What About Coconuts, Coconut Milk, & Coconut Oil MCTs?

What About Coconuts, Coconut Milk, & Coconut Oil MCTs?
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Do the medium-chain triglycerides in coconut oil, and the fiber in flaked coconut, counteract the negative effects on cholesterol and artery function?

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Studies of populations who eat a lot of coconuts are “frequently cited” by those who sell coconut oil “as evidence” that it does not have harmful effects. For example, there was an apparent absence of stroke and heart disease on the island of Kativa. What were they eating? Well, their diets centered around tubers, like sweet potatoes, with fruits, greens, nuts, corn, and beans. Yes, they ate fish a few times a week, but they were eating largely whole food plant-based diets. So, no wonder they may have had such low rates of artery disease, and one of those whole foods was coconut, not coconut oil.

Now, if you go to Pukapuka, they eat even more coconuts. And, there’s even an island where that’s most of what they eat—and they get high cholesterol. What’s a population eating 87% plant-based—red meat, chicken, and eggs only eaten seldomly, no dairy—doing with cholesterol levels over 200? Well, they’re eating all these coconuts every day. What are their disease rates like? We don’t know. There’s no clinical surveys, no epidemiological data, no autopsies. They did do some EKGs, which can sometimes pick up evidence of past heart attacks, and found few abnormalities, but the sample was too small to be a definitive study. And, even if they did have low disease rates, they weren’t eating coconut oil; they were eating coconuts. Coconut oil proponents pointing to these studies is like the high-fructose corn syrup lobby pointing to studies of healthy populations who eat corn on the cob.

Or, the sugar industry pointing to studies on fruit consumption, and saying see, eat all the refined sugar you want. But, fruit has fiber—and so do coconuts. Just like adding psyllium fiber—Metamucil—to coconut oil can help blunt the adverse effects on cholesterol, fiber derived from defatted coconut itself can reduce cholesterol levels as much as oat bran. And, the plant protein in coconut—also missing from the oil—may also help explain why whole coconut may not have the same effects on cholesterol.

Although coconut fat in the form of powdered coconut milk may not have the same effects on cholesterol as coconut oil, frequent consumption—defined as three or more times a week—has been associated with increased risk of vascular disease, stroke, and heart attack. And no wonder, as coconut milk may acutely impair artery function—as badly as a sausage-and-egg McMuffin. They tested three meals, three different meals: a Western high-fat meal, comprised of an egg McMuffin, a sausage McMuffin, and two hash browns, versus a local high-fat meal (this was done in Singapore; so, the more traditional high-fat meal was rice cooked with coconut milk, though there were also anchovies and an egg), vs. the same amount of calories in an unhealthy low-fat meal, comprised of Frosted Flakes, skim milk, and juice.

Here’s the artery function—the ability of the arteries to relax normally—before Mickey D’s, and after, significantly crippling down artery function within hours of consumption, and the same thing with the coconut milk. So, whether mostly meat-and-oil fat, or coconut milk fat, the arteries similarly clamped down, whereas that horrible sugary breakfast had no effect, no bad effect, on artery function, because, as terrible as it was, it had no saturated fat at all—though it also didn’t have any egg, which may have helped.

Coconut oil proponents also try to argue that coconut oil has MCTs—medium chain triglycerides—shorter-chain saturated fats that aren’t as bad as the longer-chain saturated fats in meat and dairy. But you can’t apply the MCT research to coconut oil. Why? MCT oil is composed of MCTs, the medium chain fats, caprylic and capric acid, about 50% of each, whereas those MCTs make up only like 10% of the coconut oil. Most of coconut oil is the cholesterol-raising longer-chain saturated fats, lauric and myristic. “It is therefore inaccurate to consider coconut oil to contain…predominantly [MCTs].” So, you can’t extrapolate from MCT studies to coconut oil.

That’s actually quite a common misconception, that the saturated fat in coconut oil is mainly MCTs. Actually, coconut oil is mainly lauric and myristic, which have potent LDL (bad cholesterol)-raising effects. “Coconut oil should therefore not be advised for people who should or want to reduce their risk of” the #1 killer of U.S. men and women—heart disease.

It’s like how the beef industry loves to argue that beef fat contains stearic acid, a type of saturated fat that doesn’t raise cholesterol. Yeah, but it also has palmitic and myristic that, like lauric, does raise cholesterol. If you compare the effects of different saturated fats, yes, stearic has a neutral effect on LDL, but palmitic, myristic, and lauric shoot it up. And, frankly, so may MCT oil itself, bumping up LDL like 15% compared to control. So, this “[p]opular belief,” spread by the coconut oil industry, that “coconut oil is healthy” is “not supported by [science].”

So, basically “coconut oil should be [treated no] differently than [animal] sources of dietary saturated fat.” The latest review, published in March 2017 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, put it even more simply in their recommendations for patients: “Avoid.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Icons created by Marianna Nardella and Creative Stall from The Noun Project

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Studies of populations who eat a lot of coconuts are “frequently cited” by those who sell coconut oil “as evidence” that it does not have harmful effects. For example, there was an apparent absence of stroke and heart disease on the island of Kativa. What were they eating? Well, their diets centered around tubers, like sweet potatoes, with fruits, greens, nuts, corn, and beans. Yes, they ate fish a few times a week, but they were eating largely whole food plant-based diets. So, no wonder they may have had such low rates of artery disease, and one of those whole foods was coconut, not coconut oil.

Now, if you go to Pukapuka, they eat even more coconuts. And, there’s even an island where that’s most of what they eat—and they get high cholesterol. What’s a population eating 87% plant-based—red meat, chicken, and eggs only eaten seldomly, no dairy—doing with cholesterol levels over 200? Well, they’re eating all these coconuts every day. What are their disease rates like? We don’t know. There’s no clinical surveys, no epidemiological data, no autopsies. They did do some EKGs, which can sometimes pick up evidence of past heart attacks, and found few abnormalities, but the sample was too small to be a definitive study. And, even if they did have low disease rates, they weren’t eating coconut oil; they were eating coconuts. Coconut oil proponents pointing to these studies is like the high-fructose corn syrup lobby pointing to studies of healthy populations who eat corn on the cob.

Or, the sugar industry pointing to studies on fruit consumption, and saying see, eat all the refined sugar you want. But, fruit has fiber—and so do coconuts. Just like adding psyllium fiber—Metamucil—to coconut oil can help blunt the adverse effects on cholesterol, fiber derived from defatted coconut itself can reduce cholesterol levels as much as oat bran. And, the plant protein in coconut—also missing from the oil—may also help explain why whole coconut may not have the same effects on cholesterol.

Although coconut fat in the form of powdered coconut milk may not have the same effects on cholesterol as coconut oil, frequent consumption—defined as three or more times a week—has been associated with increased risk of vascular disease, stroke, and heart attack. And no wonder, as coconut milk may acutely impair artery function—as badly as a sausage-and-egg McMuffin. They tested three meals, three different meals: a Western high-fat meal, comprised of an egg McMuffin, a sausage McMuffin, and two hash browns, versus a local high-fat meal (this was done in Singapore; so, the more traditional high-fat meal was rice cooked with coconut milk, though there were also anchovies and an egg), vs. the same amount of calories in an unhealthy low-fat meal, comprised of Frosted Flakes, skim milk, and juice.

Here’s the artery function—the ability of the arteries to relax normally—before Mickey D’s, and after, significantly crippling down artery function within hours of consumption, and the same thing with the coconut milk. So, whether mostly meat-and-oil fat, or coconut milk fat, the arteries similarly clamped down, whereas that horrible sugary breakfast had no effect, no bad effect, on artery function, because, as terrible as it was, it had no saturated fat at all—though it also didn’t have any egg, which may have helped.

Coconut oil proponents also try to argue that coconut oil has MCTs—medium chain triglycerides—shorter-chain saturated fats that aren’t as bad as the longer-chain saturated fats in meat and dairy. But you can’t apply the MCT research to coconut oil. Why? MCT oil is composed of MCTs, the medium chain fats, caprylic and capric acid, about 50% of each, whereas those MCTs make up only like 10% of the coconut oil. Most of coconut oil is the cholesterol-raising longer-chain saturated fats, lauric and myristic. “It is therefore inaccurate to consider coconut oil to contain…predominantly [MCTs].” So, you can’t extrapolate from MCT studies to coconut oil.

That’s actually quite a common misconception, that the saturated fat in coconut oil is mainly MCTs. Actually, coconut oil is mainly lauric and myristic, which have potent LDL (bad cholesterol)-raising effects. “Coconut oil should therefore not be advised for people who should or want to reduce their risk of” the #1 killer of U.S. men and women—heart disease.

It’s like how the beef industry loves to argue that beef fat contains stearic acid, a type of saturated fat that doesn’t raise cholesterol. Yeah, but it also has palmitic and myristic that, like lauric, does raise cholesterol. If you compare the effects of different saturated fats, yes, stearic has a neutral effect on LDL, but palmitic, myristic, and lauric shoot it up. And, frankly, so may MCT oil itself, bumping up LDL like 15% compared to control. So, this “[p]opular belief,” spread by the coconut oil industry, that “coconut oil is healthy” is “not supported by [science].”

So, basically “coconut oil should be [treated no] differently than [animal] sources of dietary saturated fat.” The latest review, published in March 2017 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, put it even more simply in their recommendations for patients: “Avoid.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Icons created by Marianna Nardella and Creative Stall from The Noun Project

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Doctor's Note

Yeah, but doesn’t saturated fat boost the good cholesterol, HDL? Check out my previous video, Coconut Oil & the Boost in HDL “Good” Cholesterol.

Isn’t coconut oil supposed to be good for Alzheimer’s, though? See Does Coconut Oil Cure Alzheimer’s?

See the original  McMuffin artery studies here: The Leaky Gut Theory of Why Animal Products Cause Inflammation.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

331 responses to “What About Coconuts, Coconut Milk, & Coconut Oil MCTs?

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    1. The coconut milk that grows in cans was the variety studied. Coconut oil is the only phytolipid that will not convert to trans fat when baked or fried.

      “The poison is in the dose” isn’t it?




      0
      1. Rick Bergles: That’s like saying “the poison is in the dose” when referring to a candy bar. True. But the point is that we are talking about whether something is inherently healthy or not. In other words, you are bringing a strawman argument to the table. To use another example: Most people would agree that you can smoke a single cigarette every year and not likely suffer from harm. However, that doesn’t change the nature of cigarettes as being inherently harmful to human health – whether you can bake or fry with them or not.




        15
        1. Good question! Different brands = different chemistry. That’s why whole foods are so much simpler:) In response to your question: Mensink RP, Zock PL, Kester AD, Katan MB. Effects of dietary fatty acids and carbohydrates on the ratio of serum total to HDL cholesterol and on serum lipids and apolipoproteins: a meta-analysis of 60 controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 May;77(5):1146-55.

          This is one of the sources cited. I simply went back to the video and scanned through the references listed. As this was a meta-analysis of 60 controlled trials, I would assume (yes, assume) that different brands were used. Does that answer your question? More importantly, I love that you read the ingredient lists. Me, too. Every….. single….. time!




          1
      1. Kai,
        From reading lots of Dr. Greger and Dr. Ornish, I think the answer is NOT to use oil at all. Eat whole foods. Nuts, seeds, etc. Not processed oils. Not even olive oil or coconut oil or butter.
        Johanna




        9
        1. better advice: read less Ornish and Greger. You’re only getting one side of things. They are both quite invested in vegetarianism. And a meta-analysis proves nothing.




          0
  1. WOW, this video really blows the lid off of the “Coconut and coconut oil is good for you” hype. Excellent, thorough information! A must see for anyone who thinks that they’re doing themselves a favor by consuming coconut.




    49
        1. They’re not exactly small amounts. Vegannaise, like egg-based mayonnaisses, is a fat emulsion, with the grape seed oil accounting for ~64% of the weight and 89% of the calories.

          There’s an interesting emerging concern with fat emulsions, as they increase postprandial lipemia more than the same fat not in an emulsion, and in animal studies, result in greater endotoxin absorption. Hitherto we’ve assumed the adverse effects of creamy dressings (like mayo), ice cream, and spreads like margarine were about the same as the sum of their fatty parts, but that may not be true.




          11
        2. Hey Lora, thanks for writing! Grape seed oil is another polyunsaturated fat, and like some other PUFAs, is a decent source of the essential fatty acids linoleic acid (LA). When you ask, “What about ____________?” It’s hard to know what you’re asking, though. I’ll do my best to fill in. I would recommend using canola oil if you feel you need to us oil in your cooking. Keep it refrigerated, because the essential fatty acids in it (especially the omega-3 ALA) go bad easily. The benefit of canola is that it the fatty acid components are similar to olive oil, with the added benefit of a good source of ALA, which can be hard to get enough of in your diet if you’re not eating walnuts and flax every day.




          3
          1. A Doctor very much open to alternative stuff almost 20 years ago told me that not even birds would get close to canola oil… “it is so toxic”!!!!!!
            Have been using coconut oil for the last few years. Now I find all this info.




            3
            1. FYI mod doctors don’t have to take any nutrition courses in college or medical school. Trust your Dr with meds not nutrition! Rely on a Registered Dietitian.




              1
          2. Hi Nutrimed61 , Consider “what about” as a health marker like walking into a house with 25 ashtrays in every room….with a stench of cigarettes. It doesn’t mean whoever lives there is in poor health or soon will be but the feeling is that it is a terrible marker for health. When a person says what about this or that or, “I have to have oil or fruit juice or whole wheat bread or whatever”, I can tell right away that they probably aren’t eating plenty of WHOLE grains or beans fruit nuts greens etc. I know this from personal experience that I’m literally too full from eating the right foods to use such processed things because my belly would pop or I would have to substitute my whole foods for oils and juice and breads.




            0
    1. But what is the role of oil in brain health? Seniors with high cholesterol are higher functioning than those with low. The brain is itself primarily cholesterol.

      The vital issue with fat is animal vs. plant. Populations which consume only unprocessed vegetables and phytolipids are strangers to coronary heart disease.

      Animal fat (including dairy) contains all the hormones and toxins that the animal did. They include estrogen, insulin, and glyphosate. Type One Diabetes is thought to be caused by an immune response to bovine insulin.




