Do the medium-chain triglycerides in coconut oil and the fiber in coconut flakes counteract the negative effects on cholesterol and arterial function?
Studies of populations who eat a lot of coconuts are “frequent quoted“From those who sell coconut oil” as evidence that coconut oil has no adverse effects on cardiovascular health. For example there was an apparent absence of stroke and heart disease on the island of Kativa in Papua New Guinea. What did they eat Their diet focused on tubers like sweet potatoes with fruits, vegetables, nuts, corn, and beans. Although they ate fish a few times a week, most of their diet was plant-based. It’s no wonder they may have had such low rates of arterial disease. And one of the whole foods they ate was coconut, not coconut oil.
If you go to Pukapuka now there will be more coconuts eaten. Indeed, as you can see at 0:51 in my video What about coconuts, coconut milk, and coconut oil MCTs?There’s even an island where coconuts make up most of the food – and they do receive high cholesterol. How can a population that eats 87 percent plant-based foods, has no dairy products, and rarely consumes red meat, chicken, and eggs, have cholesterol levels above 200? Well, they eat all of these coconuts every day. What are their sickness rates? We do not know it. There are no clinical surveys, no epidemiological death data, and no autopsies. Some EKGs were taken, sometimes showing evidence of previous heart attacks, but found few abnormalities. However, the sample was too small to be a definitive study. And even when they had low disease rates, they didn’t eat coconut oil – they ate coconut in its whole form.
Proponents of coconut oil pointing out these studies are like the lobby for high fructose corn syrup pointing out studies of healthy populations who eat corn on the cob or the sugar industry pointing out studies on fruit consumption saying you can use all the refined sugar eat what you want. But fruit has fiber and so does coconuts. Likewise, adding psyllium fiber (Metamucil) to coconut oil can help dull the adverse effects on cholesterol, fiber from defatted coconut itself can to reduce Cholesterol levels as much as oat bran. In addition, the vegetable protein in coconuts, which is also lacking in oil, can be helpful to explain why whole coconuts may not have the same effects on cholesterol. Although coconut fat in the form of coconut milk powder may not to have The same effects on cholesterol as coconut oil, more frequent consumption, defined as three or more times a week, were connected with at increased risk of vascular disease, stroke and heart disease. And no wonder, because coconut milk can be acute affect Artery works as badly as a sausage and egg McMuffin.
The researchers tested three different meals, including a high-fat Western meal that “consisted of a McMuffin® egg, McMuffin® sausage, 2 hash browns and a non-caffeinated drink (McDonald’s Corporation),” a local high-fat meal, and a low-fat isocaloric meal. “The study was conducted in Singapore, so the more traditional local high-fat meal was rice cooked in coconut milk and served with anchovies and an egg. These two different high-fat meals were compared in an unhealthy low-fat meal of frosted flakes, skimmed milk, and juice with the same amount of calories. At 3:21 am in mine VideoYou can see arterial function – that is, their ability to relax normally – before and after you eat each of the three meals. The researchers found that arterial function is significantly impaired within hours of consuming the McMuffins and also the local high-fat meal with coconut milk. Whether the fat came mostly from meat and oil or from coconut milk, the arteries were similarly clamped in place while that awful sugary breakfast didn’t have a bad effect on artery function. Why? Because as horrible as the frosted flakes food was, it had no saturated fat at all. (It didn’t have any eggs either, so that might have helped too.)
Proponents of coconut oil also try to argue this coconut oil Has MCTs, medium-chain triglycerides, are shorter-chain saturated fats that aren’t as bad as the longer-chain saturated fats found in meat and dairy products. However, you cannot apply MCT research to coconut oil. Why not? Well, MCT oil is made up of MCTs – about 50 percent of medium-chain fatty caprylic acid and the other 50 percent of MCT capric acid – while these MCTs make up only about 10 percent of coconut oil. Most of coconut oil consists of cholesterol-increasing, longer-chain saturated fats, lauric and myristic. “It is therefore imprecise to regard coconut oil as predominantly medium-chain fatty acids or predominantly medium-chain triglycerides. Therefore, the references to medium-chain triglycerides cannot be transferred to coconut oil. “
It is actually a “common misconception” that the saturated fat is in coconut oil contain of mainly MCTs. As we discussed earlier, coconut oil is primarily lauric and myristic. Both have potent bad LDL cholesterol-increasing effects. “Coconut oil should therefore not be recommended for people who should or want to reduce their risk of CHD,” the coronary artery disease that is the leading killer of men and women in the United States. For example, the beef industry likes to argue that beef fat contains stearic acid, a type of saturated fat that does not raise cholesterol. Yes, but it also has palmitic and myristic acids which, like lauric acid, raise cholesterol as you can see in mine at 5:12 a.m. Video.
If you compare the effects of different saturated fats as you can see in mine at 5:29 PM VideoStearic acid does to have a neutral effect on LDL, but palmitic acid, myristic acid and lauric acid shoot put it on – and frankly, MCT can oil itself like it Bumps LDL by 15 percent compared to control. Bottom line? “Popular belief” – spread by the coconut oil industry – “holds that coconut oil is healthy, an idea that is not supported by scientific data. “Science just doesn’t support it.
Basically “should be coconut oil viewed no different “than animal sources of saturated dietary fats. A review recently published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology put it even easier in his recommendations for patients. When it comes to coconut oil, “avoid” it.
Okay, but doesn’t saturated fat increase HDL, also known as good cholesterol? Check Coconut oil and the boost in HDL “good” cholesterol.
Isn’t coconut oil supposed to be good for Alzheimer’s? See my video Does Coconut Oil Cure Alzheimer’s?
If you want to learn more about the original McMuffin artery studies, read on The leaky gut theory of why animal products cause inflammation.
You might also be interested in Flashback Friday: coconut oil and belly fat.
Michael Greger, MD
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