Frequently asked questions about coconut oil.

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I remember the news reporting years ago (1980s) that coconut oil is a saturated fat and would cause heart disease, and since then I have purposely avoided coconut oil. Is this not correct?

Coconut oil is a saturated fat, but it does NOT cause heart disease. In the 1980s there was a campaign carefully orchestrated by the American Soybean Association (ASA) to eliminate competition from imported tropical oils. Research from the 1960s and 1970s had shown that some forms of saturated fat increased blood cholesterol. The ASA capitalized on the public’s resultant fear of saturated fat and its perceived association with heart disease to set out to create a health crisis to scare people away from using tropical oils. Consequently the ASA was able to replace the numerous food products containing tropical oils with soybean oil. You can read more about this in the Introduction chapter of The Coconut Oil Miracle by Bruce Fife.

What gives coconut oil its health–promoting properties?

Medium–chain fatty acids (MCFAs). Most fats in our foods, if not used immediately as an energy source, are stored as fat tissues in our bodies (fat cells in our bodies are predominately long-chained). Coconut oil is composed primarily of medium- and short-chain fatty acids. Top

Why are medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) considered to be healthful?

Because of their wide range of therapeutic properties. They help protect against heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, help strengthen the immune system, and much more. Top

Is it true coconut oil won’t make me fat? And if so, why not?

Yes, it is true. The medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil are broken down and used predominately for energy production and thus seldom end up as body fat or as deposits in arteries. They produce energy, not fat. MCFAs do not circulate in the bloodstream like other fats but are sent directly to the liver, where they are immediately converted into energy. Top

Is there a recommended daily dosage of coconut oil?

Yes, it is recommended to take 3½ tablespoons a day. But even if you eat only 1 or 2 tablespoons daily you will still benefit. You can get your daily dose straight from the spoon, mixed in with juices, added to foods (great in fruit salad and oatmeal), cook with it, or apply to the skin. Top

I think I have a problem with my thyroid, and someone told me coconut oil might help. What are symptoms of hypothyroidism?
  • Chronic fatigue and weakness
  • Weight gain or difficulty losing weight
  • Hair loss or coarse, dry hair
  • Dry and rough skin
  • Intolerance to cold
  • Abnormal menstrual cycles
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Memory loss
  • Depression and irritability
  • Constipation
  • Muscle cramps

Not all of these symptoms are always present. If you are concerned that you may have hypothyroidism consult your health care provider.

For more information, on this website is an article about hypothyroidism and coconut oil.

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