      8
      1. Rick It is not surprising that seniors with high cholesterol are better functioning than seniors with low cholesterol. High cholesterol is normal in countries where people eat a Western style diet. You therefore have to ask why people in Western societies have low cholesterol. As a proportion of the total population, very few people have low cholesterol because they have a healthy diet and lifestyle, or because they have genetically low cholesterol..
        On the other hand, a whole host of diseases and trauma cause cholesterol to decline. For example, Alzheimer’s causes cholesterol to decline often many years before a formal diagnosis is made:
        “Cholesterol levels in men with dementia and,in particular, those with Alzheimer disease had declined at least 15 years before the diagnosis and remained lower than cholesterol levels in men without dementia throughout that period. The difference in slopes was robust to adjustment for potential confounding factors, including vascular risk factors, weight change, alcohol intake, and use of lipid-lowering agents.”
        http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaneurology/fullarticle/793179

        A ton of other conditions also cause cholesterol to decline. These range from cancer, heart attacks, sepsis, infections and surgery and other trauma to malnutrition and alcoholism:
        “Low or subnormal low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels are another characteristic of the lipoprotein pattern in chronic alcoholics.”
        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3544760

        So, yes, in the US and other countries with similar dietary practices,simple observational studies do find that ON AVERAGE older people with low cholesterol often have poorer health and functioning than people with high cholesterol. It is just like the saturated fat studies that don’t adequately control for other variables.
        https://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-saturated-fat-studies-set-up-to-fail/

        However, I am not aware of any studies of older people that show that individuals who have stable low cholesterol because they have a healthy diet and lifestyle, experience poorer functioning/health than people with higher cholesterol.




        23
        1. I’m seeing lots of evidence that for people over 65 or so…things change biochemically. In other words what is good for younger people is not necessarily good for the elderly.

          Here is an example:

          http://www.ergo-log.com/longevity-dhea-testosterone-igf-1.html

          Over 65s seeking to optimise their survival chances should maintain the concentrations of DHEA, testosterone and IGF-1 in their body. This is suggested by an epidemiological study that Italian researchers at the University of Parma published in 2007 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

          Study

          The researchers followed 410 men aged 65-92 for six years. Just before the study began, the researchers measured the concentration of DHEA-S, bioavailable testosterone and IGF-1 in the men’s blood.

          “It is conceivable that DHEA-S, testosterone, and IGF-1 have synergistic effects,” the Italians speculated. “For example, DHEA-S can be converted to testosterone in peripheral tissues, and some of the peripheral actions of both DHEA-S and testosterone may be mediated via tissue-generated IGF-1. In preliminary analyses performed in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study on Aging population, both DHEA-S and testosterone had a joint protective effect on 30-year mortality rates.”




          1
          1. I am wary of drawing any such conclusions from simple associations like these. And wary of assuming that what is normal in the US and other Western societies is optimal. For example, in the US it is normal to have high cholesterol and be overweight. Studies have also found that for older people being overweight and having high cholesterol is apparently protective.
            https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130919093653.htm
            https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/06/160627095006.htm

            But these confuse cause and effect. As indicated previously, a number of diseases common in older people lower cholesterol. They may also cause weight loss eg cancer, Alzheimer’s etc and wetght loss after a heart attack is associated with worse outcomes
            http://journal.waocp.org/?sid=Entrez:PubMed&id=pmid:19640186&key=2009.10.3.429
            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2753221/

            Many older people in the US who are not overweight and do not have high cholesterol, may be more likely to be that way because of disease processes than because they eat a healthy diet and are active.

            High cholesterol and overweight aren’t normal in other cultures where traditional diets are eaten. Nor is free testosterone as high as is normal in US and other Western societies..
            https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20827824-900-men-beware-moving-country-could-affect-your-libido/
            https://www.livescience.com/19312-tribal-testosterone-levels.html

            I am therefore extremely cautious about statements that people over 65 should maintain “normal” levels of testosterone and other hormones. People over 65 should rather eat a healthy diet and be active and if they lose weight and their hormone levels become different from “normal” levels in Western countries as a result, this may actually be a good thing. We know that being fat alters hormonal mechanisms (and this may explain why “normal” Western levels are different from those in other cultures) and it is therefore reasonable to ask if normal Western levels are truly optimal.
            http://advances.nutrition.org/content/2/3/261.full

            Of course, obesity and diseases will also affect weight and hormone levels. If these change for no apparent reason – not as a result of dietary and lifestyle improvements or prescribed therapeutic drugs – then obtaining medical advice is essential.




            10
        2. Coronary heart disease and dementia and all non-infectious chronic diseases are inflammatory in etiology. No informed people disagree.

          Your comment is defensive, and because it needs to be.




          0
          1. Rick Bergles: From what I have seen, you have yet to offer up any evidence to support any of your claims even when people directly ask for it. When people do you the courtesy of offering up actual evidence for you to consider, you accuse them of being “defensive” without actually addressing the evidence provided. If the term ‘defensive’ applies anywhere here, it is with your own posts.

            This forum is for honest discussion and sharing of evidence. It is time to step up or step away. Are you capable of supplying evidence to support your claims? Can you stop with the personal attacks and focus on the topic at hand?




            13
            1. I gain my knowledge through reading books, not internet snippets. You remind me of the kids in school who would copy encyclopedia articles and present them as research.

              The attention span of Americans has become excruciatingly short. So I’ll let you go back to your phone.




              3
      2. Hey Rick, thanks for writing! I’m going to try and answer your question, without addressing the other comments, which could be interpreted in too many ways to get in to here. The role of (omega-6 and omega-3) oil(s) in brain health is to provide precursors to arachidonic acid (AA) and docosahexanoic acid (DHA) which are critical components of neuronal cell membranes. While cholesterol provides rigidity to cell membranes, oils provide fluidity, and the balance between these is critical for the basic functions of cells.




        3
  2. Amazing what one can find about a subject when they dig deep! The old saying must have some truth to it: “The devil is in the details” ;-)




    18
    1. Kris – I love coconut as well. And I love the coconut flavor for making Thai dishes. But don’t despair! If you go to John Mcdougall’s site, they have a few Thai dishes with their healthy version using coconut extract. It’s made from extracting the real flavor from real coconut and pairing it with a plant milk base like soy milk to make a healthy coconut milk. I have used this method and it works well. You can purchase coconut extract here:
      https://www.savoryspiceshop.com/extracts/natural-coconut-extract.html

      Over a decade ago, now, I bought into the coconut oil “thing” and ate a tablespoon a day. All it did was make me fat (although I don’t know what it did to my arteries). I quit that nonsense in short order.




      21
        1. You’re right on the propylene. yech. But you can also make your own coconut concentrate using vodka. Which might be more fun anyway. google it.




          0
        1. Brian – I don’t have a ratio per se but here’s what I do. If the recipe calls for 1 cup coconut milk I pour a cup of soy milk (which is a little richer than almond milk, but you use whatever you like). I start with a teaspoon of coconut extract and a little bit of sugar, or xylitol, or whatever sweetener you want to use. Add as needed to make it taste right to you.
          Also, go to McDougall’s site and do a recipe search for coconut milk recipes and you’ll get Mary Mcdougall’s take on it. Have fun!




          1
      1. The brain depends on a healthy supply of various fats; it is made primarily of cholesterol itself. Indeed the body makes its own cholesterol.

        Animal fat contains every hormone and pollutant that the animal itself consumed, except in concentrated form. Animals are bio-accumulators.

        So eat all of the phytolipids you please; after all coronary heart disease is inflammatory in etiology. Stay away from sugar and processed grain, which is essentially the same thing.




        6
        1. It maybe OK for the brain, but is definitely horrible for the heart & arteries. I have Heart Disease; have had a massive MI in the past, & a small stroke a year ago. My diet is plant based for the past 7 years. I ate at a raw food restaurant 4 x’s/week for a year. Everything they made contained coconut oil; it was delicious. Thinking that coconut oil was good for me due to all the marketing hype. 2 years ago, the restaurant closed. 1 year ago, I developed leg pain in my R lateral shin. I thought I had shin splints. My Dr. told me after a CT scan that my all my arteries are severely blocked & that the severe pain I had had was a heart attack in my leg. I also have type II diabetes which is severely worsened by any oils. Our bodies make all the choesterol it needs for our brains. We aren’t just brains. If you’re pushing coconut to the public, that’s dangerous & irresponsible due to all the the heart disease & diabetes that exists . Do you have a way to unclog arteries? This is great info from Dr. Gregor. I wish I had read it before I ate the coconut oil. Now, I can barely walk without severe pain most times. That CT was compared to a previous CT and there was a substantial change for the worse. COCONUT OIL SHOULD CARRY A WARNING LABEL WITH SKULL & CROSS BONES.




          33
          1. Lynn, look up Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn. He’s reversed heart disease with a no oil, plant based diet. Published work, just like Dr. Dean Ornish. You do not need to suffer….




            12
          2. Lynn, your doctor just wants to prescribe you with statin drug. Your blocked arteries have to do with inflammation and oxidation and nothing to do with eating fats. Countless of cultures including the Okinawans eat plenty of saturated fat and heart disease and cancer and chronic are unknown for them.




            4
              1. Darryl – you’re correct. And the TRADITIONAL Okinawan diet that is so healthy (not today’s diet) was 67% sweet potato, not rice as is commonly mistaken.




                3
                1. Yeah and all the other groups with great longevity did / do eat lots of grains, e.g. the most long-living group, the SDA plant-based eaters.




                  1
          3. Lynn, read Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn Book. There are also very good lectures given by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn on youtube.

            Basically, Vitamin K in whole foods is the best way to naturally clear the arteries and veins. Dr. Esselstyn plant based, no oil, no nuts, no avocado, no coconut diet. The most important plants are the green leafy plants. It has worked for me …. Dr. Esselstyn is a great doctor and man. He will return your call for free anywhere if you need to talk to him. But if you read the book, follow the diet strictly (no cheating) you will feel the difference over time. There are thresholds, 6 weeks, 6 months, 1 year, where your body will change. Your gut, and the acids will change over time, and food will taste amazing as you follow it. Best to find others who will support you during the process ….




            10
            1. We agree. We’ve been on the Esslestyn diet for almost 5 years. We feel great and all of our numbers–cholesterole,etc. are excellent. Our taste buds changed…and what we’re eating tastes delicious to us. As long as my food tastes good I don’t feel I’m making a sacrifice.




              1
          4. Lynn,

            P.S. As you begin to follow the plant based diet doctors like Ornish, Esselstyn, Kahn, Greger, McDougal, Campbell, Ostfeld, Simpson, etc. etc. (Also Watch Forks over Knives documentary), you will be amazed about all the things you thought where healthy but are not. You will be amazed about grocery chains and the junk they sell on most of their isles, and how the only part of the store with healthy items are in the produce section.

            Then as you research more, you will see even Vegan, health food stores items are not healthy for heart, arteries and veins, and you have to read labels carefully ….. As these doctors will tell you most healthy advertisements say “reduce your chances of heart disease”, like the Mediterranean diet, but who wants better chances. Isn’t the goal heart attack proof, zero chance, or no chance. That is the goal of pure plant based diets ….




            4
        2. Rick, where do you get this stuff from? Sure, nonsense is found all over the internet with no credible evidence cited to support it but why repeat it here?

          And the brain isn’t primarily cholesterol – who told you that? Like the rest of the human body, it is mainly water
          https://water.usgs.gov/edu/propertyyou.html

          And what do you mean by phytolipids? Are you referring to all plant fats or just isolated plant oils? Why should anyone believe you anyway? Dr Greger and others have cited the science documenting the effects of plant oils on human health and biomarkers. All you do is engage in specious reasoning based on dubious “facts”.




          14
        3. Hi Rick,

          If this were true, no one would be happier than me.

          However, the American Heart Association has just re-emphasized its long-standing recommendation that people minimize their intake of saturated fat. This recommendation is based on the weight of 100+ peer-reviewed studies, some of them very recent: http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/early/2017/06/15/CIR.0000000000000510 . You can download the entire PDF on that page, and look up the cited studies.

          It’s true – there are some isolated peer-reviewed studies which show that saturated fat has little or no effect on cardiovascular disease risk. However, the overall weight of published studies shows that saturated fat should be minimized.

          If you believe otherwise, please support your claim with links to peer-reviewed studies.
          .




          9
          1. You can cite all the articles you please sir, but the fact remains that coronary heart disease is inflammatory in etiology; it is not caused by blood lipids.




            0
            1. What is inflammation? It is a cleansing and/or healing process, you dont want to stop it, you want to stop the causes of what hurts the body and it will finally be able to do its job of cleansing and self healing~




              0
              1. Julot,

                Inflammation is a set of coordinated chemical responses naturally in our body. We measure these via a host of blood tests and regularly upsets in the normal levels from poor diets to a bacterial/viral or fungal attack.

                What is being discussed is the excessive amounts that impact our health adversely, not the normal levels. So you’re on the mark with understanding that some amount of inflammation is essential for our functional balance.

                Dr. Alan Kadish moderator for Dr. Greger http://www.Centerofhealth.com




                1
        4. Are not plans the same? What ever conditions they are raised in is what is passed along. Or Arsenic in rice or whatever we’ve sprayed on crops, pollution in the air?




          0
        1. Coconut oil, soybean oil, and other vegetable oils are all refined.

          However, the American Heart Association has recently re-emphasized it recommendation that people lower their intake of saturated fats (like those in coconut oil), and replace it with polyunsaturated fats like those in canola oil). Although some people are distrustful of mainstream health organizations, the American Heart Association’s recommendation is based on the weight of 100+ peer-reviewed studies. You can download the full PDF of the AHA’s recommendation, and look up the 100+ cited studies: http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/early/2017/06/15/CIR.0000000000000510
          .




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  3. So, would it be less harmful to consume coconut butter? I make my own “butter” by using coconut butter instead of oil (made by myself using only shredded coconut).




    5
    1. No, coconut in any form is not only harmless but beneficial. Of course that goes along with eating healthy and not consuming sugar for instance.




      4
    2. Hey Javiera, thanks for writing! it’s difficult to answer your question without knowing what goes into your recipe. My best answer is that ALL plant foods have something to offer, when consumed in their natural, unprocessed state. Consuming coconut meat (e.g., shredded coconut) in small amounts would probably be just fine; just stay away from the processed kinds of coconut (e.g., oil) and you should be okay.




      0
    1. Interesting question. I looked at this a few years ago and vaguely recall some studies that appeared to show effects on blood lipid levels of using coconut oil on the skin.
      I can’t immediately put my hands on them now but did find some studies of this happening with pre-term babies eg
      http://medind.nic.in/ibv/t05/i3/ibvt05i3p255.pdf
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16269830
      Note though that the skin of pre-term babies is more permeable than that of adults so these studies aren’t conclusive or necessarily relevant to adults..

