Complementary Medicine

Coconut oil is regarded by many as a super food which has resulted in its demand skyrocketing. The recent growth in popularity of Coconut oil has been popularised by its apparent health benefits. This has resulted in some food companies making new brands of potato chips where coconut oil is used instead of canola or sunflower oil, suggesting that this product is ‘more-healthier’ than the standard ‘junk food’ brands of potato chips.This is indicative that coconut oil as a super-food / natural preventative remedy continues to grow in popularity.

However, a recent damming report from the American Heart Association (AHA) has advised against the intake of coconut oil and have categorically stated that it is as unhealthy as beef fat and butter. Their rationale is that coconut oil is composed largely of saturated fat and when saturated fat is replaced with non-saturated fat in the diet, this leads to a significant increase in risk of heart attacks. So,according to the American Heart Association coconut oil is not a nutritional supplement, but a health hazard.

The argument for Coconut oil

The debate that surrounds coconut oil is that the AHA study was a general study on saturated fat and not directly on coconut oil. Coconut oil is composed of 82 percent saturated fat and based on this fact, the AHA advised against the use of coconut oil as a supplement.

This viewpoint from the AHA has outraged many super-food health bloggers and some Complementary Medicine practitioners who feel that it is a scandalous report. A2011 study by Feranil et al on 1,839 Filipino women showed that coconut oil intake is associated with the beneficial lipid profile

Another study published in the British Medical Journal in 2015(de Souza et al 2015) concluded, ‘Saturated fats are not associated with all cause mortality, CVD, CHD, ischemic stroke, or type 2 diabetes, but the evidence is heterogeneous with methodological limitations. Trans fats are associated with all cause mortality, total CHD, and CHD mortality, probably because of higher levels of intake of industrial trans fats than ruminant trans fats. Dietary guidelines must carefully consider the health effects of recommendations for alternative macro nutrients to replace trans fats and saturated fats’.

Yet again, the public is confused by the scientific community. Firstly, it is arguable that the AHA did not specifically examine coconut oil as a natural supplement.

What is the answer!

There is absolutely no danger of consuming coconut oil in moderation, which applies to all foods. Every diet requires some saturated fats – the science is clear on that fact. However, it is important to recognise that the best dietary advice comes from Ayurveda.

Ayurvedic medicine, which contains the most comprehensive treatise on diet. This Complementary Medicine therapy clearly advises that there is no one-size-fits all for any food and thus advocates intake of coconut oil according to the individual’s bio type. If you want good dietary advice that is specifically for YOU then give Apple A Day RX comprehensive Life-changing Wellness Lifestyle and Dietary Advice Report a try. You will not regret it!