Coconut oil craze-y

Coconut Oil

Darn those marketers and headline writers. And you-know-who on TV. Once again they have beaten down consumer health by fostering the crazy notion that coconut oil is healthy.

The survey shows 72% of Americans believe coconut oil is a healthy food.

The fad started in 2014 and I honestly thought it would die out quickly. But when I noticed promotional articles saying it was “proven Alzheimer’s disease natural treatment”, “cancer prevention” and “hair care”, I realized we were destined to follow this fad to, uh, at least the next fad.

The American Heart Association issued an advisory in June against the consumption of coconut oil. Their statement was actually a general look at dietary fats and cardiovascular disease – the leading cause of death around the globe. The article was published in Circulation, June 15, 2017.

Serious studies (randomized controlled trials), showed that lowering saturated fat intake and replacing it with polyunsaturated vegetable oil made a significant decline in the “bad” cholesterol in the blood. In fact, they cited the dietary changes could match drug (statin) treatment. Super news.

So the craze began when one researcher said using medium chain triglycerides coconut oil (not what we buy at the store) could increase metabolism and hence weight loss. And we were off to the races. The investigator, Marie-Pierre St-Onge, PhD., was shocked that her study was taken out of context. Dr. St-Onge, it’s what the press does with about every new study. We take a tiny fact from a study, inflate it then extrapolate it to the whole population and create a costly fad.

So, saturated fat is what we should be avoiding; animal meats are the richest source in the carnivore’s diet. Lard, cream and butter are predominantly saturated too. And if you’ve been on the coconut oil train, it, too, is a rich source of saturated fat. Get off at the next station.

Eat more plants to be well,


PS The abstract if you’re interested:

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CDC Top Ten

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published its Top Ten List of 2016.

Unfortunately, it’s the list of foods that most commonly make us sick.

And while, in this blog, we typically focus on long term health and diet, and chronic conditions, we certainly want to remain vigilant regarding acute food-borne illnesses.

The 2016 organisms haven’t changed much – listeria, salmonella and E. Coli – but the sources have gone trendy.

So if you’re a foodie, here are just four food trends you might want to avoid:

  • sprouts – raw or undercooked
  • raw milk
  • Garden of Life brand  – RAW Meal Organic Shake & Meal Replacement
  • back yard poultry

Food-borne illness is quite common but often not recognized. Most often the symptoms are of gastrointestinal distress like diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever, gas, fatigue, muscle aches, nausea; sometimes vomiting can occur. The CDC list identifies multi-state outbreaks so it certainly isn’t comprehensive.

The most important thing you can do in your own home to avoid food poisoning: wash your hands, keep counter tops, cutting boards, and kitchen towels clean.

And in this case, avoid trends to be well,


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