      You may therefore be safe from this effect as an adult but then again you may be at risk if you have weakened or thin skin (perhaps because of psoriasis or eczema) or apply the oil after eg shaving or exfoliating (which remove the top skin layers).

      Of course, I am just speculating here but it may well be possible. The recent Johnson & Johnson case does underline the potential effect that absorbing substances through the skin can have on health. As does Dr G’s recent video on antiperspirants and breast cancer
      http://edition.cnn.com/2017/08/21/health/johnson-and-johnson-talc-verdict/index.html
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/antiperspirants-and-breast-cancer/




      2
    2. David – Tom Campbell, M.D. has written a paper on your question. I am sorry I don’t have the link for you, but I looked this up because I had the same question. Could I use coconut oil on my skin without harm (since the skin allows some absorption of medicines, nicotine, etc it is a natural question to ask). Anyway, in this paper Dr. Campbell stated that he consulted with a noted skin expert. The upshot is that the skin layer is thick enough that the harmful saturated fats in coconut oil will not penetrate the epidermis but that it might be helpful to a dry skin situation. He said it would not be worrisome to use coconut oil on your skin.

      Also, if dry skin is your issue, as it is with me, you can also use a lotion with glycerin in it. Glycerin apparently attracts moisture to it. So when glycerin is on your skin it ‘pulls’ moisture from your body to the skin and hydrates it. I made my own glycerin lotion which I use and then sometimes apply coconut oil afterword to “lock in” the moisture. I live in a very dry climate.




      3
      1. Rachel, I, too, have very dry skin. I’ve had it all my life, when eating oils and fats, and now that I don’t add them to food. My coastal Northwest climate isn’t dry. Would you share your recipe for making the glycerin lotion? I’d like to try it. Is it sticky? I’ve noticed that glycerin can be sticky.




        0
        1. Rebecca and Tom –
          Rebecca, I don’t really have a formal recipe for my ‘lotion’. But here is what I’ve done. Purchased vegetable glycerine and I simply cut it with water to dilute it. I keep it in a spray bottle. And, yes, it is a little sticky but I’ve found that if i dilute it more the stickiness also dilutes. I haven’t got to the next revision yet, but am considering just mixing the glycerin with the coconut oil and see how that works. I would imagine a little heat to melt the coconut oil would be in order. I have googled recipes for home made lotions which use other ingredients as a base but I’ve not tried them. Sorry I didn’t see your post a little earlier.

          Tom – I think your point about coconut oil on baby’s skin is something to be aware of. And perhaps the elderly. That may not be a good choice with much thinner skin. I live in the western USA in a hot dry climate where the sun just beats my skin to death. So the glycerin -coconut oil thing really helps.

          Thanks for your thoughts




          0
  4. What about excess consumption of macadamia butter, and macadamia nuts, as well as pecans, avocado. Someone
    eating large amounts at issue, here, in regards to the negative effects of the coconut? Yeah, indulgence in these is
    common amongst lots of vegans.




    3
    1. Yep same issue. If you eat a lot of fats from any sources alone without other foods to reduce inflammation and oxidation then you get CHD.

      And PUFA fat and high Omega-6 from nuts and seeds are bad if you eat too much.




      4
    2. One of my favorite health guys, Anthony William, said it beautifully. If you eat a lot of fat, you can’t eat a lot of fruit. And fruit is healthy and delicious. Mark Hyman even warns against fat plus carb. He calls it “sweet fat” and says to avoid it at all costs. He is a lot more pro fat than I am. I think choosing your fat wisely makes sense, so you can eat stuff like fruit, that has a type of sugar, but also a lot of health packing nutrients.




      1
    3. Hey Heather, thanks for writing, and good question. Indulgence is fine…to a point. Are you running, or otherwise very physically active? If so, then you’ll be making more enzymes that use fat for energy – and you can indulge a bit more. Trying to prevent weight gain, or lose weight? Then consider indulging only on special occasions. Overall, we know that UNsaturated fat is 1) essential, 2) beneficial (to a point) and 3) safer than saturated fats. But the bulk of your diet (pardon the pun) should still be whole grains, fruits, veggies, and legumes – roughly 70%. This DOES leave room for plant fats, but not huge amounts. I hope this helps!




      1
  5. Oh if anyone is interested. Corpus Christi Texas is having their 1st VegFest, April 14, 2018, at Cole Park on the bay front. Hope you all can make it. We can’t afford Dr Greger, but we can hope one day he can come. Everyone is invited. Free and open to the public. Sorry, no coconuts allowed. LOL.




    17
    1. I won’t attend even if you pay me.

      I didn’t know that Dr Greger charges a high fee for appearing at events. His fans keep saying that he works for free. Not quite so.

      Not that making money is a crime but don’t say that you work for free when it is not.




      1
      1. I enjoy the good discussion on this site with folks who are genuinely interested and respectful.

        I can’t ever remember anyone – who agreed or not with topics – as caustic as Jerry Lewis. What a self-righteous yech.




        3
  6. It would have been nice to see a third meal combo added to that test with the McDonalds food compared to rice, coconut, egg, fish with a meal composed of coconut oil or milk with vegetables.

    Since whole coconut isn’t bad then I would like to think that coconut milk with vegetables (thus replacing the missing coconut fiber and phytonutrients with other plant sources).

    Rather, I will think that as I do enjoy my Thai and Indian curry dishes made with coconut milk AND lots of veggies and healthy spices and herbs. Not all the time of course, but my worries will be fading away about this issue as I am going to conclude that the substituted plants for the coconut meat is ok until proven otherwise….or even if not :-)




    12
    1. Yep fiber is fiber and it does not matter where it comes from.

      You eat fiber with your salad, curry, fried vegetables, etc. and not by itself.




      6
        1. Gosh Jerry Lewis – you are such an EXPERT on EVERYTHING!. You obviously know it all and, more importantly, always seem to be right. About everything. You post so often about everything on every issue and topic and you are always the most right of anyone and everyone! What a guy!




          31
            1. Fair enough. What bothers me is the number of very confident posts by some without any credible sources for the claims provided. Claims without supporting reputable source information is useless.




              17
          1. JB, I agree, very annoying. I keep encouraging him to get his own website so he can share his vast opinion with those who care to read it.




            13
            1. Vegetater – yes, I follow your comments and you are right on.
              What’s interesting here is that he hasn’t yet learned the lesson that one’s difference of opinion gets shoved to the back forty when the delivery of the message is so nasty and offensive. His message falls through the cracks to the sewer because he has successfully sabotaged himself to those he is trying to reach.
              Must be about 12 years old.




              2
          2. Give the guy a break – he just died! He WAS a comedian.

            Be nice to just look at “real” posts though – instead of endlessly filtering out the antagonistic baloney.




            10
    2. My wife and I also love Thai dishes. A couple of years ago I discovered that coconut milk, one of the primary curry ingredients, contained a pretty significant amount of saturated fat. I brought them a carton of almond milk and asked them to substitute it as an experiment. It worked perfectly. No, it does not have the same creamy “mouth feel” that the additional fat provides. It was a very easy conversion for me. You will need a restaurant that is flexible enough to work with you.




      10
  7. I don’t think that ‘raised cholesterol levels’ is the whole story, I’m afraid. Many of those people who suffer bad heart attacks have low levels of cholesterol (my dad, for example) so cholesterol, hogh or low is not the problem. Secondly, I read only the other day (and I’m sorry, I can’t remember where) that scientists are now coming round to the idea that there is no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ cholesterol. LDL is actually important as well, and raised levels of LDL may actually be fine.
    My attitude is eat a healthy, mixed diet, without extremes – everything in moderation, but organic and non-processed as much as possible. Exercise and a positive mindset are two more important ingredients.




    20
    1. You are absolutely right.

      I have 2 relatives who are vegans and skinny like a stick and with low cholesterol, and they are currently paralyzed due to a heart attack.




      8
      1. Anecdotal evidence does not make a credible argument. There are always outliers. My friend knows a friend who …. You fill in the blanks with whatever pet peeve you might have.




        14
      2. Vegan just tell us what they dont eat but dont tell us what they do eat, so thats pointless, you can be skinny and eat a significant part of your diet from oils and nuts and others fat if not overeating calories~

        You wont get heart attack or any common problems from eating a real low fat(<15-20%) whole food plant based diet, no oils, no salt, no sugar~




        1
    2. Liz Brynin: You said that your dad has “low” cholesterol and still had a heart attack. This is extremely rare when talking about truly healthy levels of cholesterol. One problem is defining what “low” or healthy means. The experts who understand the data will tell you that low cholesterol levels are a total of 150 or below and LDL below 70. The doctors who don’t know the data will tell you that “low” is below 200. Do you know what your dad’s LDL level actually was?

      Another problem we often see in these types of reports is when the cholesterol levels were measured. Has your dad had his cholesterol levels measured his whole life? Does he know what his levels were say 20 years ago? The reason why I mention this is because sometimes hospitals (or studies!) measure cholesterol *after* a heart attack. The body’s cholesterol levels plummet when there is trauma, including when there is a heart attack. So, seeing “low” cholesterol levels after a heart attack tells you nothing about the dangers of high cholesterol levels causing disease. Similarly, some long term illnesses, including cancer, can cause cholesterol levels to plummet. That’s why I asked about your dad’s cholesterol levels over time. If he has an (even unknown) disease which eats up cholesterol levels flowing through the blood, that could affect his LDL measurements without affecting how much LDL/plaque had built up in lining of his arteries, thus putting him at risk for a heart attack.

      The evidence regarding the link between LDL and heart disease is overwhelmingly high. Like you, I have heard that there are people getting on the bandwagon and saying that cholesterol levels do not matter. However, these are people who are either not aware of the body of scientific evidence or who are misleading people for profit. If you are interested in learning about both the research behind the link between cholesterol levels and heart disease as well as the history of cholesterol denialism, check out the detailed work by Plant Positive: http://www.plantpositive.com.




      29
      1. The reason that there is a link between fat and heart disease is that people who eat a lot of fat also eat a lot of sugar/processed grain. Coronary heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and virtually all other non-infectious disease is inflammatory in etiology.

        Elderly people with higher levels of cholesterol have better cognitive function than those with lower levels.




        7
        1. Rick Bergles: Nope: As we have discussed, the science does not support your claims. I’ve already shared the evidence with you regarding elderly and cholesterol levels. As you now know, the associations you have been told about are cases of reverse causation. (Reverse Causation : Disease/dementia causes low cholesterol levels. Life long low cholesterol levels are not associated with dementia in any way.) See my previous post to you. Also, check out the following which I already shared with you, but I’m guessing you didn’t watch or absorb: http://plantpositive.com/blog/2012/3/27/cholesterol-cancer-and-depression.html. And here is one that shows the link between cholesterol and dementia: http://plantpositive.com/blog/2012/3/26/tpns-42-the-confusionist-mind-and-the-good-old-days.html NutritionFacts covers Alzheimers and dementia, showing the link between saturated fat intake and cholesterol with those diseases, but not grains. https://nutritionfacts.org/?fwp_search=alzheimers&fwp_content_type=video

          There is also no reason to believe that sugar or grains are associated in any significant way with heart disease. Here is a deep dive into the evidence on this topic: http://plantpositive.com/blog/2012/3/24/tpns-22-23-thin-gruel-on-grains.html

          As I mentioned before, if you want to follow a low inflammation diet, then you are talking about a diet of whole plant foods: https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/inflammation/ . Plant Positive also does a great job of covering the topic of inflammation and the bizarre claim that inflammation is the primary concern when it comes to heart disease: http://plantpositive.com/blog/2012/3/26/tpns-43-45-anything-but-ldl.html Here is a quote:

          “Let’s talk about inflammation. Another primitive idea is that plaque doesn’t matter. What matters is the inflammation. Here is Loren Cordain saying that arterial plaque is fine as long as it doesn’t break off and give you a heart attack. I’m not sure why it wouldn’t be better to not have that plaque there in the first place. Cordain is making the argument that inflammation is the real problem. If you have low inflammation, you have nothing to worry about.

          This is an odd stance for him of all people because the relationship between inflammation and heart disease doesn’t seem to exist in hunter gatherers. This is an inconvenient study for him, I imagine. These hunter gatherers had high levels of inflammation, but hardly any heart disease. By the way, they did have parasites.”

          (Note: As explained in the Plant Positive video, the reasons parasites matter is that some parasites are known to “eat” cholesterol. Here’s the point: So, you can have a population that eats a relatively large amount of animal products, have relatively low cholesterol because of the parasites, and even though they have a lot inflammation, they don’t get a lot of heart disease. This is one part of the overwhelming evidence showing the importance of LDL in heart disease and why inflammation is a secondary concern that matters most in the presence of high LDL.)




          18
            1. Rick Bergles: Not everything is a 30 second sound bite. There is nothing ‘witty’ about unsupported claims, even if brief. This site is about learning what the science says regarding nutrition. If the evidence is too much for you and you are not interested in learning, you are in the wrong place. I’m not defensive, but I find I do have very short patience for people who have been respectfully educated then turn around the next day to re-spout the same falsehoods. It is not honest.




              21
              1. Thea: I so appreciate your patient and well-informed responses. I suspect Rick is a troll at best, but your thorough and careful refutations give the rest of us specific tools to help educate others who are as misinformed as Rick is (but who are more willing to consider fact-based evidence). Thank you!




                8
                1. Name calling always wins the argument doesn’t it? What books have you read on the topic of nutrition? Books, those papery things with printing all over them.




                  1
      2. Thea, It’s so nice to hear your voice again. You’re always spot on and reasonable. If I can speak for others we love you! At least we appreciate you!




        4
        1. Rebecca Cody: The love flows both ways. What a great community (when it working right ;-) ). I learn so much from others here. Thank you for the nice words!




          1
    3. Liz, it’s important to remember that not all heart attacks are caused by dietary issues or atherosclerosis. Artery disease is but one of many causes of heart attack – valvular disease (both diagnosed and undiagnosed), arrhythmia, Afib, and other disease states. Correlation is not necessarily causation and vice versa.




      10
      1. No, you’re wrong. Don’t try to minimize and lump atherosclerotic-based heart attacks in with the other MUCH less common causes of heart attacks.

        If you understand how Foam cells develop and lead to Heart attacks and strokes, then you’ll understand the CAUSE…. you’re trying to play word games with “Correlation” and “Causation” and you’re trying to make it seem as if most people are just random victims.

        Eat a plant based diet, get your TBC under 150 with LDL under 70 and you won’t have a heart attack!! And it’ll most like help with minor A-fib cases.

        It’s silly to bring “physical/gene-based heart defects” into the same conversation as atherosclerosis.




