Crapping-Out At The Biochem Casino:
As we’ve said before about Supplements, many fads are largely untested.
And because of that, trying them is like gambling.
If you’re going to give something with sketchy research a very serious try,
You’d better be confident in your common-sense & Chem-Fu.
The latest casualty of actual SCIENCE? –Coconut Oil…
A Sketchy Past:
So for awhile, there was at-least a little doubt about coconut oil and whether it was Good, Bad, or had some magical properties that made it different.
But the Harvard+AHA advisory that’s just come out reinforces what Science has been saying about the main ingredient in it for awhile.
IE: Saturated-fat is bad; even from coconut oil.
It’s Not Just Saturated, It’s SUPER-Saturated:
In fact, it’s so bad that it has the highest percentage of saturated-fats (83%) of anything used in food at-all.
-Including Butter at 63%. Even Lard is lower on the scale at 39%.
And after the researchers looked at 7 separate studies, the results showed unequivocally that it Raises The Amount Of Bad Cholesterol in your blood.
Dr. Frank Drops The Hammer:
Lead author, Dr. Frank Sacks even states directly,
“Another example is coconut oil. It’s been touted as healthy. But the science for this opinion is not there at all. In fact, the science says that coconut oil, which has mostly saturated fatty acids, raises your LDL cholesterol, which is linked with increased risk for heart disease.
I just don’t know who is pushing it, but it’s not scientists.”
The Internet Echo Chamber:
Sometimes, it’s hard to track down the source of the bad information once it hits the internet.
Even otherwise clever guys like John Gray have been recommending coconut oil for years,
And in the PBS video (Venus On Fire, Mars On Ice?) about his Goji+Maca+Coconut-Oil energy-drink, he was somehow excited that it was a fully-saturated fat.
The Game Of Telephone:
Another source of bad information could come from a very liberal interpretation of something very specific.
In another heart.org article, Dr. Marie-Pierre St-Onge says she thinks she has another idea: MCT Oils and the Paleo, Keto, & Endurance-Sport crowds.
Dr. Marilyn is one of the researchers that conducted tests on a special type of oil called MCTs and its effects on endurance athletes like runners.
The Keto-diet crowd has also been using MCTs to make that diet a little easier for years.
And one thing Dr. Marie’s study has in common with them other than MCTs was Coconut Oil.
Confusing The Specifics:
See, normal coconut oil has about 14% MCTs (Medium-Chain Tryglycerides) in it.
But the type of oil Dr. Marie referenced was a special super-filtered type that was 100% MCTs.
In-fact, researchers could have neglected to name the source & just called it plain old MCT Oil instead.
But average people in their haste, probably confused the specific for something general & inadvertently spread misinformation. -Especially among the health-nut crowd.
Misinterpreting The News:
And that brings us to another danger in the biochemistry casino: Misleading Studies.
So about 2 years ago, a study came out about Cholesterol in food.
-And it was one of the things that motivated Dr. Sacks & his team to do their study to clarify it.
It really should have been just a note to heart-doctors, and not particularly broadcast to normal people.
Sketchy Study Claims:
And that research note/study said that changing the amount of cholesterol you ate didn’t really affect the amount in your blood.
It also implied that many fats might also be less of a concern.
-Which then everyone took as a license to go out and eat bad food and throw caution to the wind.
Including foods with saturated fat in them.
But Wait, Here’s Where It Really Gets Bad:
And here’s the real kicker.
It isn’t just bad for your heart & blood-vessels.
It wreaks havoc on your freaking BRAIN!:
What’s even worse than that is something we just found out from Dr. Neal Barnard.
Saturated-Fat intake is highly-correlated with Alzheimer’s Disease & Cognitive-Decline.
So when people choose to add coconut oil to their food instead of olive or canola, by jumping on that health-fad bandwagon,
And give themselves more than the AHA-Recommended 13g of saturated-fat/day,
They have voluntarily been giving themselves Alzheimer’s Disease. (perhaps an overstatement, but not far-off)
Just Another Example Why Not To Jump On Health-Food Fads:
If it sounds like it’s counter to the standard recommendations, there’s probably a good reason why, and a good reason to avoid it.
-Especially if you only risk admitting you were wrong & as a benefit, get to avoid heart-attack, stroke, & Alzheimer’s.
It all depends how much you want to go after virtually-untested new & weird stuff.
Let the docs & researchers roll the dice instead of you doing it & risking your own health.
If it sounds too good to be true given established research, it probably is.
More details at the Links:
Photo Credits: “Coconuts” by Flickr user, Simon_sees
• Source: Harvard School of Public Health
• via: Mashable
• More Coverage: Heart.org
• Source Study: Circulation-Dietary Fats and Cardiovascular Disease: A Presidential Advisory From the American Heart Association