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TOPIC: Coconut Oil good or bad? saturated FAT?

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February 2, 2013 3:36 PM
Why do people say coconut oil is good for you when I just read that its basically entirely made up of saturated fat? I thought saturated fat was bad for you. Please educate the bewildered.
February 2, 2013 3:39 PM
Read this article
It's older but may shed some light onto things for you.
February 2, 2013 3:41 PM
I won't touch it.
February 2, 2013 3:43 PM
I cant answer that but GNC has coconut oil chews that are really tasty my friend gave me one the other day to try it was really good
February 2, 2013 3:44 PM
Trans fats (man-made) are bad. natural fats are an important part of all diets, and are essential to your body's functions. You just shouldn't eat it straight (I imagine).
February 2, 2013 3:45 PM
February 2, 2013 3:45 PM
Coconut oil is AMAZING! This should shed some light:

"Although it gets a bad rap in some circles for its high saturated fat content, we know that such fats can offer many health benefits. For example, coconut oil has been found to help normalize blood lipids and protect against damage to the liver by alcohol and other toxins, can play a role in preventing kidney and gall bladder diseases, and is associated with improved blood sugar and insulin control and therefore the prevention and management of diabetes. In addition, coconut oil has antiviral, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. On a more superficial level, meanwhile, coconut oil is thought to help strengthen mineral absorption, which is important for healthy teeth and bones, and can also help improve the condition and appearance of the scalp, hair and skin when ingested or topically applied."

Read more:
February 2, 2013 3:48 PM
Read the book "Nourishing Traditions" by Sally Fallon
February 2, 2013 4:00 PM
Coconut Oil Side Effects

Effortless weight loss sounds good, but is it really effortless if you're sick to your stomach every day? Nausea and vomiting seem to be common among those who take several daily tablespoons of coconut oil, the recommended medicinal dose among promoters [source: Coconut Connections].

Just one tablespoon of coconut oil has more than 13 grams of fat. Four tablespoons will give you almost the entire U.S. recommended maximum daily intake of fat. And coconut oil has the highest saturated fat of any oil -- 10 times the saturated fat of olive oil, for example. So it may not be surprising that no clinical studies have actually documented a connection between coconut oil and weight loss [source: Mayo Clinic].

Coconut defenders say this doesn't matter for two reasons. First, coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides, which are easier to process than long-chain fatty acids are. Second, they say, the only proof that coconut oil is bad for you comes from a decades-old study that was flawed and used partially hydrogenated oil, which contains trans fats. Most coconut oil on the market now is virgin (cold-pressed) oil [source: Babcock]. Even the defenders of coconut oil warn against consuming non-virgin oil, which is partially hydrogenated.

If the coconut-oil defenders are correct, then great -- coconuts and saturated fat for everyone! But if they're not, then a coconut-oil regimen could do some serious damage to your heart health. And it won't take long to do it. One study found that people on coconut-oil diets showed higher arterial fat just hours after one meal [source: Tsang]. Prominent doctor Andrew Weil notes coconut oil's potentially damaging effects on blood cholesterol and opines that, unless more research can demonstrate its good health effects, you shouldn't use it [source: Weil]. Plus, if all that fat doesn't reduce your total caloric intake, it could actually lead to weight gain [source: Mayo Clinic].

One way to get some benefits from coconut oil without worrying about its cardiac effects is to rub it on your skin. Read on to learn more.

There isn't enough research to support it so... who knows?
Edited by etoiles_argentees On February 2, 2013 4:03 PM
February 2, 2013 4:09 PM
Dietary medium-chain triacylglycerols suppress accumulation of body fat in a double-blind, controlled trial in healthy men and women.

Physiological effects of medium-chain triglycerides: potential agents in the prevention of obesity.

Medium chain fatty acid metabolism and energy expenditure: obesity treatment implications.

Medium- versus long-chain triglycerides for 27 days increases fat oxidation and energy expenditure without resulting in changes in body composition in overweight women.