        10
        1. Caspergomez – she did not state what the cause was of her loved one’s heart attack. It is therefore inconclusive to assume what the cause was. I was just making the point that her loved one’s heart attack could have been cause by another disease factor. Since she didn’t state the cause . . . . . .




          3
          1. Again, this is actually incorrect. I’ve had two loved ones who have died of heart attacks so, btw, just don’t want anyone to think I’m “cold”.

            To state that “high” or “low” cholesterol does not matter, is simply irresponsible.

            Anecdotes do not matter. My grandmother lived until 83, smoking two packs a day. But that doesn’t diminish the fact that cigarettes are carcinogenic and CAUSE DNA damage, mutations and cancer to develop.

            Again, heart-attack proof is SUB-150 (TBC) and SUB-70 (LDL). Since you’re commenting on god website forum, it would be good if you referenced Dr. G’d multiple videos on Cholesterol to understand more clearly why LDL DOES MATTER and HDL is far less important.

            It doesn’t matter what “some study” recently showed…. I could easily point to MANY studies that show Eggs are GOOD for you. That’s not the point.

            The preponderance of scientific evidence and meta-analyses show that LDL MATTERS, along with other risk factors such as TMAO levels, CRP levels, Homocysteine levels, and so on… all increased when eating a meat-based diet, and lowered when eating a plant-based diet.

            Plus, we know nothing about her father’s medical history, LEVELS, diet, etc, to throw science out the window due to an occasional anecdote. I hear family members all the time saying things like “I can’t believe so and so died of X-disease… he was such a healthy guy”. That’s BS. He was eating in “moderation” so he suffered “moderate” disease.




            0
    4. My dad died of a stroke at 70 and had been a vegan for about 30 years. But he ate a lot of coconut flesh, oil, and milk. And he drank his tea with sugar, too. He died in the eighties; today, he would be called a junk vegan?




      3
      1. People who live on Twinkies are also vegans. Milk and sugar are both inflammatory; milk contains bovine insulin and estrogen. And every other hormone and pesticide that was inside the cow that produced it.




        2
        1. Rick: I’m sorry for my misleading phrase. When I wrote “coconut flesh, oil, and milk” , I meant coconut flesh, coconut oil, and coconut milk.




          4
      2. Hey George, thanks for writing, and I’m sorry we lost your Dad – he was ahead of his time, and we need folks like that. His high intake of saturated fat is consistent with higher levels of fibrinogen, a clotting protein that is a strong risk factor for stroke. I can’t comment on the other aspects of his diet enough to say he was a ‘junk’ vegan.




        0
    5. LDL has been confirmed as causal in heart disease in both clinical trials and genetic studies.

      However, I’d agree that while elevated LDL is central to atherosclerosis development, its not the whole story. Chronic and postprandial inflammation and endothelial dysfunction plays at least an equally important role, initiating monocyte migration into arterial walls, perpetuating lipoprotein oxidation through NOX oxidative bursts, and causing releases of collagenases responsible for the plaque rupture behind the overwhelming majority of CVD events. Right now, its looking like permeability to gut derived bacterial endotoxins plays a major role, so don’t welcome them in with fatty meals, and bulk up your mucosal barriers by feeding the good bacteria with fermentable carbs. Useful reviews on this other side of atherosclerosis:

      2013 Metabolic endotoxemia: a molecular link between obesity and cardiovascular risk
      2013 High-fat meal induced postprandial inflammation
      2014 Influence of dietary fat on intestinal microbes, inflammation, barrier function and metabolic outcomes
      2016 Long-term activation of the innate immune system in atherosclerosis
      2016 The gut microbiota and atherosclerosis: The state of the art and novel perspectives




      4
    6. Yes, there are other factors beside cholesterol. However, that does not mean that it is irrelevant or unimportant whatever a vocal minority of critics may claim
      https://academic.oup.com/eurheartj/article/3745109/Low-density-lipoproteins-cause-atherosclerotic?searchresult=1

      Did your dad have low cholesterol before his MI or after? Heart attacks actually cause cholesterol to decline.

      https://www.ima.org.il/imaj/viewarticle.aspx?year=2015&month=06&page=370

      Also, I’d really suggest being guided by what the science shows rather than stories in the popular press or some old nostrum like everything in moderation. Dr G has an interesting video on this
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/everything-in-moderation-even-heart-disease/




      2
      1. TG – I am always so glad when you weight in and post. A voice of reason, fact, balance and thoughtfulness. I always look forward to hearing your thoughts.




        3
    7. Hi Liz Brynin, so far your post is the only one I whole heatedly agree with. I am 74 and have always eaten a mixed diet as non-pre-processed as possible (live in a large city). I am very happy to report that it has worked beautifully for me. Everybody stay calm and avoid all these food fads. Butter is bad for you, butter is good for you! Wine is bad for you, drink a glass of wine everyday! And on it goes!!




      0
  8. What about the high linoleic acid content in vegetable oils compared to low linoleic in butter and coconut oils. Could you speak to the negative effects relating to linoleic acids?




    1
    1. The last paragraph of today’s video says it all to me. The Journal of American College of Cardiology statement that patients should avoid coconut oil and other sources of saturated fat is clear. It amazes me that people with risk factors of heart disease (such as family history) would plan to continue to include coconut products and other saturated fats in their diet after reading that. Having suffered a bypass surgery myself , I enjoy a wfpb diet that includes oil-free east indian curries and other cuisines. I take to “heart” Dr Esselstyn’s words “moderation kills!”




      14
      1. Could it be that moderation in our sad diet is non-existent and what is considered moderation is by far over-indulging. I think about how sad diet takes a good product like a salad, potato, or asperugus and covers in fat, and salt, then wraps in fat (bacon) then adds more salt sour cream( fat), cheese (fat), then wonder why we get heart and arterial disease. One lady that works with my wife is eating coconut oil between two slices of chocolate, as a snack, and thinks that’s healthy. Wtf? Sad diet is so out of control we wouldn’t know moderation if it bit us in the face. It’s not like we get heart disease in a short amount of time. It takes years of abuse to cause it, and I’m assuming years to correct it even if you can correct it.




        1
    2. Cooking with highly processed vegetable oils damages them, and makes them bad for you. Many on a PBWFD saute their food in a bit of water. you will probably have to season it accordingly in making your adjustment, but it’s a lot better than eating heat damaged, heavily processed oil.




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    3. The argument that linoleic acid may be bad is that its theoretically converted to arachidonic acid, the precursor to proinflammatory signalling molecules. However it turns out dietary linoleic acid it has no effect on arachidonic acid status on those eating Western diets (ie, already high in arachidonic acid containing foods. Indeed, in this recent study, it was red meat consumption, not linoleic acid from vegetable oils, that was associated with higher arachidonic acid status.

      The question remains whether linoleic acid poses problems in those whose diets are largely arachdonic acid free: vegans and lactovegetarians consuming only fat-free dairy. It might, but there hasn’t been a study.




      4
        1. Hi Harriet Sugar Miller, Thanks for your question. I am one of the volunteer moderators on the website. (Insulin Resistance )IR is directly interlinked with various inflammatory responses which play crucial role in the development of IR. According to this study, over nutrition is one of the major causative factor that contributes to induce the state of low-grade inflammation due to which accumulation of elevated levels of glucose and/or lipids in blood stream occur that leads to the activation of various transcriptional mediated molecular and metabolic pathways.
          Mechanisms of inflammatory responses and development of insulin resistance: how are they interlinked?




          0
    4. Hey Susan, thanks for writing! Linoleic ACID (LA – there is only one type, many sources though) is one of the essential fatty acids the body can’t make by itself. The scientific literature don’t reveal significant harm caused by the intake of LA. It’s conversion to DGLA and GLA yields prostaglandin E1 (PGE1) a hormone-like chemical with effects that are antithrombotic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer. There used to be concern that higher intakes would be converted to arachidonic acid, the same fat found in meat and eggs, which can act in a pro-inflammatory fashion. The current evidence indicates little of this conversion occurs. One concern however is that if we eat diets very high in LA, then we will convert less alpha-linolenic acid (ALA, an omega-3 fat found in plant foods) to EPA and DHA. However, the body’s conversion mechanisms prefer to use ALA over LA, so just eating small amounts of walnuts, flax, and other omega-3 containing foods should be sufficient.




      0
  9. Can someone please clarify the part about extrapolating MCTs out of Coconuts when producing Coconut Oil at 4:10?

    Is Dr. G. basically saying that MCTs inherently exist in raw Coconuts, and if you eat the raw meat you’ll benefit from MCTs, but when companies produce oils then you’d only get about 10% of the MCTs? And does this include all coconut oils (cold-pressed, expeller-pressed, refined/unrefined, etc.)?

    Thanks!
    Casper




    4
    1. When they do a study and say, look, these MCT’s are not bad for you, that doesn’t mean that coconut oil isn’t bad for you. Coconut oil isn’t just MCT oil. It has a lot of other oils in it that are clearly bad for you.




      4
    2. Hi caspergomez, Thanks for your question. I am one of the volunteer at the website. As you know Dr Greger is all about whole food and the argument about the coconut oil is the fact that the coconut is being processed and consequently it fiber is extracted from it.




      0
    3. Hi Casper- In that video segment, Dr G is countering the specific argument by coconut oil proponents that coconut oil is good for you because MCTs act differently than other saturated fats and coconut oil has MCTs. His point is that there are many types of fat in coconut oil, and the vast majority of them are not MCTs, but long chain fatty acids specifically known to be harmful. He also points out that MCTs themselves raise LDL (bad) cholesterol, and LDL is the main factor in buildup of atherosclerosis/blocked arteries. The point is this: coconut oil is not healthy and should not be consumed.

      Your other question is different: what about whole coconuts. As Dr G points out, when populations eating whole coconut as a major part of they diet, their cholesterol becomes quite high. So even though coconuts contains fiber, critical to many aspects of health, it’s cholesterol raising effects, and calorie density will worsen overweight and obesity and help raise cholesterol. There are better sources of fiber and other nutrients than coconuts.

      -Dr Anderson, volunteer




      0
  10. Wow! Such misleading info.

    First of all, the saturated fat and cholesterol theories are old and obsolete and wrong. It’s the oxidation of fats that cause CHD. So if you eat too much fats, any kind – and it is not just saturated fat, and you eat foods that cause inflammation at the same time then you get a double whammy. It’s like putting gasoline in your car and then lit it up with a match and the car burn and you blame it on gasoline.

    Secondly all this low fat diet, not only does not protect you from CHD, but will cause Alzheimer’s and before you get it then you will be angry first.

    And thirdly, the fiber argument to justify why some population does not get CHD because they eat raw coconut, is laughable. Because you can eat fiber from other foods and not directly from coconut. Fiber is fiber no matter where it comes from, and everyone should eat it.

    It’s like comparing some people who have very bad diet, from eating processed food to sugar, to people who just eat fat and no fiber and no other foods that reduce inflammation, and then zoom on fat as the culprit. Like I said, gasoline can be dangerous if you lit up your car, but can be useful if you use it properly.

    I am going to watch the eclipse and let you guys digest these misleading info.




    8
    1. Didn’t you just die at 91, Jerry Lewis?

      I think you’re having a mental-eclipse… stating that Sat-Fat theories are outdated.

      I guess that’s why for the past 100 years, Heart Disease has been a leading cause of death, and VEGANS are at the heart of all these societies, since these low-fat vegan populations are just swimming in Heart (and other) diseases by the Billions. There are just so many Vegans out there… billions of us, eating low-fat, and contributing to this long-running global epidemic… I think we need to listen to Jerry and re-think what we’re doing. After all, Jerry knows best, and I guess what he’s saying is that Atherosclerotic plaques are LOW-fat driven…. it’s all that Fiber we’re eating that’s causing the Plaque formation. Dr. Greger has been misleading us guys…

      Seriously, Dr. G… I’m very hurt that you’ve been taking us down a path of poor health for years…. and all along we just needed to listen to Jerry Lewis.

      It’s a sad day… but a new beginning. Jerry, please let us know where we can watch your videos or read your blog posts…




      28
      1. CasperGomez – well I’m glad to see you finally got on board and now see the light – that Jerry Lewis is THE MOST knowledgeable of all nutritional geeks and that every one else has just got it all wrong. I am certain that he is an expert researcher, published in peer reviewed journals, and knows more than anyone at any time in written history. After all, . . he knows all!!!
        We all – CLEARLY – should be bowed down to pay our homage to the most illustrious Jerry Lewis. What took you so long CasperGomez? You must be a real dunce.




        10
        1. Hi, I am one of the volunteer moderators. I can see that there are differences of opinon about fat and cholesterol in this forum and also within some of the scientific community in the inernet. I think we can express our opinion as long as we are respectful and genuine seeker for truth towards health and science. When Dr Greger researches a topic he looks at so many studies and analyze them and he then comes up with a conclusion based on his experience as a physician as well as a researcher. I for one am thankful for all the hard work that goes into this website and learn a lot and hopefully contribute to it as well.




          0
      2. Do you agree that reasonable and informed people can differ? There is a large body of evidence supporting Jerry Lewis – brain health depends on ingestion of various fats. (Animal fat is not among them.)




        6
        1. The reason Esselstyn told his severely advanced heart disease group to avoid all oil, coconut, and avocado, and to strictly limit nuts/seeds while on his watch was because he knew that those foods contain Saturated Fat. And people with CHD, CVD, etc. must avoid Sat-Fat in order to reverse the decades of damage they inflicted upon themselves. There’s no room for heart disease patients to play any games, and they need to go Low-VeryLow Fat until their endothelium is healed and condition is reversed.

          However, those among us who already maintain TBC sub-150 and LDL sub-75, can consume limited-moderate amounts of a variety of these foods daily. As long as your numbers continue to look good (as per our Vegan Doctors standards), then I see no need to reduce the levels since these foods are choc-full of phytonutrients and micronutrients.

          The problem with most people is they hear a few snippets of guys like Atkins or even Mercola saying “Fats are great for you”… and then they just go and load up on fat, or they don’t place any immediate concern over the quantity/quality, etc. They end up consuming too many of their calories from these foods, while limiting grains (since these doctors demonize grains) and they end up getting the Average “15 grams” of Fiber because they’ve cut out basically their main source of Fiber. They should in fact be consuming 50-100 grams Fiber per day to stay healthy.

          Dietary programs are a package deal. And if Animal Foods are included in the package, it can NEVER be as healthy as 100% plant-based.

