Image courtesy of oliveoylloves.com
I was very proud of myself for buying coconut oil. This Dr. Oz recommended fat is supposed to be the cure all for everything from weight gain to oral health to lowering cholesterol. Good for me for jumping on this bandwagon – right? WRONG! I should have done my homework before I invested $15 in this not so healthy addition to my kitchen cupboard. My health advisor (who is also my financial advisor, seamstress and sometime executive Chef), let’s call her Mommy, asked me yesterday if I’d listen to a little advice from her. I, like every know-it-all-daughter, wouldn’t hear it, until she just came out and offered it anyway. She said that coconut oil is very high in saturated fat (I knew this but was in denial because of the miraculous findings that I saw on doctoroz.com). She also said that it is very bad for your cholesterol levels and not only can she not use the oil, she also cannot even eat coconut even though she loves it. I didn’t admit it to her yesterday, because what self-respecting kid will ever say that Mom is right, but I knew in my heart of hearts that she was correct. That woman has seen more dieticians than anyone I know and she has her once high cholesterol under control and guess what isn’t part of her diet?
Still hoping against hope that coconut oil could be a cure all, I took to the web. Let’s just say, it didn’t support anything that I had seen on Dr. Oz’s site. In fact, even sharecare.com, a site that Dr. Oz contributes to (and I think is a partner in), doesn’t flat out recommend it. I read information from registered dieticians about how unhealthy it can be. I checked reputable sites, everything from the Mayo Clinic, Harvard Medical to the Cleveland Clinic even WebMD. Amazingly, all of these experts recommend Olive Oil – it is scientifically proven to be heart healthy. In fact when the Cleveland Clinic compared Olive Oil to Coconut Oil, the winner was clear:
I also checked in with another source that I admire – frequent Dr. Oz guest, Dr. Andrew Weil also does not recommend it. Dr. Weil is not only heavily into natural health and wellness, he is also a medical doctor. I thought he was someone who would be an advocate for Coconut Oil and guess what? He is not, in fact, he says the following:
“Coconut oil is a highly saturated fat, and one of the few of these fats that doesn’t come from animals. Like other saturated fats, coconut oil has been viewed in the past as unhealthy because it is capable of raising cholesterol levels. For that reason, I have recommended that it should play only a very limited role, if any, in your diet. Evolving scientific thinking about the role of saturated fats in heart disease may lead to new recommendations about them, but we’re not there yet….All told, I think the jury is still out on coconut oil, and without stronger evidence for it, I hesitate to recommend eating it in quantity.” http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA401284/New-View-of-Coconut-Oil.html
Remember, this now buzzy “health” product was once the devil…just a few years ago, people were terrified of movie theatre popcorn – that high calorie/high fat treat. You want to know what it was cooked in? Coconut Oil! If you are a Coconut Oil lover, it is completely your decision if you choose to continue to make it a daily part of your diet. I, for one, will eat my investment (and maybe use it on my skin), but once that jar is finished, it’s heigh ho heigh ho, back to Olive Oil I go. I will not take chances when the whole point of this experiment is to make me take my health more seriously. Sorry Dr. Oz, you know I love you, but we are going to have to agree to disagree on this one.
Today, I am grateful that I did my research and admitted to my mother that I was wrong. It’s never bad to come clean when you’ve made a mistake – she didn’t even gloat! I wish she had – I would have : ) Until next time, I am not just an Olive Oil supporter, I am…