Dietary Fats & Oils

There is no doubt about the confusion over dietary advice these days. One camp says to drop grain-based foods, while others tell you to eat more. Which are we supposed to listen to?  The short answer is that everyone has a unique metabolism. However, there does exist some clear and correct advice that applies to everyone. 

Dietary Oils and Fats - Safe and Unsafe

One piece of advice that applies to everyone is to avoid artificial and processed fats and oils. If you're interested in your health and your hair, avoiding the sort of oils and fats found in processed foods is absolutely essential.  However, you may be wondering...

Which Type of Oil is Safe to Cook With?

Sometimes it surprises people to learn that coconut oil, the once-demonized saturated fat, is a superior oil to cook your food with.

There was a time when 'dietary experts' were warning the public to avoid saturated fats, and to actually increase the consumption of vegetable oils in one's diet.

The issue here is that no one has made any distinction about the actual quality of the oil. Plant oils in their unprocessed, natural state (at the very least, the varieties that are eaten by real people in the form of vegetables) are perfectly healthy. Unfortunately for just about everyone, government officials and 'experts' around the world recommended that their citizens consume more polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as those found in corn, canola, or sunflower oil.

Beyond the questionable 'need' for canola oil in the diet (which in itself is not an oil safe for human consumption), these polyunsaturated oils are "super-heated" in caustic baths.  These baths strip the respective oils of their natural nutrients, flavonoids, tannins, vitamins, and aromatic qualities which ultimately deliver a colorless, odorless substance that is essentially a liquid-based concoction of damaging free radicals!

While these oils are still often thought of as "healthy" choices today, certain "experts" still advise to abstain from fats and oils which are saturated.

The whole idea of replacing "unhealthy" saturated fats with vegetable oils has done nothing to promote health. In fact, just the opposite has occurred. Today more than ever there exists a plethora of heart disease, cancer, and other disease syndromes that didn't exist prior to this poor "advice" taking root in the Western diet.

The short explanation as to why these diseases have continued to flourish is that these oils are directly contributing to the clogging up of our cell membranes. Oxygen transfer occurs between cell membranes, and when one has an oxidized or damaged fat (due to heat processing), it depletes basic oxygen delivery from cell membrane to membrane. Less oxygen results in an increased likelihood of cancer, heart disease, autoimmune disorders, and a host of other chronic diseases.

Consuming processed oils taxes your body's antioxidant enzyme systems, resulting in the thyroid taking a hit, which in turn compromises your metabolism. As bad as these dietary cooking oils are, the artificial fats found in packaged foods are even worse. These contain partially-hydrogenated oils, which are not easily removed from the body.  In other words, your body has no idea how to process these artificial fats since they are unnatural.

Can you imagine eating an oil that typically stays in the body for two months, depletes basic hormone function, and makes oxygen delivery incredibly difficult within your body's cells?  Well, it's happening today, and to BILLIONS of consumers as these products have reached the world market.

Now, let's get back to coconut oil, and what makes it one of the top choices for cooking!

Dietary Oils and Fats - Coconut Oil

Why Coconut Oil is Safe

What if I told you that coconut oil is one of the safest cooking oils on the market? Unlike vegetable-based oils or polyunsaturated fatty acids, coconut oil is a type of fat that contains both short and medium chain fatty acids. Why is this important?  This is important because the longer the fatty acid chain (number of carbon molecules), the more sensitive that these acids will be to heat, light, and oxygen (oxidization). Hence, vegetable oils and other long-chain fatty acids are highly vulnerable to damage by cooking, oxygen exposure, and even something as simple as sitting on the grocery store shelf.

Coconut oil contains some special properties or types of fatty acids which provide various antibacterial, antiviral, and antiparasitical activities. Coconut oil is stable under cooking conditions and, provided that the heat is not too extreme, makes for a wonderful oil to fry food with. Therefore, feel free to fry up all of the chicken that you want with "guilt-free" coconut oil!

In summary, tropical islanders have consumed coconut oil for hundreds upon hundreds of years with absolutely no illness or health ailments. It was not until Western society decided to switch from coconut oil to the politically correct, "dietary oils" (vegetable oils) that we began to see significantly increased signs of cardiovascular damage that wasvirtually non-existent prior to the usage of these particular oils.

Not Just Coconut Oil, but ALL Saturated Fats are Superior For Cooking

Grocery store vegetable oils are not only unsafe to cook with, but they already contain damaging fats due to prior processing. Whether these oils are cooked or not, they should definitely be completely avoided. The reason for this is due to the fact that the heat processing has destroyed the oils and created dangerous levels of "trans-fatty acids." The label on the bottle may claim that it "contains zero grams" of trans-fat, however, that is not the case!

Saturated fats, including animals fats, are simply safer for cooking; especially at higher temperatures. When cooking with oil that contains long chain fatty acids, high heat can damage the actual chemical bonds of the oil!  On the other hand, saturated fats maintain their integrity when cooked under high heat, and do not convert into trans-fats.

While coconut oil is an incredibly healthy cooking oil, it isn't necessarily preferable for everyone.  One alternative to coconut oil that you may wish to try is palm oil. However, if neither oil appeals to you, then animal fat such as beef tallow or lard from unprocessed (preferably pasture-fed) sources are good healthy choices as well.