          Anyone, including Jerry, who thinks that animal-based diet can reverse heart disease, diabetes Type 2 (permanently), IBS, etc. please provide long-term trials that have shown this to be true (as in the case of Caldwell Esselstyn, Dean Ornish, Nathan Pritikin, etc),




          13
        2. Mr. Bergles – as a Neuroscientist, I would like to weigh in on your comments regarding brain health “depending on the ingestion of various fats.” The topic itself is quite a large one and quite complex. Nutrition as it affects the brain is in such an infantile state that very few neuroscientists would make the grand statement that you propose. Science moves forth in minute and careful ways and in a manner that eschews grand statements specifically so as to not make incorrect statements and assumptions. While the brain is composed of and harbors fat, we also know that it may or may not require additional fat to maintain itself other than what is found naturally in our food as-is. Green’s, for example, are roughly 10%fat and there is greater evidence showing that nature has put just enough fat in its whole products sufficient for brain growth and care. We also see that B vitamins – as a whole (naturally) – correlate highly with reduced brain shrinkage as one ages. We cannot make any conclusion other than to note that particular correlation at this time. It therefore may be that it is b-vitamins and not added fat that makes the aging differential. Or there may be a whole interplay (which I suspect is closer to the facts) that makes the difference. It is simplistic to make grand blanket statements about the brain given how much more we need to learn and understand.




          22
        3. ‘Reasonable and informed’ – herein lies the problem. There’s either scientific evidence to support a claim, or there isn’t. If there isn’t, then the claim is neither reasonable nor informed.




          6
      3. casprtgomez
        i am waiting for the day jerry lewis gets more thumbs up than down……..that will show he is starting to learn something from this website




        3
        1. Me too, Ignatius! But since it’s pretty obvious that he doesn’t even watch the videos or read people’s responses, I’m not all that hopeful.




          2
          1. Some among us look further than internet videos to gather knowledge. There is a great variety of ideas on the banquet table of knowledge. I suggest that you sample more than one offering.




            0
    2. You obviously don’t believe any of the evidence Dr. G presents and have on numerous videos spouted your paleo bs theories. Please leave the forum if you can’t back up your assertions with evidence, i.e., links ot actual papers.




      14
      1. If we are going to have a calm, respectful discussion, let’s not force people who bring up uncomfortable facts to be punished by having to detail every single piece of evidence while everyone else goes scot free. That’s how you stay in your bubble and never learn anything. I think this site is about learning.




        7
        1. John S. – I don’ t know how long you’ve been following along, but the reason JL get the response he gets is because he entered the discussion here gunning for bear. He was/is attacking, demeaning, disrespectful, and has earned the feedback he is receiving. Had his approach been discussive rather than attacking he might have received a different response.




          18
          1. So true, DLB.

            And John S, he doesn’t bring facts to the table. Uncomfortable or otherwise. We’ve asked him countless times for facts-based, scientific evidence to support his claims. We’re still waiting. He just repeats himself over & over. He’s made it clear he’s not here to listen to anybody, & he’s not here for “calm & respectful discussion.”

            Also, if neither you nor Jerry require scientific evidence to make your food choices, that’s your prerogative. I defend your right to make whatever food choices you want based on whatever information you feel supports your current needs. But please stop chastising those of us who do require scientific evidence. I would never be so presumptuous as to tell YOU that you’re living in a bubble & will never learn anything.




            9
        2. John S,

          This is not a case of “uncomfortable facts”. Rather we are subjected to a barrage of repetitive, unsupported, error-prone and strongly worded opinions, not facts. In the case of the role of inflammation in atherosclerosis, it is commonly accepted that inflammation plays a role, but that does not show it is the cause – the initiating event- of atherosclerosis, as Thea has documented. Here’s a statement by one cardiologist:

          https://www.docsopinion.com/2013/05/03/inflammation-and-heart-disease/
          “Studies have indicated that the infiltration and retention of low density lipoprotein (LDL) in the arterial intima **initiate** an inflammatory response in the artery wall. Modification of LDL, through oxidation or enzymatic attack in the intima causes release of phospholipids that can activate endothelial cells. Studies in animals and humans also indicate that high blood levels of cholesterol may cause focal activation of vascular endothelium.”

          Here’s another from the AHA website:
          http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Inflammation-and-Heart-Disease_UCM_432150_Article.jsp#.WZtSOT75hII

          “The Role of Inflammation in Heart Attack and Stroke

          “Exactly how inflammation plays a role in heart attack and stroke remains a topic of ongoing research,” added Deepak Bhatt, M.D. “It appears that the inciting event in many heart attacks and some forms of stroke is buildup of fatty, cholesterol-rich plaque in blood vessels.”

          Bhatt is chief of cardiology for the VA Boston Healthcare System, director of the Integrated Interventional Cardiovascular Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital & VA Boston Healthcare System, and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.’
          _________________________________________________________________________________________________________

          I have neither the time nor patience to go into any of the other unsupported and controversial statements that are presented as facts.

          Who is going scott free? Sure some others provide unsupported opinions as facts, and I object to that also. But many of the discussants provide support for their claims, at least those I pay close attention to.




          15
          1. That all chronic non-infectious disease is inflammatory in etiology is beyond reasonable doubt, no matter how badly you wish it otherwise.




            0
        3. John I agree that Devil’s Advocates play an important role and should be welcomed. The problem is that Jerry Lewis never presents demonstrable facts let alone any supporting evidence. He merely states his opinions as absolute facts. Rick is unfortunately cut from the same cloth.

          I don’t mind them personally because they encourage me to go off and read the professional literature on the topics concerned – which virtually always refutes their claims. However,I can see how their continued claims of omniscience would be irritating to many people.




          3
          1. If the message is disturbing, kill the messenger.

            That some people read books rather than internet snippets does not make them “omniscient,” it makes them well-rounded. Taste more than one offering from the banquet table of knowledge. You might find something you like but have never tasted before.




            0
  11. MCT oil contains smaller fatty acids which are not stored as fats or lipids. Instead MCT oil is metabolized in low carb ketogenic diets. But MCT oil taken along with LCT fats may indirectly cause the observed 15% increase in LDL.




    4
    1. Herman – the problem is that the MCT portion of coconut oil constitutes only about 10% of the coconut oil. Consuming coconut oil means one is consuming a whole lot more of the LCT fats than the MCT fats. You can’t separate that out.




      0
  12. We can only hope that WFPB advocates will pay proper attention to this message derived from science. There is a new plant-based cookbook on making cheese out and while I was browsing through it, I noted the author’s comments that she believes coconut oil offers health benefits and so she is comfortable in using this ingredient to make some of her cheeses. This kind of advocacy for using an ingredient that contributes to heart disease is problematic particularly when this declaration of coconut oil’s healthy benefits come from a popular author in the WFPB community. If the whole food, plant-based community can’t come to some general agreement on what is healthy and what is not when pursuing WFPB nutrition, we will also be complicit in spinning confusion to those wanting to eat this way and we will especially be doing a disservice to those who are transitioning to this lifestyle for health benefits over other concerns such as compassion for animals and planet sustainability.




    11
    1. So true, oil is not a “whole food” and therefore problematic.
      Human genetics have arisen in a predominately unmechanised world and here in lies the crux of the problem. If you require a hydraulic press, or solvents to procure coconut or other oils in any measure, then they have no business being in your body. Likewise, we should only consume each day as much grain, or seeds as we can collect and process without machinery.

      Following this line of reasoning our arteries excluded of all industrial grease and oil, should cope with the occasional ingestion of animal fats along with bulk WFP
      Having been a hunting/fishing type, but now a peaceful calm vegan, I appreciate how animals don’t give up their lives easily, and a feed of flesh and fat cannot be relied upon like a store of carb rich and nutty foods.




      0
  13. The study which included meals compared to McDonalds was very poorly designed for those of us who do not consume animal fat/foods or want to know how much coconut milk (and meat) we should/can eat. The LHF meal consisted of coconut milk, white rice, an egg (375 g of cholesterol) and anchovies (75g cholesterol with 3 oz serving) wtf? That’s a combined cholesterol of 475g, a whopping 250 grams higher than the recommended daily limit. Cholesterol is negatively associated with endothelial function so how can we say this is the coconut milk, though high fat (and zero cholesterol)? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1993955/ We need to separate cholesterol and saturated fat to see the difference they might have on endothelial function because cholesterol is a definitive killer but from what I could find doing a quick search, the jury is not yet in on SFAs > https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2824150/, especially the plant variety. Including plant and animal food together does not tell us what whole, plant-based foods are doing unfortunately http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/98/3/677.full

    Also, the “Trending Cardiovascular Nutrition Controversies” article includes Barnard, Ornish and Essylstyn (personal heroes of mine) as contributors, who are all low fat advocates already promoting limited fats and no oil so there is a bias whether we like it or not.

    Gabriel Cousins often talks about the medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil but Dr.G seems to have clearly shown they don’t contain very much so he may need to revisit his theories of their health benefits.

    Bottom line, we need more studies on coconut meat and milk, as well as other high fat, whole, plant-based foods to see what the true effects on endothelial function and/or health are. Keep em coming boss!!




    4
    1. If someone has the equipment to test their endothelial function I would like to see what happens when they eat a piece of raw vegan cheesecake with and without fruit. Also some Thai coconut curry. Not that I eat it every day but it would be nice to know since the cited study is not very helpful ( egg and fish). I would also like to know if coconut fats affect insulin resistance (those videos said animal fat specifically).
      Also, what about cacao?




      0
  14. Just to keep things in perspective, a quarter pound of raw hamburger (95% fat free) has 2.6 grams of saturated fat. A tablespoon of coconut oil has 12 grams of saturated fat. Hmm. Let’s see, do I want four quarter pounders or a tablespoon of coconut oil. If I’m only worried about saturated fat, I’ll take the four quarter pounders!

    I just checked a small can of Crown Prince brisling sardines (3.75 oz) in extra virgin olive oil. Granted, it has a lot of healthy omega-3s (2,000 mg per can), but it also has 6 grams of saturated fat, more than twice that of the quarter pounder.

    Saturated fat can turn up in the most unlikely places. Like our friend, liberty, the price of health is eternal vigilance!




    5
    1. Animal fat and plant fat are not the same thing. Phytolipids do not cause heart disease, nor does it contain all of the hormones and feed contaminants that your quarter pounder and fat-fried potatoes do.




      3
    2. Raw coconut meat, has about 28g SF per cup. So 1 Tbsp is less than 2g SF. Even if you ate 1/2 cup, you’d be getting 14g for the day from Coconut. Which is really not bad compared to what your average American consumes (total Fat and Sat-Fat) which is probably 40-70gTF and 20-30SF.

      In the Veg community, we understand that Coconut (meat/oil/etc.) is pretty much the highest Sat-Fat dense Plant food source. Therefore, it’s unlikely to find Vegans eating the flesh of an entire Coconut everyday.

      It’s also unlikely to find non-vegetarians who consume coconut flesh at all. It’s only with this new craze that coconut “oil” consumption has exploded among this community of people that get sucked into marketing tactics over and over and over.




      5
      1. A few years ago I was put on a raw vegan diet as part of cancer treatment. Most of those eating all raw plant foods, at least at that time, eat a LOT of coconut and use a lot of coconut oil. I learned how to open a fresh coconut to get the coconut water, then scoop out the flesh to put into smoothies. They also use quite a bit of coconut butter and dried coconut in the six or seven raw recipe books I have.

        The recipe books also use nuts by the cupful, making pie crusts, grinding them into flour, etc. The raw vegans seem to gravitate to high fat foods, probably to get enough calories so they don’t waste away.

        On that diet I didn’t lose weight until I did a 10 day juice fast as part of the protocol. Before that all the fat in the diet kept me from losing a needed 10 pounds.

        I don’t eat that way any more. It’s a lot of work if you like variety, and I couldn’t keep warm when fall came. It’s much better and easier to eat beans and whole grains along with lots of veggies, fruits, berries, mushrooms, etc.




        0
    3. W. Dyer – While some of this focus re: coconut oil and coconut is focused on the saturated fat aspect of the food, T. Colin Campbell has written extensively that we tend to get sidelined by these issues. His point is that the more important issue as regards diet and health is the consumption of animal protein. It is animal protein that jacks up our IGF-1 levels and pushes cancer growth. While saturated fat and heart disease are definitely issues of concern, he continues to caution us that the large amounts of animal protein is our larger focus. So while a burger may harbor a smaller amount of saturated fat than coconut or coconut oil, cancer begins to grow at animal consumption rates greater than 5% (China Study).




      5
      1. Exactly, I was going to comment that the animal protein, according to Dr. Campbell, is more of a concern, though I haven’t finished the China Study yet but did just read this quote “In some ways, however, it is this foolish mania regarding isolated aspects of fat consumption that teaches us the best lessons. Therefore, let’s look a little more closely at this story of fat as it has emerged during the past forty years. It illustrates why the public is so confused both abut diet and fat in general”…”With few exceptions, animal based foods contain considerably more fat than plant-based foods. The correlation between fat intake and animal protein is more than 90%. This means that fat intake increases in parallel with animal protein intake. In other words, dietary fat is an indicator of how much animal-based food is in the diet.”




        1
    4. Realistically, Americans eat meat in the form of a “Bubba Burger”, or grill up a burger that size…

      According to their Nutrition Label:
      1 Bubba Burger
      420 calories, 35g TOTAL FAT, and 15g SAT-FAT (WOW), with 110mg Cholesterol (nice), and you only get 15% IRON (not good).

      As opposed to a healthy option:
      Bob’s Red Mill – ORCA Beans, 1/4 cup
      170 calories, 1g TOTAL FAT (nice), 0g SAT-FAT (nice), Potassium 20%
      17g FIBER (AMAZING), and a whopping 25% IRON (LOVE IT!!), Folate 25%.

      Not to mention…. this is 170 calories vs 420 calories… so 60% more IRON than a Burger, with just 40% of the Calories of that Bubba burger….
      Or, one could say there is 1% IRON in just 6.8 Calories of ORCA beans,
      and there is only 1% IRON in every 28 calories of Bubba burger…

      Sorry, Weston Price disciples (and government hacks)…. You’re perpetuating an IRON myth!!!

      We Vegans should be asking YOU…. where do YOU get your IRON ;)




      5
    1. There are books on coconut oil and all it’s benefits everywhere , I have one in the bookcase somewhere , it cheese me off how can someone write about benefits of this oil , when the opposite is true?
      We quit using any oil about 3 years ago , so not a problem for us right now . Could someone be sued for knowingly spreading false info?




      5
    2. Consider adding ground flaxseed, ground chia seed and walnuts to your steel cut oatmeal along with blueberries, raspberries, banana and Ceylon cinnamon. I also add a few unsweetened coconut flakes because I live on the edge :)




      9
        1. What negative hype?

