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Coconut oil: The facts behind 'pure poison' claim

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/08/22/health/coconut-oil-pure-poison/index.html

edition.cnn.com

Coconut oil: The facts behind 'pure poison' claim
"Coconut oil is one of the worst things you can eat," a professor said. But other experts have taken a more measured view.

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No clear benefits of coconut oil

No clear benefits of coconut oil

There are many claims being made about coconut oil being some kind of superfood, wonderful for lots of different things, but we really don't have any evidence of long-term health benefits.

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Better on the skin that in your food

Health organizations tend to discourage the use of coconut oil.

The American Heart Association says it's better on your skin than in your food, and it recommends that no more than 5% or 6% of your daily calories come from saturated on - 13 grams per day. 

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Limiting coconut oil use

You don't have to absolutely avoid coconut oil, but rather limit the use of it or replace it.

The American Heart Association advocates replacing coconut oil with "healthy fats" such as polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats, like those found in canola and olive oils, avocados and fatty fish.

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Coconut oil and cholesterol

Coconut oil and cholesterol

In relation to cholesterol: 

  • Coconut oil increases LDL cholesterol, the "bad" cholesterol, which has been associated with increased risk of heart disease.
  • Coconut oil also raises HDL, the "good" cholesterol, especially when replacing carbohydrates in the diet.

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Coconut oil is calorie-dense

Coconut oil is calorie-dense

It is more than 80% saturated fat. And just one tablespoon has 120 calories. 

About the same as a large apple or four cups of air-popped popcorn.

This means that consuming large amounts without reducing other calorie sources can lead to weight gain.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

The Mediterranean Diet

The diet is abundant in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and olive oil. 

It features fish and poultry—lean sources of protein—over red meat. 

Red win...

Research suggests these benefits:

  • Improved weight loss
  • Better control of blood glucose (sugar) levels
  • Reduced risk of depression
  • Associated with reduced levels of inflammation, a risk factor for heart attack, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease

How to change over to a Mediterranean Diet

Start small. Follow the strategies below, and make it a habit.

  1. Switch up your oil to extra-virgin olive oil, which is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids. Drizzle it on finished dishes like fish or chicken to boost flavor.
  2. Eat More fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel. 
  3. Eat veggies all day long.
  4. Phase in "real" whole grains that are still in their “whole” form and haven’t been refined.
  5. Snack on nuts, like almonds, cashews, or pistachios. 
  6. Enjoy Fruit for dessert. Also keep fresh fruit visible at home to snack on.
  7. Sip (a little) wine.
  8. Instead of gobbling your meal in front of the TV, slow down and sit down at the table with your family and friends to savor what you’re eating.

The Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet
The heart-healthy Mediterranean diet is a healthy eating plan based on typical foods and recipes of Mediterranean-style cooking.

The diet includes fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains, p...

Benefits of the Traditional Mediterranean diet

Research has shown that the traditional Mediterranean diet 

  • reduces the risk of heart disease
  • is associated with a lower level of the "bad" cholesterol
  • is associated with a reduced incidence of cancer, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. 

Key components of the Mediterranean diet

  • Eating of primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts
  • Replacing butter with healthy fats such as olive oil and canola oil
  • Using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods
  • Limiting red meat to no more than a few times a month
  • Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
  • Enjoying meals with family and friends
  • Drinking red wine in moderation (optional)
  • Getting plenty of exercise.

Food cravings

They are an intense desire for a specific food. This desire can seem uncontrollable, and the person's hunger may not be satisfied until they get that particular food. We usually feel cr...

What causes food cravings

  • An imbalance or changes in hormones
  • Emotional issues (eating for comfort)
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Dehydration 

How to reduce cravings

  • Lower stress levels: stress promotes cravings for comfort foods.
  • Drink plenty of water: Dehydration manifests itself as hunger, so when you get a craving, drink water.
  • Get enough sleep: not getting enough sleep alters the hormonal balance.
  • Eat enough protein.
  • Avoid hunger: under-eating can make food cravings worse.