Well I’m going to assume that by now you have seen the reports in the news that coconut oil is terrible for you, and not the “magical’ food that it has been deemed.
Gosh, I don’t even know where to start with this, so I am going to try and do my best not to get too heated about it in this blog (key word try). 😉
So, first of all I just have to say that I am not a fan of creating fear around food.
I did this for many years in the efforts to be “healthy” when in turn I ended up un-knowingly developing my own form of disordered eating-not good.
I see this all the time with other women who feel totally justified in their actions by thinking that they are being healthy, when in fact they are completely unaware of the harmful/ un-healthy habits they are creating.
It’s taken me years to to get to the place where I am now, and I still have to check myself at times, but I no longer believe in punishing myself for enjoying any food.
MY VIEW ON NUTRITION
LISTEN it’s okay to give yourself permission to enjoy your favorite foods GUILT FREE (that means no crazy workouts or ultra restrictive diets afterwards to make up for it) every now and then. This is what I like to call the 80/20 rule that I personally coach and live by.
If you want to stay healthy, reach your goals and still enjoy life, the secret is eating whole, nutrient dense foods 80% of the time and indulging in the foods you love 20% of the time.
Yes ladies and gents, that is it, or at least how I see it, because that is what has helped myself and my clients create sustainable change- which is what I’m all about.
Obviously, the more nutrient dense foods you consume the better, but if you’re like me, you need cupcakes, cookies and wine in your life to feel complete. And yes, I do try my best to make my sweats as healthy as possible, but I don’t stress out or deprive myself of enjoying them if they are “not healthy” because sometimes you just have to live.
But there is also more to the story. When you eat your 20% (which I don’t like to refer to as a cheat meal because that’s assuming you are doing something wrong) that usually equates to about 1-2 meals/snacks/treats a week depending on your goals, and making sure you don’t go overboard with it. This is key.
That means that you have your food or meal and you stop when you are 80% full. You don’t use it as an excuse to binge and eat crazy for the entire day or weekend.
Now, sometimes over indulgence happens, and when it does, just move on and get back on track. Don’t beat yourself up over it.
I won’t get into this too much more, but just want to share my stance on having a balanced diet and not creating fear around any food, including coconut oil!
So with that being said I also want to touch on the fact that I also don’t believe that coconut oil is a “magical” food.
Do I think it’s a great tasting source of fat that has a high cooking point, is easily digestible and absorbed, and smells and tastes fantastic? Sure do!
But let’s get into more specifics.
WHAT IS COCONUT OIL MADE OF?
So what I feel is worth mentioning is that the majority (about 62%) of coconut oil is made up of MCT’s (medium-chain triglycerides).
The reason this matters is that MCT’s go straight to the liver from the digestive tract, unlike long-chain fatty acids, where they are used as a quick source of energy or turned into ketones, making them less likely to be stored as fat.
The other thing I want to mention is that one of the highest occurring MCT’s in coconut oil (about 50%) is lauric acid.
Lauric acid when digested has been shown to kill harmful bacteria and virus.
As far as all the other health benefits honestly, who knows because the science is all over the place.
But if there are added benefits AWESOME, if not whatever, I’m happy using it for the reasons stated above and will continue to do so.
Ultimately you are going to have to put all the facts together yourself to make your own educated opinion, and I’m just hear to help you prevent any freak outs and understand that there is more to the story.
TAKE HOME MESSAGE
So as always I think it’s critical to not believe everything the media throws at you, but also not to put too much stock in any one food regardless.
Different foods provide us with different nutrients and therefore the best thing in my opinion is not to have too much of anything. Switch it up and make your plates colorful with nutrient dense foods, in reasonable portions for your goals, and stop worrying about all the fluff.
Bottom line, do I think coconut oil is bad for you? NO. Do I think you should eat gallons of it weekly? NO. Do I think you should make sure to buy cold pressed extra virgin brands to get the purest sources if you do eat it? HECK YES!
We create this fear – guilt- depravity/punishment/self hate loop around food so often and it does way more harm then good, I know first hand.
So please, don’t let yourself get caught up in that cycle, and if you need help I can work with you to find balance while reaching your goals. Just visit the contact button on the top of the page and I can send you information about my nutrition program I offer- Menopause Reset.
Well, I hope this blog has helped you make your own educated decision about coconut oil, but if you want to read some more on it, here’s another article I found that laid it out the debate pretty well in an easy to understand fashion CLICK HERE.
Side note: Many of the AHA studies that have been done claiming that saturated fats lead to heart disease, don’t specify the saturated fat source.
Anyway, didn’t want to get too into this, just wanted to share my personal opinion on the mater and why, and hopefully this clears a few things up for you as well.