          Only negative aspect of ground flax is if you let it remain ground for too long it will oxidize more quickly. That’s why it’s best to buy flax seeds and grind them as you use them, or throw some in your smoothies.




          6
          1. I am assisting in a flax study at the moment and from what I can see, ground flax is good for about 3 months ground, and in the fridge of course…after that, better as food for the garbage can (or compost rather) :)




            1
        2. Tahoemnts – with all due respect, stop listening to ‘all the hype’ and look for fact and science based information on this site. There is so much here to look at and learn from science as we know it today. Start researching!




          4
    3. David, thanks for writing, but don’t feel bad. The companies that produce coconuts saw an economic opportunity, and they took advantage of the average American’s lack of nutrition knowledge. And our government did what it usually does, when the economic benefits of industry compete with the health of the American public: nothing. First there was coconut water, a good source of potassium for hydration, and we all said, “okay.” Coconut itself has been available (shredded) for years, so when coconut OIL was introduced, a lot of folks with the ‘natural means it’s good’ kind of mindset jumped on the bandwagon. It’s long past time to jump back off!




      0
    1. Hi David
      Think of oil as being processed crap. So take olive oil. All the good bits are thrown out and the oil is sold as gold. Replacement for coconut oil? What is it you are after?




      4
      1. Christina – you might like this idea: For corn on the cob I mash some avocado mixed with nutritional yeast. I spread this instead of butter on my summer corn on the cob. Add salt, pepper if desired. But also, if you want a Tex-Mex flavor squish fresh lime over it and some chipotle pepper mixture of any sort. SO good!! Have fun!




        1
  15. Coronary heart disease is inflammatory in etiology; blaming dietary fat on heart disease is like blaming sugar for diabetes. Phytolipids may be responsible for health problems, but ASHD is not one of them.

    In fact animal fat causes diabetes and insulin resistance (since animal lipids become endotoxins,) while sugar and processed grain (because they are inflammatory) cause heart disease. Weird, huh?




    1
    1. It’s not that SF causes heart disease all on its own, but it raises your LDL cholesterol levels which are directly linked to increased risk of heart attack.

      Of course there are other contributors, TMAO for example, which helps drive plaque into artery walls, and dietary cholesterol itself (which I know so many people still refuse to recognize).

      Grains, despite what William Davis is selling people on, does not cause plaque formation, and does not inherently cause heart disease. Populations that have lived on Starch-based diets generally have low rates of heart disease.

      Even if American stopped with the processed foods and crap (plant and meat based crap), and relied mainly on animal foods, they’d be so filled with atherosclerosis it would be more nightmarish than it currently is.

      In other words, an average human being can healthfully live 80-100 years on 100% Plant-foods, but would probably die at 40-60 years old eating 100% Animal Foods.

      And that’s why your average lay person can draw the conclusion that animal foods create disease, and plant foods prevent it.




      9
    2. Rick Bergles: It’s not so much weird as untrue–at least the part about grains and heart disease (while saturated fat has nothing to do with it). See my post to you below for the (lack of) evidence regarding grains and heart disease.




      10
  16. Oh dear. I’m a bit perplexed by this info. (Grateful to know, just confused!) There are WFBP experts advocating absolutely no added oils at all, and others advocating high fat (even animal) foods. Yes, they all recommend a high dose of plants, nuts, seeds, berries at the center… but what about the edges? Are all oils processed foods and therefore unhealthy? My daughter stopped getting her period on a diet of no added fats, and then – 10 quick days of eating plant-based fats, including coconut products – her hormones reset to normal, and do did her monthly cycle. Is coconut milk healthier if eaten with fiber? Or just whole coconut is okay – the milks, butters, oils are harmful regardless of other issues? Are the no added fat WFPB diet docs right – fat only comes from the food it’s in, like nuts and seeds? More specific info and a recommendation (like you were kind enough to do with brown rice) would be very welcomed!




    3
    1. Diana – all the questions you ask are answered, and more, in the videos Dr. G has already presented on this website. Go to the list of videos and start doing your homework. It’s all there. We each have to educate ourselves. The best place to start, IMO, is The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., then Caldwell Esselstyne, M.D. Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease. Take it from there . . . .




      4
      1. For sure, Jerrlyn. I’ve done homework for 10 years now… including the suggestions you made. And I did listen to the coconut oil series… perhaps I need to go through it again. Still a little confused overall about oils…




        1
        1. Diana – try reading Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Caldwell Esselstye, M.D. or youtube his lectures. He makes the oil issue explicitly clear in his book. If you’ve already read it, I hope you kept it to back and refer to it again. No one makes a more clear case than Dr. Esselstyne.




          4
    2. Diana – fat ONLY comes from the food its in. Olive oil comes from olives, Walnut oil comes from walnuts, Avocado oil comes from avocados. One cannot go out into nature and pick a can or jar of sesame oil. Sesame oil is extracted – just like all the other oils – from a source, in this case sesame seeds. All oil is a processed product extracted from a source. Fish oil is extracted from a fish. No oil is a whole food. Period. Just because you can put it in your mouth does not mean it is good for you. You can put poisonous mushrooms in your mouth too. Still not good for you. Beef fat (tallow) comes from beef. Lard comes from pigs.
      Campbell advocates calling it a WFPB diet because it specifically states that the diet is about whole foods and only whole foods. Oil is not whole – is a part of a whole food. And it wreaks havoc on your arteries as well as your waste line when you remove the fat from its WHOLE SOURCE. Eat an olive. Don’ tpour olive oil all over your food. It takes 44 olives to make 1Tbs of olive oil. Would you sit down and eat 44 olives at a time? Probably not because – as a friend of mine says – they are “too fattening” . . . despite the fact that he pours olive oil alll over his food.
      Think about it.




      7
      1. Thanks, Jack – totally fair, and I knew that… but also left myself a loophole, clearly! I may still allow myself a drizzle for this and that, and in a high fiber high nutrient diet, so be it. :) (Yes I could – but wouldn’t – eat 44 olives.) Always more to learn and lean into….




        2
        1. Wow, seems there are some high-horse here! You are correct in that there is still some work needing to be done, after all, whole food, plat-based diets have not been studied in isolation that often. Nutrition research is costly and often biased in all cases, I know I am, but I do keep an open mind. Great job following-up and looking out for your daughter, it’s inspiring to see moms caring so responsibly… my niece eats meat and just had a baby but what can I say to her? I worry and wish more in my family were like you!




          0
    3. Diana: re: “My daughter stopped getting her period on a diet of no added fats…” What I have read (in a book from Brenda Davis, RD who Dr. Greger has spoken highly of) is that women who do not get enough calories can have their periods stop. Of course, this is not a good thing.

      How does a child not get enough calories? It can be hard for children to get enough calories on the more bulky low fat whole plant foods. High fat foods are more calorie dense. So, it is easy to imagine that when your daughter started eating more calorie-dense foods, the health problems were fixed. It makes sense that growing humans might have to eat foods higher in fat compared to the adult population just to get enough calories. The point is: I’m not an expert, but it may not be the fat per say that is the issue, but getting enough calories. Eating whole plant foods, even those higher in fat, might make sense for someone in that position.

      The ideal would be to have those kids eat whole calorie dense foods (nuts, seeds, avocado for example) rather than highly processed foods like oils. (See videos on NutritionFacts on oils to see why.) This topic of children needing more calorie dense foods (so that they can meet their calorie needs) is covered very well in the following article from VRG (which Dr. Greger has also spoken well of in the past): http://www.vrg.org/nutshell/kids.php

      VRG has lots of good information regarding kids. Here is their family page: http://www.vrg.org/family/kidsindex.htm




      6
      1. Thanks, Jack – totally fair, and I knew that… but also left myself a loophole, clearly! I may still allow myself a drizzle for this and that, and in a high fiber high nutrient diet, so be it. :) (Yes I could – but wouldn’t – eat 44 olives.) Always more to learn and lean into….




        0
      2. Thank you, Thea – I will check that link, and I appreciate the share a lot. It resonates with me, and while she added plant fats to get herself back into a normal hormonal zone, I’ll use this information to steer her more away from fats, and into more high fat whole foods to increase her calorie intake. Thanks for helping me learn!




        4
      3. Diana: I left out: dried fruits are also good choices when one is trying to increase one’s calories. Raisins for example, have a calorie density of 1357 calories per pound. (http://skipthepie.org/fruits-and-fruit-juices/raisins-seedless/?weight=454 ) Compare this to fresh grapes which have a calorie density of only 313 calories per pound. (http://skipthepie.org/fruits-and-fruit-juices/grapes-red-or-green-european-type-such-as-thompson-seedless-raw/?weight=454 )

        Another bit I failed to mention is why calorie density matters so much. It has to do with what it takes for our bodies to signal when we are full. The biggest signals come when the belly physically fills up. If you eat bulky, low-calorie-dense foods, your belly will fill up and indicate you are full with relatively low calories compared to a belly that is filled up with high calorie dense foods. I can refer to you to some expert talks if you want to learn more about this concept. NutritionFacts covers this concept on the topic of losing weight, but you can apply the concept to gaining weight (or maintaining enough calories) as well. Here is where Dr. Greger talks about how to apply the concept to gaining weight: https://nutritionfacts.org/questions/what-is-a-healthy-way-to-gain-weight/




        4
        1. Great info, Thea. Thank you! She turned right around adding fats, and mostly in whole food items (nuts, coconut, avocados), but I hadn’t allowed for the damaging effects of oils (olive, coconut). It makes a lot of sense laid out like it is here, and I’m glad to know. It seems a little daunting to exclude oil altogether, but clearly it’s possible, just like giving up sugar and dairy once seemed for us. Thank you again for your time and feedback.




          1
          1. Diana: Best of luck to you and your whole family.

            In case it provides any help, I thought I would share that I found giving up oils to be the easiest change of all. For me, giving up meat, dairy and eggs was a lot harder. I still consume foods with oils when I eat out or eat dessert. However, in the end, not cooking with oil for everyday consumption proved to me to be pretty easy. There are a lot of work-arounds for the various applications where one would normally use oil. Lots of people here could give advice for specific cooking situations. If you end up wanting some tips, come back and see if this community can help you out. :-)




            2
    4. Hey Diana, thanks for writing. It’s understandable that you’d find this confusing. One way out of this mess is to look at your own health situation. If you’ve got a terrible disease and are overweight (think advanced heart failure) then a no-added-fat, plant-based diet sounds right. if you’re a normal weight tennis player looking to just eat healthy, and you burn 2,000 calories per day in exercise alone, then including some plant-based fat should be fine. In EITHER case, plant-based fats beat animal fats for many reasons: they include essential fatty acids, and they are anti-inflammatory in their effects, whereas animal fats are non-essential and pro-inflammatory. I hope this helps!




      0
  17. There is the saying that we tend to believe what we want to believe and it at least sometimes rings true. If we’re on the bandwagon of coconut oil being a health food and believe that we benefit from consuming it, it’s probably going to be harder to take seriously any evidence that it is not and that we probably do not.

    This merges off-topic a bit, but Dr. Gregor very often gets accused of cherry picking data to support his beliefs. As I see it, it is much more his critics (e.g. Paleo diet proponents) that are prone to cherry pick and base their advice on faulty assumptions. The idea of a plant-based diet bias seems to me to be akin to a non-smoking bias, which we of course know is ridiculous. My guess is that in time, we will know that the notion of a plant-based diet bias is just as ridiculous.




    12
    1. True, Scott. And I’ll admit I’m guilty of that at times.

      However, this should really be a simple concept boiled down to one or two questions …

      Do any animal foods prevent/reverse disease and are there long-terms large studies/trials that show it to be true? NO.

      Only plant foods (and plant based trials) have been shown to reverse diseases/disorders.

      So why would guys like William Davis, Mercola, Weston P. org continue to include and push meats as a “healthy” part of their diets?

      Why not just stop at demonizing the grains, but also recommend eat as-little-as-possible of animal foods?

      MONEY. No matter how you slice it, these people are smart enough to appeal to the “convenience” and low-information crowds. They know people are generally too lazy to go 90-100% plant foods. And they won’t sell books and make money, or get kickbacks from big industries. Plain and simple.




      13
      1. Dr. Mercola and others perform dietary compensations like intermittent fasting. It is fasting what keeps then thin not the oil. Fasting is hos tool to make his diet work




        2
    1. Dr. McDougall and others have said no oil is best. Get your dietary fat in moderation via eating whole food sources such as nuts and seeds.




      11
    2. If you cook at high temperatures, that would be peanut oil.

      But I think it is better to cook with low smoke oils as that forces you to cook at a lower temperature, which causes fewer unhealthy changes to the cooking oil.

      Better still, get an air oven or just use steam as you cooking medium. Oil is o.k. as a baste, if it is a healthy oil, but personally I just don’t like the idea of using it as a cooking adjunct… except for sauteeing onions.




      2
    3. Hey Nirmal, thanks for writing! My reading of the literature has led me to believe that extra virgin olive oil is healthiest. It contains more antioxidants (oleuropein, hydroxytyrosol) than other oils do; these have very potent health-promoting effects. Oleic acid, the main fat, is more easily oxidized for energy than saturated fat, which might help to explain a relatively lower incidence of obesity in those who eat Mediterranean diets. Few fats have stood the test of time; olive oil is one of the few that dates back centuries, with a track record of being associated with good health longer than any other fat I’m aware of.




      0
  18. Science does not work as it assumes what is best for everybody. First, there are many types and qualities of coconut oil. People that were put on a Mediterranean diet but with low quality ingredients, took a health dive. Quality made a difference. Second, one ingredient cannot by itself say much. The rest of the diet can compensate or make it even better. For someone that had a cup of daily X oil or high fat, then extra coconut oil is bad. But someone with near zero dietary fat, coconut oil is good but probably there could be better options. Third, there is no mention of amount. a tea spoon of coconut oil is OK but cooking with coconut oil is not. And lastly, the jury on what is best keeps changing almost daily. Most people are unhealthy because of an industrial and domesticated lifestyle. You cannot compare people living and walking on a beach all day long to people siting all day long and reading.




    0
    1. The preponderance of nutritional science evidence points to a plant-based diet as the most healthy diet for all human beings on the planet.

      Coconut OIL along with all other OILS are not health foods… they do not inherently reverse diseases/disorders. If you take an incredibly healthy vegan who consumes ZERO coconut sources, and you start giving him 100’s of calories per day in any-form coconut oil… you should expect his LDL levels to rise 20-30 points. You can do this same test with dietary Cholesterol. My friend and I (LDL 70-75) purposely started consuming 3oz of Shrimp every day. Well, that shouldn’t matter right, since “dietary cholesterol does not raise cholesterol”… wrong again… both of our levels went up in the 90’s in a matter of 4 months… may have been sooner, but we tested after 4 months.

