused about fats. They think all fats are bad and unhealthy. However, some fats are necessary for optimum health. In this article, Monique Gilbert describes the different types of fats and their function in optimum health.

Tips for Including More Delicious Fruits and Vegetables in Your Diet
Just about everyone knows that fruits and vegetables are a very important part of a healthy diet. Even though we know this to be true, many of us still find it hard to include the recommended 3-5 servings of vegetables and 2-4 servings of fruit per day in our diets. Once you learn a few easy tricks, soon you'll have no trouble eating a variety of fruits and vegetables every day.

Antioxidants and Vitamins: The Truth Behind the Headlines
It sounds absurd, I know, but it's only the beginning of this story. Time after time, medical researchers and the mainstream media seem to go out of their way to distort scientific studies and misinform readers about the usefulness of vitamins and dietary supplements.

About The Author:

Ray Sahelian, M.D., the author of Mind Boosters, is internationally recognized as a moderate voice in the evaluation of natural supplements. Visit Dr. Sahelian's website at www.RaySahelian.com

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