Coconut Oil for Weight Loss – Why It’s a Bad Idea!

What is Coconut oil?

coconut-oilCoconut oil is derived from the kernel of coconuts which have matured. It is used in various different applications, among them medicine, food and certain types of industry. It oxidizes very slowly because it is very high in saturated fat. Because of this it can be stored for almost two years without becoming rancid (or spoiled).

Ask any health professional you know about the dangers of saturated fat. Saturated fats are any type of oil or lubricant that becomes solid when cold. Butter and lard are just two examples of this. But coconut oil is another. Saturated fat is responsible for clogging  up your arteries and its consumption is the major cause of heart disease. For years and years, the surgeon general and others have been warning about the dangers of saturated fats and urging people to move away from their consumption.

Coconut Oil Diet – Why I Would Advice Against it?

This is the main reason that I am so surprised (and a bit concerned) to learn that a new diet called the Coconut Oil diet is making its way around the internet. I see this as a very dangerous fad one that you should certainly steer clear of.

The promoters of the Coconut Oil diet claim that it works because it is a “healthy fat”. This is blatantly untrue. The healthy fats that one should incorporate into one’s diet are olive oil and fats from things like almonds and avocados. This has undergone intense scientific scrutiny and the winner in the “fat wars” are olive oil and avocado oil hands down.

Historically, humans have consumed different kinds of fat since mankind first emerged from the muck of creation. Thousands of years ago, humans learned that fats provided many things aside from an insulating barrier. But in fact, every human needs a certain amount of fat in their diet which is the main reason that people who adopt an entirely fat-free diet eventually find themselves in deep, deep trouble.

Our myelin sheaths which protect our nerves are partly made up of fat. The myelin sheaths need this fat in order to help the nerves send signals back and forth to the brain. As well, our brains are also made up of a great deal of fat. What these human fats are NOT composed of, however, is saturated fats such as those found in coconut oil.

Is Dr Oz Promoting This Diet?

coconut-oil-dietOne of the most disturbing things about this diet is that Dr. Mehmet Oz himself is promoting it as an effective weight loss product. Dr. Oz is a cardiologist and during his career has no doubt seen the ravages of diets high in saturated fat. So, the only conclusion I can come to is that he is either promoting this product as a way to drum up new business for himself or because he has turned into such a media whore that he just can’t help himself. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that he is an investor in a company that is selling coconut oil.

The makers and seller of coconut oil products will also not tell you about the damage harvesting coconuts has done to the environment where the trees grow. Much of the land in these areas has become completely denuded which leads to serious issues with erosion. Because of this, much of the good, arable soil eventually washes away which causes the inhabitants of the region great difficulties in growing other crops.

People who promote the coconut oil diet will, like most promoters of other unhealthy diets, tell that there have been numerous scientific studies to prove that it is beneficial. In fact, they will generally cite a study carried out at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee in the pediatrics department which studied a grand total of ten male “volunteers” for a total of one week. Now granted, this was a double-blind study. But one week is not enough time to collect enough data to conduct any kind of “study”. This is evidence made to measure.

Another study conducted at McGill University followed 28 overweight  men for one month. Again, a study made to measure. They do say, however, that when we “eat sensibly” using this type of oil can be healthy. I guess that can be true if you are not eating a lot of fried foods. But then again, that’s true of almost any oil, I think. Even eating fried foods cooked in olive oil is not so good for you.

So, I think the answer is a pretty similar one when it comes to the Coconut Diet. If you are really only trying to lose, do yourself and your heart a favour and just eat your veggies and fruit. Don’t clog up your veins unnecessarily with a lot of saturated fat that your body doesn’t need. This is really true if heart disease runs in your family. Why step onto the tracks in the way of a speeding train? You simply don’t need it. Stick to your olive oil and you’ll be much better off. And you’ll probably lose the same amount of weight over the same amount of time.

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