      Uh, yes, you can compare people sitting vs people walking all day. Dr. Greger has uploaded a few studies that compared sedentary VEGANS to highly-athletic non-vegans, and the results are always the same… those who consume a plant-based Vegan diet, are MUCH healthier internally than your average meat-eating athlete. In other words, you cannot exercise your way out of Poor health.




      10
      1. CasperGomez – Remember Bob Harper, personal trainer/athlete of Biggest Loser fame. Big paleo advocate and eschewed WFPB diets for himself. This past February he was working out in a gym in New York and dropped dead of a widow maker heart attack. A physician in the gym saved his life. Otherwise he would have been a gonner. And even so, they had a hard time getting his heart restarted even with the paddles that the gym had. What is his diet now? His plan is to go completely vegetarian per his doctors orders. He is in process at the moment making changes – we all understand it takes time to adjust. But he clearly stated his paleo diet was the wrong diet for his health. And he was in great (exterior) shape!




        9
        1. Yup, I made sure to have a long discussion with my family about that. Thanks for the reminder.

          People have to understand that although genes do play a role, diet generally trumps genes regarding heart disease. So in his case, even if he was only eating a smaller percentage of animal foods compared to SAD, his genes may have exacerbated the issue. Plus, he admitted in 2015 to eating 2-3 EGGS a day for breakfast. So, he abandoned his vegan diet and a 4 years later took the hit. 4 years on Paleo, eggs, etc. is plenty of time to do damage.

          Also, a lot of people think intense exercise makes you healthy, when in fact it increases oxidative stress, muscle damage and inflammation.




          4
    2. Panchito – you clearly do not understand the basic tenents of the Scientific Method. Had you taken a basic college level science course you might understand how scientific research works. Science does not “assume what is best for everybody”. You are sadly mistaken and mis informed and maleducated on this particular topic.
      signed – A Scientist.




      7
      1. Sadly, your argument is parroquial to me. So, who is maleducated? You say I don’t understand but I have a college degree in science. Maybe you are the one that needs to take more classes and wake up.




        2
    3. That is why good studies try to control for a range of other variables and seek to study the effect of one factor only.

      In principle you are correct of course. However, too many people use this sort of reasoning to dismiss the evidence they don’t like and continue clinging to their beliefs that coconut oil or grass-fed beef or saturated fat or whatever must be healthy because, well, they just must. Wishful thinking and crossed fingers are no substitute for a careful and disciplined assessment of all the evidence..




      1
  19. I would have liked the video to concentrate more on MCTs rather than coconut oil as that horse has been overly beaten.

    MCTs I believe, has been mistakenly lumped by association with the coconut oil as being bad for us. I have stopped taking coconut oil as constituted by cold pressing (but I still utilize it externally) but continue consuming MCT oil on a daily basis.

    Still, I wouldn’t hesitate to use coconut oil for “pulling”… that is, swishing it around in your mouth like a mouthwash before spitting it out. The lauric acid (found in coconut oil but not in MCT oil so much) is good about working to protect a mouth from gum disease, it is said.

    There has been no sudden epiphany of good health when taking the MCT oil over the past few years, yet over time I do feel I have experienced improvements in both mental and physical aspects.

    To be accurate, I have done and continue to practice many other regimens that I’m sure have contributed to my improvement, so I can’t say what percent the MCT oil has helped but I’m pretty sure it is significant.

    This is not to say I advocate the use of MCT oil by others… unless maybe you are interested in manufacturing more ketone bodies internally. And that shouldn’t be done without first doing extensive research so you are comfortable going that route.




    1
    1. Added to the above…

      I think the video should have also addressed to what degree coconut meat is a resistant starch. I have taken coconut flakes and eaten them for the purpose of being a resistant starch that contributes to gut health.

      I would like for this probable benefit of the coconut to have been addressed more in depth.




      0
        1. Jerrlyn,

          I’m just thinking this one which has 7 grams of Dietary Fiber must surely have some resistant starch in there somewhere. Not as good as Inuin to be sure, but for those who MUST have variety in their diet, this could offer a way to enjoy a way of eating that may or may not have both good and bad traits.




          1
    1. Hey Robert, thanks for writing! No, the coconut water SEEMS to be fine – I haven’t seen any data on toxins in it that would cause a problem, and it doesn’t have any fat like coconut milk does.




      0
  20. I am so sad. The last treat was a cup of coffee with coconut cream.

    No we have no sugar, we cook with no fats…..which let’s face it is not as nice……and now our coconut milk has gone west too.

    No cake, no cookies, no yummy coconut cream in pumpkin soup, no fluffy white rolls, no pastries, no ice cream…….

    Sad sad sad ………..




    3
    1. Continue with your one vice. It is my guess that you will only shorten your life by a range of 1 to 12 days, depending on what age you are right now. Live a little. ‘-)




      2
      1. Age 58…..

        Ethical vegans 20 odd years, vegetarian before that. Plant based since watching forks over knives 4 years ago (not heard of it before that, we ate anything that fitted our ethics). Lean and fit for our ages, marathon runners, martial arts……




        2
        1. I don’t think a little coconut cream is going to hurt you… at least not as much as the marathon running.

          I’m a 69 year and 40 month old who putters around the house and acreage… seldom get out of a fast walk. I’m willing to do a Tontine with you, even spotting you the age difference. ‘-)




          1
    2. Kit – I don’t think anyone is holding a gun to your head. This site is about education and choice. Make your choice and then try to find a way to enjoy your life.




      2
    3. Kit: Perhaps a change of outlook will make you feel a bit more happy? Consider: There is a big difference between having a treat and what makes up your everyday foods. I still eat desserts. I just try not to make them everyday foods. Thus, I have no reason to be sad. It’s not a diet of deprivation. It’s a science-based diet with treats (cookies, cake, coconut cream, etc) now and then. By not having them every day, I appreciate them even more. Fun!

      (Just an idea to share with you.)




      8
    4. There are lots of good recipes for creamy soups, pastries and other goodies on the internet. You just have to find the right food blogger. Google something like fat free vegan pastry recipes or creamy fat free vegan soups. I can’t promise fluffy white rolls, but after awhile you lose your taste for things like that.




      0
  21. What about the anti-inflammatory role of cocconut?
    Raising HDL-C by drugs including niacin failed to reduce CVD events; but that doesn’t
    mean that raising HDL-C by natural means as low CHO diet, exercise, diet as cocconut will not be associated with lower CVD events. We truly need a proof that the net outcome of the coconut effects on HDL-C & LDL-C is harmful!




    2
    1. I rather think that it is up the coconut oil advocates to demonstrate it is safe.

      There is some evidence from animal studies that raising HDL cholesterol levels via high fat consumption damages the cardioprotective functionality of HDL.
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28683964

      This Medscape commentary is also worth reading, given all the hype we see about the HDL raising effects of low carb/high fat diets.
      http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/883570?src=wnl_edit_tpal&uac=129079FG




      1
    2. Hey Nasrulla, thanks for writing. You make some good points. We’d need a controlled clinical trial, funded by a source other than the Coconuts Foods Council (or whatever their promotion people call themselves!) to get a better idea of whether to suggest people include coconut in their diets or not. But I am not familar with an anti-inflammatory role for coconut – other than the fact that it raises HDL, which itself has anti-inflammatory effects. I haven’t seen any studies revealing an effect on C-reactive protein, TNF-a, IL-1, IL-6, etc. that would allow us to label coconut as antiinflammatory. I still think that eating coconut in small amounts in its natural state would probably be okay (I doubt we’d absorb much of its fat due to the fiber content). I think it’s pretty clear that coconut OIL is the problematic component.




      0
  22. Thanks Dr. Greger. The information makes things clear. Eat coconut in it’s wholefood form. Could I please ask for your opinion on oil pulling with cocnut oil for oral health? Will this negatively effect a person’s health since people who oil pull do so for years and years?




    0
    1. As one of the moderators for NutritionFacts.org, I wanted to respond to your question on oil pulling with coconut oil for oral health. I’m assuming that when the practice of swishing oil in the mouth, then spitting out involves no or minimal ingestion of the oil (Because I am not familiar with this practice, the logical questions for me are: Do you rinse your mouth afterwards and/or do you sense that you are swallowing any oil?) If so then you now know ingestion of coconut oil is not healthy, especially daily.
      Since this site focuses more on nutrition than dental health, I would refer you to an article which discusses the potential effect of oil pulling on dental health: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27261981
      Effect of oil pulling in promoting oro dental hygiene: A systematic review of randomized clinical trials.
      This study concludes that more research, with larger studies are needed to make it a recommended practice. Still if one has done oil pulling for “years and years” and wants to continue, if no oil is swallowed, it does not appear to be a particularly harmful practice. Again the science at this point says Minimal or questionable benefit of oral oil swishing and definite harm if it includes swallowing oil. I hope for you in evaluating the practice




      5
  23. So, what about all the types of coconut that are so popular today in “health food” items like: coconut yogurt, coconut based non-dairy ice creams, coconut milk (not the type used in South Asia, S’pore etc)? Since soy products got negative press, we are seeing the proliferation of health food product companies adding more & more coconut-based products. In my local Whole Foods Market, they now have only 1 soy ice cream and only 2 flavors: chocolate & vanilla — but they have shelves & shelves of coconut-based frozen desserts. What’s the story on the health impact of these coconut-based products?




    0
    1. Hey Sophie, thanks for writing! I think you know the answer to this question already – these are NOT health foods, they’re simply alternatives to dairy products, for vegans who don’t want to be exposed to cow’s milk for both ethical and health reasons. They can still raise cholesterol levels because they are high in saturated fat. Soy is getting less negative press nowadays because we have good evidence that soy products can lower the risk for many cancers, lower cholesterol, increase bone density, and do other helpful things.




      0
    1. You asked about application of coconut oil topically. Feel free to go for it, Betty! (Check out this study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15724344
      A randomized double-blind controlled trial comparing extra virgin coconut oil with mineral oil as a moisturizer for mild to moderate xerosis. It’s the INGESTION of coconut oil which is of health concern. Hope that’s reassuring information for you and keep reading/watching NutritionFacts. org. for clarifications like this.




      3
  24. The next thing you’ll say is sugar and vegetable oil is good for you. I use coconut oil and MCT oil everyday my blood work is outstanding. HDL 95, triglycerides 55…LDL are large fluffy particles. High LDL take a statin so your doctor can get a kickback from the drug company. Who determined what number is high cholesterol? What is your evidence that CVD is caused by good fats. To many people eat processed foods in a bag or box made with sugars and vegetable oils. Coconut and MCT oil are the least of their problems. MCT’s produce ketones a much cleaner fuel for the brain and body then glucose. If eating all this fructose and grains touted by Doctors and the government is so great, how come there is so much metabolic syndrome in this country. Sugar and vegetable oils are destroying people, oxidizing, creating inflammation and a cancer environment. I’ll stick to a ketogenic diet which includes coconut oil and MCT oil!




    1
    1. Ed: you wrote, “Who determined what number is high cholesterol?” It’s not a “who”. The data showed us what numbers of high cholesterol indicate heart disease. Here is just SOME of the evidence, shared with us by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM):

      “In 1948, William Castelli, M.D., began to monitor the population of Framingham, Mass., to study what factors influenced the rate of heart disease.4 Castelli’s study showed that a cholesterol level exists, below where coronary artery disease does not occur. Framingham data show that only patients with cholesterol levels of less than 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl) achieve the lowest coronary artery disease risk. In the first 50 years of the Framingham Heart Study, only five subjects with cholesterol levels of less than 150 mg/dl developed coronary artery disease. Rural residents in Asia, Africa, and Latin America typically have total cholesterol levels of about 125-140 mg/dl.4” from: http://www.pcrm.org/health/health-topics/cholesterol-and-heart-disease

      In other words, we have studies going back decades which show the same thing from various angles: human-normal levels of LDL (70 or lower) is strongly protective against heart disease. You create a strawman argument when you bring up sugar and vegetable oils. No one here says sugar and oils are healthy. The point is that sugar and oil do not cause heart disease or cancer. The data is very clear on that. Plant Positive has a series of videos titled “Anything But LDL”. The series is very enlightening, giving a relatively deep dive into the science on this topic. The videos will help you understand the data about LDL, including the data on the topic of inflammation that you won’t want to miss. http://plantpositive.squarespace.com/blog/2012/3/26/tpns-43-45-anything-but-ldl.html (Note that there are 3 videos on that page. You won’t want to miss the bottom two.)

      —————
      I don’t think you shared your LDL number. All you noted is that your LDL number is large and fluffy. Sadly, large and fluffy doesn’t really matter. Here’s a NutritionFacts video which shows the actual data on the topic of large and fluffy LDL: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/does-cholesterol-size-matter/ NutritionFacts videos include references for the actual studies. You can look it up yourself.




      11
      1. How do you know sugar and vegetable oil don’t contribute to CVD and cancer and other neurological disorders? The problem arises when people use coconut oil and continue to eat a high grain and a sugar toxic diet. I have absolutely no brain fog and feel great . People tend to eat to many petro chemical tainted processed foods and CAFO products. If your information is so spot on then Why does metabolic syndrome continue to grow to epedemic proportions. Just as many people die with low cholesterol as die with high cholesterol. LDL is the least important number unless you’re looking at 300 plus…then one should get a CT heart scan before taking a statin. Typically HDL and Triglycerides will tell the story…the real problem fat in the blood. (Triglycerides) people with low LDL are more susceptible to Dementia,Alzheimer’s, And all other neurological disorders. If you’re happy with low LDL a protein then I’m happy for you.




        0
        1. Ed: You wrote, “How do you know…” I appreciate someone who wants facts. Thus, starting with “How do you know…” is a generally reasonable question and generally a good approach to learning. However, I already answered that question for you. I gave you resources to learn about the science on this topic. You give me back a set of strawmen arguments and a set of claims which you fail to support–all while ignoring the strong evidence I supplied for you. So, I turn it back on you: how do you know? Where is the mountain of evidence (ie: studies) supporting your claims?

          You can make whatever claims you want, that doesn’t make it true. For example, it is false to claim that people with low LDL are more susceptible to Dementia/Alzheimer’s. This is where you need to understand the concept that association does not equal causation. You would also need to understand the concept of reverse causation to see where your claim goes wrong. See my posts to Rick who tried to make the same claim. If you follow those links, you can learn about why it doesn’t make sense to link low cholesterol to an increased risk for dementia/Alzheimer’s. Plant Positive goes into the topic with good details and solid studies.

