Plant-based and delicious, coconut oil has become more and more popular in recent years. Studies point to its many beneficial properties which include boosting the immune system, decreasing inflammation, fighting heart disease, and more. If this is the case, why did the American Heart Association (AHA) issue a statement earlier this summer re-categorizing coconut oil as a bad fat?
Nutritional therapy practitioner Lindsea Willon discusses what is driving the AHA (hint: food politics is often more about money than our health) and she makes a case for why we can and should embrace coconut oil–and other natural, well-sourced saturated fats–in our diets.
We love coconut oil—it is a versatile and healthy fat! It boosts immunity, improves memory, prevents heart disease, and more. But the American Heart Association issued a statement this past summer vilifying it. Should we stop eating it? What’s the deal? In today’s episode, with Nutritional Therapy Practitioner Lindsea Willon, we discuss the benefits of coconut oil (and other well-sourced saturated fats) and the roots of the coconut oil controversy.
Highlights of today’s episode include:
- why coconut oil is considered a “politically correct” saturated fat
- why the public is quicker to embrace coconut oil over butter, lard, tallow, duck fat
- the importance of the proper sourcing of fats
- the statement issued by the American Heart Association (AHA) about coconut oil
- how it reminded people that coconut oil is saturated, implying that it’s bad for health
- why AHA wanted to re-categorize coconut oil into the bad category as a saturated fat
- how it supported its position (with old studies about how saturated fats are unhealthy)
- how coconut oil gained popularity among the American public
- a possible motive of the AHA for releasing this statement now
- the influence of their statement on doctors and the general public
- how the benefits of coconut oil are similar to those from saturated animal fats
- why studies touting coconut oils’ benefits may be difficult to fund (it is challenging to receive funds to study any theory that goes against current accepted beliefs)
- how our food politics is more about money than it is about health
- the curious establishment of the food and drug administration
- how and why Crisco was developed and marketed
- how money drives public “health” policy and how that could be one reason coconut oil is at the “bullied table”
- the importance of looking to wise traditions/dietary habits of our ancestors
- how they have been eating butter, lard, tallow—animal-type fats “since “forever”
- how traditional cultures assessed if food was keeping them healthy or causing harm
- how the general public eliminated saturated fat in the 60s but rates of heart disease have only increased
- why we need to switch back to eating more fat than sugar
- the ratio of fats in our diet: is there an upper limit to the amount we should consume?
- how fat is the macro-nutrient that tells our body that we’re full
- other sources for the same benefits of coconut oil
- what to do if you want to eat only local fats
- why we need not fear fat
Nourishing Fats by Sally Fallon Morell
“Hello podcast listeners!” Coconut oil reference sheet w/ link to 2017 Presidential Health Advisory report on Dietary Fats and Heart Disease
“Cholesterol and heart disease: a phony issue” article by Mary Enig