This article was authored by Klaus Ferlow, HMH (Honorary Master Herbalist), innovator, lecturer, researcher, writer, founder Ferlow Botanical Enterprises Ltd, Vancouver, B.C. manufacturing/distributing organic toxin-free medicinal herbal and personal care products to professional health & wellness practitioners in Canada and parts of USA since 1993.
In our western society coconut oil has been given a bad name and many are under the impression that this oil contains unhealthy saturated fats and therefore creates clogged arteries and heart problems.
This misperception is likely due to a negative campaign against saturated fats and tropical oils that encouraged manufacturers to favour cash crops like soy as opposed to coconut oil. This disregards the studies available that support the numerous health benefits of this amazing oil. It has been documented that Native diets rich in coconut oil offer significant protection against illness and disease.
Why does it seem that there is so much conflicting information about saturated fats like that found in coconut oil? Perhabs the most widely disseminated and confusing information concerns vegetable oil. In the '60s and '70s, polyunsaturated oils such as corn oils were widely touted as being protective against heart disease, and people were frequently advised to switch from eating butter to margerine in order to lower cholesterol levels. Researchers now believe that a diet in high polyunsaturated vegetable oils actually increase our chances of contracting heart disease, and the trans fats contained in margerine have been implicated in a number of health problems in addition to heart disease. With these contradictory guidelines, many people have become cynical about any nutritional advice and they don't know what to believe.
Like many people, I was under the impression that coconut oil contributed to health problems until I came across research that would reshape my beliefs. I had only to look back to my childhood in post-WWII Germany for affirmation of the benefits of coconut oil. At that time I developed severe stomach cramps and constipation from malnutrition. The ONLY thing that could relieve my symptoms was to eat plenty of coconut flakes.
I have since discovered that the saturated fat from coconut oil is different and it acts even differently than the saturated fat from animal sources. The nature of coconut oil is unlike any other.
Studies published in dozen of the most respected scientific and medical journals have come to the amazing conclusion that coconut oil in it virgin form - unrefined, cold pressed - is a remarkable health food that at times the world has virtually forgotten about. It is the one oil that will help to protect you from hear disease, cancer and other degenerative conditions. It will improve digestion, strengthen your immune system, protect you from infectious illnesses, and help you to lose excess weight.
In his book "The Miracles of Coconut Oil:, Bruce Fife, ND, presents the newest research that supports the many beneficial properties of this oil. He clarifies the myths and outlines the benefits as follows. Coconut oil:
Does NOT increase blood cholesterol levels
Does NOT contribute to weight problems
Reduces risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease
Reduces risk of cancer and other degenerative conditions
Helps to heal wounds and reduce acne
Aids in the control of diabetes
Reduces inflammation and immune response caused by allergies
Kills certain bacteria, viruses, fungi, yeast, and other disease causing germs
Helps to prevent osteoporosis
Has the potential to be an effective tool for fighting HIV infection
Supports immune system function
Promotes beautiful skin by protecting against free radical damage witch causes premature aging and wrinkling of the skin
Is heat resistant and is therefore one of the healthiest oils for cooking
Is easily digested by anyone with ulcers and other stomach and intestinal problems
Supplies fewer calories than other fats
Supports healthy metabolic function
Improves digestion and nutrient absorption
Functions as a protective antioxidant
Coconut oil has been called "the healthiest dietary oil on earth". It is a stable oil ideal for cooking and baking at high temperatures. It is an excellent replacement for hydrogenated vegetable oils that contain harmful trans fats. If you are not using it daily in your kitchen you are missing out on one of the nature's most amazing health foods. If simple changes such as using coconut oil can make a difference to your health, isn't it worth it? And remember:
"Those who do not find time every day for health, must one day sacrifice a lot of time for illness!"
If you want to find out more about the health benefits of coconut oil and of using coconut oil in recipes, please check the following books:
"Healing Miracles of Coconut Oil, The", Bruce Fife, ND, ISBN 0-941599-51-5
"Coconut Oil: For Health and Beauty", Cynthia & Laura Holzapfel, ISBN 1-57067-158-3
"Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill: The Complete Guide to Fats, Oils, Cholesterol and Human Health", Udo Erasmus, ISBN 0-920470-38-6
Please note: This information is offered for its educational value and should not be used in the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of disease. Please contact your health care practitioner.
This information is offered for its educational value only and should not be used in the diagnose, treatment, or prevention of disease. Any attempt to diagnose and treat illness should come under the direction of your health care practitioner.