Medium-chain triglycerides.
February 2, 2013 4:12 PM
only oil I cook with and you can eat it straight, very good for you. better than canola , vegetable oil or olive oil
February 2, 2013 4:19 PM
coconut oil is very good for you...
February 2, 2013 4:44 PM
It really depends on how it's processed. Heat processing (which takes it past it's smoke point) can change it to a trans fat (like with all other fats). Cold pressed oil however, does not have that issue.
Otherwise, it's a fat. A serving of fat is a serving of fat. You shouldn't eat unlimited amounts of any fats, saturated or not (both are important to your diet).
February 2, 2013 5:39 PM
Like all things, in moderation. Coconut oil is a good replacement for shortening. Use in moderation like any fat.
February 2, 2013 5:41 PM
It's good for you. Saturated fat is fine.
February 2, 2013 5:44 PM
Like everyone said, it can be good for you - if you get the right kind.
I use it, I use it to make popcorn, replace butter in recipes, and oil in others. I use it on my skin. I use it on my hair to help it stay shiny and healthy.
Fat is not inherently bad for you, but like everything - too much of a good thing can be bad.
February 2, 2013 5:46 PM

Relevance of vascular PGC-1α in molecular alterations in altherosclerosis.
Valero-Muñoz M, Martín-Fernández B, Ballesteros S, Martínez-Martínez E, Blanco-Rivero J, Balfagón G, Cachofeiro V, Lahera V, de Las Heras N.

1 Universidad Complutense. Madrid;

PGC-1α (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator-1α) is emerging as a novel factor that plays a critical role in integrating signaling pathways in the control of cellular and systemic metabolism. We investigated the role of vascular expression of PGC-1α and related factors such as SIRT1 (sirtuin 1), PPARγ (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ) and adiponectin during the atherosclerotic process. Endothelial function, vascular superoxide anion production and inflammatory mediators were also evaluated. This study was carried out in Male New Zealand rabbits fed a diet containing 0.5% cholesterol + 14% coconut oil for 8 weeks. Animals developed mixed dyslipidemia and atherosclerotic lesions, which were associated with endothelial dysfunction, aortic overproduction of superoxide anions (O2-) and inflammation. Expression of PGC-1α, SIRT1, PPARγ and adiponectin were reduced (p<0.05) in aorta from atherosclerotic rabbits. PGC-1α levels correlated negatively (p<0.05) with total-cholesterol levels, aortic O2- production and TNF-α (tumor necrosis factor alpha) expression, and positively (p<0.05) with maximal relaxation to acetylcholine. The observed results suggest that PGC-1α could be considered to be a link between main atherosclerotic processes (endothelial dysfunction, oxidation and inflammation) and alterations of other factors involved in vascular wall integrity such as SIRT1, PPARγ and adiponectin.

Dietary oil composition differentially modulates intestinal endotoxin transport and postprandial endotoxemia.Mani V, Hollis JH, Gabler NK.


BACKGROUND: Intestinal derived endotoxin and the subsequent endotoxemia can be considered major predisposing factors for diseases such as atherosclerosis, sepsis, obesity and diabetes. Dietary fat has been shown to increase postprandial endotoxemia. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the effects of different dietary oils on intestinal endotoxin transport and postprandial endotoxemia using swine as a model. We hypothesized that oils rich in saturated fatty acids (SFA) would augment, while oils rich in n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) would attenuate intestine endotoxin transport and circulating concentrations.

Postprandial endotoxemia was measured in twenty four pigs following a porridge meal made with either water (Control), fish oil (FO), vegetable oil (VO) or coconut oil (CO). Blood was collected at 0, 1, 2, 3 and 5 hours postprandial and measured for endotoxin. Furthermore, ex vivo ileum endotoxin transport was assessed using modified Ussing chambers and intestines treated with either no oil or 12.5% (v/v) VO, FO, cod liver oil (CLO), CO or olive oil (OO). Ex vivo mucosal to serosal endotoxin transport permeability (Papp) was then measured by the addition of fluorescent labeled-lipopolysaccharide.

Postprandial serum endotoxin concentrations were increased after a meal rich in saturated fatty acids and decreased with higher n-3 PUFA intake. Compared to the no oil control, fish oil and CLO which are rich in n-3 fatty acids reduced ex vivo endotoxin Papp by 50% (P < 0.05). Contrarily, saturated fatty acids increased the Papp by 60% (P = 0.008). Olive and vegetable oils did not alter intestinal endotoxin Papp.

Overall, these results indicate that saturated and n-3 PUFA differentially regulate intestinal epithelial endotoxin transport. This may be associated with fatty acid regulation of intestinal membrane lipid raft mediated permeability.

No one knows whether it's beneficial or not.
February 2, 2013 5:59 PM
Going (coco)nuts for re-hydration

Over the past year or so, coconut water has hit the ‘main stream’ so to speak. It’s a) everywhere b) the next power food and c) (and most importantly) trendy. Oh so trendy. I love all things trendy, especially when they are food related and ESPECIALLY when they’re food AND health related.

With this ‘flood’ of popularity, a lot of my friends have recently asked if coconut water was in fact, ‘all it was cracked up to be’. Every time I was asked, I mumbled something incoherent, pretended to check my phone, or flat out ignore them.

Until now. Well really until last Sunday, which happened to be the morning after a ‘welcome back’ gathering to celebrate yet another year of post-secondary education. That was when I could no longer resist the cool, refreshing siren of ‘ultimate hydration’. After a quick trip to my corner store, I sent Travis a message asking if he’d let me write a post about coconut water. First he tried to convince me to just start my own blog, but with the promise of leaving him alone for the conceivable future, he said yes. And so, we have a match up

Coconut water vs. tap water:

An all-out battle for satisfaction, hydration and performance.

First up, meet the players.

Coconut water

Full disclosure: I’m under no financial, ethical or moral obligation to Grace Coconut Water, it was just the only brand available to me at the time of purchase.
Cost: $0.99/310 mL can

Nutritional Facts:

Ingredients: Coconut water, water, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), sodium metabisulphite (to

retain colour)

Taste: slightly denser than water, authentic coconut flavour, hint of something I just can’t put my finger on.

Other interesting tidbits from the can: no sugar added, no pulp, 6 essential electrolytes, gluten free, low in sodium, ‘ultimate hydration’

Tap water

Cost: $0.00 (water is included in my rent)

Nutritional facts: (taken from the 2011 drinking water quality tests found here )

Taste: like chicken? Not really but water is a hard thing to describe.

Other interesting tidbits from the can: N/A (although from general knowledge, I can say it’s low in sodium, gluten free, no sugar added, no pulp)

The science:

Although there are many claims that coconut water can do everything from general re-hydration to the prevention of early ageing (thank you Google), I decided to stick to the more conservative claims and check out what evidence was available for the benefits of coconut water before, during and after physical activity.

When we participate in high levels of physical activity, we sweat. As such, it’s well understood that before, during and after exercise we need to replenish our body with fluid. While for the most part, it’s pretty clear that water is good enough, there are cases where you’d like ‘a bit more’. Say a run on a particularly hot and humid day or a strenuous activity that lasts well over 60 minutes.

In comes a sports drink (thanks to Dr. Freedhoff over at Weighty Matters, see the composition of your average sport drink here). Want a more natural alternative? In comes coconut water. High in potassium, a sprinkle of sodium and just under one serving of carbohydrates (12 g/310mL).

Sounds great, but does it work? In an article by Kalman1 and colleagues, apparently not. In young, healthy, active men, coconut water provided no additional hydration or performance benefits over either plain water or a sportsdrink. Further, participants reported feeling more bloated after drinking the coconut water (both natural and from concentrate) than after drinking the water or the sports drink. Another study by Saat2 reported similar results (also in healthy, active young males) and stated that coconut water had no different effects on post exercise hydration status compared to water or a sports drink. But, in contrast Kalman, they reported that coconut water was easier to ingest and was associated with less bloating than water or the sports drink.

So no discernable benefits on hydration status or performance – what the K+? Coconut water does contain a lot of potassium (e.g. K+). Why does that matter? Potassium is a major player in maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance as well as cell integrity.3 It is also integral in nerve impulse transmission and muscle contraction. (That being said, a recent review suggests that exercise associated muscle cramping is actually due to neuromuscular fatigue rather than “electrolyte depletion” or “dehydration”4). Diets high in potassium can also help to prevent and control high blood pressure.

Where do you find potassium? As per most macronutrients, fresh fruits and veggies are a pretty good source. Which brings us back to the coconut water. Although technically it’s canned and not fresh, the ascorbic acid acts as a preservative and helps maintain a high level of potassium. But remember, it’s still canned and therefore still a ‘juice’ of sorts (see a previous post by Travis regarding the “naturalness” of juice here). And it’s worth noting that if you’re getting enough potassium from the foods you eat on a daily basis, then there is no reason to expect any additional health or performance benefits from consuming extra potassium (and extra calories) in the form of coconut water.

In conclusion…

First let me apologize as this was far from a systematic review of the available evidence. But truth be told, there isn’t a ton of evidence out there. As such, I presented you with two well-designed (cross-over) studies looking at the effect of coconut water on re-hydration and performance. In the land of systematic reviews, that would be some high quality evidence to show no benefit of coconut water over usual care (i.e. water). That being said, coconut water was also no worse than water. And if you are concerned about calories and/or sugar, coconut water clearly comes out on top when compared to any ‘sports drink’ (although it still has more calories than plain water).

WWAD (what would Allana do)? I’d drink water 98% of the time, and when I wanted something a little special, I’d reach for a can of ‘ultimate hydration’.

Allana Leblanc, MSc, CEP
About the Author: Allana LeBlanc is a Certified Exercise Physiologist, PhD Student and semi-regular contributor to Obesity Panacea. You can find a list of all her guest posts here.


1. Kalman DS, Feldman S, Krieger DR, Bloomer RJ. Comparison of coconut water and a carbohydrate-electrolyte sport drink on measures of hydration and physical performance in exercise-trained men. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012; 9: 1.

2. Saat M, Singh R, Sirisinghe RG, Nawawi M. Rehydration after exercise with fresh young coconut water, carbohydrate-electrolyte beverage and plain water. J Physiol Anthropol Appl Human Sci. 2002 Mar;21(2):93-104.

3. Whitener E, Rady Rolfes A. Understanding Nutrition, tenth edition. Thomson Wadsworth. 2005, p. 411-412.

4. Schwellnus MP. Cause of exercise associated muscle cramps (EAMC)–altered neuromuscular control, dehydration or electrolyte depletion? Br J Sports Med. 2009 Jun;43(6):401-8.
Edited by etoiles_argentees On February 2, 2013 5:59 PM
February 2, 2013 6:14 PM

Dietary medium-chain triacylglycerols suppress accumulation of body fat in a double-blind, controlled trial in healthy men and women.

Physiological effects of medium-chain triglycerides: potential agents in the prevention of obesity.

Medium chain fatty acid metabolism and energy expenditure: obesity treatment implications.

Medium- versus long-chain triglycerides for 27 days increases fat oxidation and energy expenditure without resulting in changes in body composition in overweight women.

Medium-chain triglycerides.

Just glancing at the first full text you posted -

Medium-chain triacylglycerols (MCT),2 composed of medium-chain fatty acids such as octanoic and decanoic acids, are readily hydrolyzed by lingual and gastric lipases. The medium-chain fatty acids formed are absorbed through the portal system without resynthesis of triacylglycerol in intestinal cells, are subjected predominantly to β-oxidation in the liver, and are not stored as fat. Consequently, MCT constitute a good energy source for patients with pancreatic insufficiency and fat malabsorption as well as preterm infants with pancreatic juice and bile acid insufficiency.

Because their intramitochondrial transport of medium-chain fatty acids does not require carnitine palmitoyltransferase (1), this does not represent a limiting step in their metabolism. Consequently, MCT are oxidized more than long-chain triacylglycerols (LCT) (2). For these reasons, MCT could be useful for the dietary treatment of obesity. In fact, it has been reported that the body weight gain of rats fed MCT is less than that of rats fed LCT (3–5), possibly because the oxygen consumption of the former rats is higher than that of the latter (6, 7). However, such effects have not been reported in humans.

Edited by etoiles_argentees On February 2, 2013 6:15 PM
February 2, 2013 6:40 PM
Done here, it would be nice if individual fatty acids were tested by themselves. even then, something like lauric may have good properties in some situations and be harmful in others. Might be that w-6 and palmitic are the main fats to avoid, and that other than w-3 its kind of unclear what the others do, although w-9 and stearic look pretty 'neutral' overall.
February 2, 2013 7:40 PM
Effect of a high saturated fat and no-starch diet on serum lipid subfractions in patients with documented atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.

No starch is an important factor.
Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease1,2,3,4,5
February 2, 2013 7:58 PM

Why do people say coconut oil is good for you when I just read that its basically entirely made up of saturated fat? I thought saturated fat was bad for you. Please educate the bewildered.

Some information about Saturated Fats:
February 2, 2013 8:00 PM
I feel cross eyed right now after trying to read this thread.embarassed sick
February 2, 2013 8:09 PM
Saturated fat are more stable Look at the molecular structure of fats to understand more. Polyunsaturated fats and trans fats are the ones to avoid. If you took lobbyists out of the picture, people would return to common sense eating and find their own instincts again when it comes to making dietary choices.
February 2, 2013 8:12 PM
Good as a body moisturizer. Bad to eat. Waaaayyyy too many calories. Blech.

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