          —————-
          To anyone reading this: On another NutritionFacts page, I just answered someone else’s question about the claim linking sugar (especially fruit) to cancer. If you are interested in the evidence around that topic, you can check out the post here: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/uprooting-the-leading-causes-of-death/#comment-334572




          8
          1. Eat some fruit or wheat bread take your glucose level……spikes higher then a snickers candy bar. Now eat some coconut oil or a tablespoon of MCT oil……no spike. Are you saying constantly spiking insulin levels is good for you? Just a small real life experiment. Suggest you read the latest science on sugar and grains versus good fats, I listed some of the authors below. I believe you will at the very least have food for thought about the real causes of CVD and what creates a cancer environment.




            2
            1. Ed: I saw your post. I already researched the people you listed long ago. They are con artists. I don’t know all of them, but many of them make a LOT of money off of telling people false information. I could provide evidence that would help you understand that those people are conning you, but you haven’t looked at any of the evidence I provided so far… As for looking at the “latest science”, that’s what I have been trying to show you.

              I will go ahead and directly address your latest point. You seem to be under a lot of misinformation about insulin as well as the other topics we have covered. The following article does a good job of dispelling myths about insulin: http://weightology.net/weightologyweekly/index.php/free-content/free-content/volume-1-issue-7-insulin-and-thinking-better/insulin-an-undeserved-bad-reputation/ Plant Positive covers the topic of insulin resistance in great detail. Since you see the topic of insulin as being important, these videos are worth a look: http://plantpositive.squarespace.com/display/Search?searchQuery=insulin+resistant&moduleId=19496100&moduleFilter=&categoryFilter=&startAt=0




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              1. Thea: Thankyou for all your replies…I’m sure those Doctors would not appreciate being called con men. Each person responds differently to different diets. We are each responsible for are own health. I am not against a plant base diet and I eat a ton of vegetables and organic salads. However, I do eat some grass fed beef and free range organic chicken and eggs, along with organic bacon,sausage extra virgin olive oil, organic olives, a variety of nuts, MCT oil, organic coconut oil, avocados. I eat very little to no sugar or grains. I workout at least an hour and a half every day. I am 67 Yo with plenty of energy no drugs inflammation free. My lipid panel has done nothing but improve since starting this diet 3 years ago. I do not consider Dr David Pearlmutter, Dr Joseph Mercola, Dr Cate Shannihan, researchers Zoe Harbough, Nina tiechoz con men. I am lean and muscular retired 30 year firefighter. If eating the diet you’re on gives you a great lipid panel then I’m happy for you. How high is your HDL, how low are your triglycerides? I think it’s hard to achieve good HDL and triglyceride levels without good fats,at least it was for me. Prior to eating this way I had inflammation in my knees and shoulders. After I went gluten free and quit eating sugar and grains the inflammation gradually disappeared. Approximately two years later I was pain free. Wishing you the best in health..I will agree to disagree at this time and understand that studies seem to be twisted to benefit a point of view.




                2
                1. All those people you listed ( Dr David Pearlmutter, Dr Joseph Mercola, Dr Cate Shannihan, researchers Zoe Harbough, Nina tiechoz con men) may not be “con men” per se, but all of them have a vested interested in their message in order to peddle products and/or books in order to generate revenue streams. Dr. G doesn’t make any money running this website, as it is a non-profit, and he isn’t trying to sell anything. Now ask yourself who has a great financial interest in selling his or her message to the gullible masses who want an “ok” to continue eating meat and high fat products?




                  9
    1. Debra: To my knowledge, both almond and soy milk would be consistent with Dr. Greger’s recommendations. You might also check out oat milk. It has a very rich taste that I think works well in some applications.

      Sharing: I’ve been experimenting lately with water in place of plant milks in *some* recipes. Sometimes water doesn’t work–the richness of plant milks being needed. Other times, however, using water makes no difference to the outcome of the recipe. In that case, I save myself some money and a few calories and just use water.




      3
    2. Hey Deb, I personally recommend soy. After reviewing the scientific literature thoroughly and interviewing a number of scientists who did work on soy and cancer risk, I think it’s the best sub for cow’s milk that we’ll ever find.




      1
  25. the fact :coconut oil is lowering inflamation
    One can keep the low fat intake even if eating a little coconut oil. (fasting can also be a good tool)




    1
  26. This may be an ignorant question, but are there any risks in using coconut oil to treat dry skin, or for use when applying essential oils on the skin?




    0
    1. Hey Peggy, thanks for writing! ANY fat that acts as a moisture barrier (seals moisture in the skin) and that doesn’t cause an allergic dermatologic reaction would probably be good for treating dry skin.




      0
  27. There are many studies and books that find discrepancies in all the studies from Keys to Framingham. 200 LDL is a arbitrary number taken from a small group of people some of whom are on statins. For every group that says don’t eat coconut oil, there is a book or group of scientists that taut the benifits of coconut oil and MCTs for a variety of reasons. These doctors and scientist have nothing to gain monetarily. Pearlmutter, Mercola, Shannihan, tiechoz,Lustig, Taubes, Davis, Hyman Friedman,etc




    1
    1. Uh, are you kidding me? I just posted a similar reply above. Taubes sells his books, Mercola has a huge web based empire selling all sorts of goods such as supplements and food products. Etc, etc.




      6
  28. Although I am a great supporter of Dr. Greger’s important service in promoting the best diet for human health – plant based whole foods, I respectfully disagree with the conclusion on coconut oil and milk. Though I would love to write a review on coconut and health but my other commitments are preventing that at present. I spent many months back in 2002 trying to figure out what oils were truly good for cooking when faced with my husband’s high cholesterol levels and early stage insulin resistance. The scientific literature is a minefield and as Dr. Greger is fully aware, often conclusions of papers are influenced by the funding source. It makes it hard for anyone to figure out what is truly good and what is not. From the big pile of scientific papers I read – I mean, really scrutinized the methodology – the conclusion was natural coconut oil was beneficial. Most of the studies that reported undesirable effects of coconut oil had used hydrogenated coconut oil which is very different to the natural form. Early studies, particularly before 1990s when commercial interests started heavily influencing scientific papers were largely finding beneficial effects. This aligned with my knowledge about my native population back in Sri Lanka (I am an Australian) – the oldies who were on a largely plant based whole food diet with LARGE amounts of coconut – as milk, whole scrapped coconut and oil were healthy. My grandparents in rural Sri Lanka lived to 90s and 80’s in good health and that was very common for that age group (who had next to no medical intervention) if they had survived tropical infectious diseases, accidents, childbirth etc. And I found amazing data when I analysed population data – that healthy population becoming unhealthy when Western dietary influences were pushed on them post introduction of a free market in 1977. One thing that happened was people replacing coconut oil with imported “healthy” vegetable oils (I was very much in that group too). I discovered that eminent researchers such as Prof. Hans Kaunitz, M.D. Clinical Professor of Pathology Columbia University promoted coconut oil consumption based on population data. Prof. Kaunitz in fact recommended the diet of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) to the Westerners way back in the ’70s. So, I completely changed my family diet, embracing a mostly traditional Sri Lankan diet and this helped my husband with normalising his concerning metabolic parameters. I have no commercial interests but a desire to help people protect their health. Please see the raw data in my graphs listed in the Photos of my facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/pri.bandara/ NOTE: What we consume these days as commercial coconut milk and oil may contain undesirable additives, chemical impurities as by products of processing. I go through much trouble to find decent quality fresh coconuts but I have to depend on commercial coconut oils. I don’t recommend a high fat diet.




    3
    1. Thank you Dr. Bandara!

      Prevailing “wisdom” among posters here is to march lock-step with Dr. Greger, whom I greatly respect. But reasonable people can differ. Hero worship does not bring us any closer to good health. But thoughtful contributions such as your own DO!




      1
      1. Jerry, that statement about your 2 relatives who are vegan shows that most people like you don’t understand how heart disease happens, and what the diet needs to be to not have heart disease. For example, if you look at most Vegan packaged foods you will see lots of oil. Exp. 2, most vegan burgers are made with lots of oil. Oil is a cause of heart disease, even Olive Oil, and as this article indicates, Coconut Oil. This can be seen in tests performed on arteries and veins when consuming oil, and other foods bad for arteries and veins. They become stiff and damaged from certain foods.

        Therefore Jerry, Vegan alone will not heal or reduce a person heart disease. But someone who follows a plant based no oil no avocado no nut diet with no added sugars will eliminate chance of heart disease. However, heart problems can still happen with the best diet if there are other issues like heart arrhythmias, etc.




        4
      2. Sophie, Frying with any oil would not be heart healthy. Nutritionist, and heart health through diet doctors would recommend cooking with Water, Veggie Broth, Vinegars, etc. Many foods have natural juices, like Onions, can cook directly in the pan etc.




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    1. Ekaterina,

      I consider canola oil as best for frying since it has high smoke point and it’s also high in omega-3.

      Hope this helps,

      Adam P.




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  29. I like to sprinkle coconut flakes in my oatmeal, and sometimes I go the extra mile and pour a lil coconut milk on top. This video has provided me some awareness that can go a long way for my health.




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    1. Hello Lauralina,
      Thank you for your question. I am a family doctor with a private practice in lifestyle medicine, and also a volunteer moderator for this website. I just looked up the article you cited. You say it shows “that a low cholesterol level does not reduce mortality”. But it depends on HOW you reduce the cholesterol. They looked at randomized controlled trials which replaced saturated fat in the diet with linoleic acid “from corn oil and corn oil polyunsaturated margarine” — quote is from the Full Text article: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4836695/

      It is important to understand what linoleic acid is. It is an omega-6 fatty acid, found in plant oils. It is interesting that Americans’ top 4 sources of linoleic acid, based on the percent contribution to total intake, are: chicken, grain-based desserts, potato chips, and pizza. This is from NHANES data, from 2005-2006: https://epi.grants.cancer.gov/diet/foodsources/fatty_acids/table3.html

      High intake of linoleic acid is not good for you; it’s important to have a good ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids. So, they replaced one bad dietary component (saturated fat) with another bad type of oil.

      If you look at the writings of people like Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn or Dr. Joel Fuhrman, they emphasize that to reverse coronary artery disease, it is important to avoid ALL oils, but especially saturated fats.

      I hope this helps.
      Dr. Jon
      PhysicianAssistedWellness.com
      Volunteer moderator for NutritionFacts.org




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  30. Thank you Dr Gregor and team for finally putting this out. I know I asked for it awhile back. So many students of our #VeganCookingSchool look at me like I am crazy when I tell them coconut oil is bad for you. Now we simply have to show them the video. We have focused so heavily on coming up with alternative solutions and have dropped coconut oil use by 70% at http://www.VeganGastronomy.com. As I have asked before – would be great to have you as a student at our school some time in the future.




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  31. Yes, Dr. Greger we are asked countless times during our teachings when we discuss the deleterious effects of all oils-including “healthy” coconut oil and “healthy” olive oil. Your 3 part video series is extremely timely with recent worldwide coverage of coconut oil. So much misinformation confuses our students, especially when they shop at “health” food or “bio” shops worldwide and routinely find coconut oils on the shelves. The consumers are confused at best and at worst duped by hyped marketing claims of manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, even so-called “healthy” and many plant based cooking schools’ curricula are chock full of coconut oil, especially in the “Raw” community. I am continually shocked by unwarranted fears of soy whilst people routinely consume coconut oils in vast quantities. We are committed to lowering, with intent to eliminate coconut oil in our school at Vegan Gastronomy Culinary Academy. Cheers! And Thanks for inspiring us to Eat the Rainbow of Fruits & Veggies!




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  32. This video is based upon a scientific belief that is old, inaccurate and that has been misleading the entire country, hence obesity. LDL cholesterol is not bad. It is associated with heart disease yes but that is because when your arteries are being damaged by high amounts of blood sugar your body produces this cholesterol to heal the walls and lining of the arteries.
    This guy whoever he is only references badly done studies but provides no studies to back up what he says.
    If you want a video that is packed with credible studies from a wide variety of reputable sources, watch this: https://youtu.be/3vr-c8GeT34




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  33. What about coconut water from fresh, young coconuts? I was under the impression that coconut water is very different from mature, hard-flaked coconut. That coconut water is low fat and filled with electrolytes and an ideal drink to fill up on after a hard workout. Is this true or false?




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    1. Hey Kay, thanks for writing! Yes, coconut WATER is high in potassium, and thereby makes a good after-workout drink. (But don’t practice ageism by comparing those fresh young coconuts to the older, mature ones! Remember the older coconuts have wisdom and experience to offer…)




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  34. The saturated Fats from Coconut oil (stripped of fibre & other nutrients from whole coconut) impairs Endothelial cells & causes blood flow to sludge significantly.

    I am curious what about poly & mono fats from plant sources ie: Avocado, Nuts & Seeds, Tofu & Durians. Do they when eaten in whole forms cause the same blood sludging & constructed Arteries?




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    1. Hey Eric, thanks for writing! The data in this area is mixed, with some studies showing a benefit for plant fats on endothelial function and others not showing the same benefits. Plant fast SHOULD be better, because the polyunsaturated fats in these foods are converted to chemicals called prostaglandins (e.g., PGE1) that reduce inflammation and help dilate blood vessels, which is one reason these are associated with better cardiovascular health. Monounsaturated fats should be better because they have antioxidants that help dilate blood vessels and they’re more easily burned for energy.




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  35. Thank you Dr. Greger for these videos! The American Heart Association has recently re-emphasized its recommendation that people minimize their intake of saturated fat, including saturated fat from coconut oil. The Vegetarian Resource Board and Vegan Outreach also recommend that people avoid coconut oil. I find it discouraging to see those huge tubs of coconut oil at the health food store.




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  36. Hello,
    Would be interesting to hear Dr. Greger’s view on this study that has been just published yesterday:
    Long-Term, Supplemental, One-Carbon Metabolism–Related Vitamin B Use in Relation to Lung Cancer Risk in the Vitamins and Lifestyle (VITAL) Cohort
    http://ascopubs.org/doi/full/10.1200/JCO.2017.72.7735
    Where daily supplementation with Vitamin B12 ( > 55 ug/day) has been correlated with increased lung cancer risk, particularly in men.
    It has not been adjusted to diet.. but still interesting (or worryingly considering the daily recommendations of 250 ug!).
    Thanks!




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  37. Hello Dr Greger, all,

    Thank you for another video. I have two observations:

    1) coconut oil is largely composed of MCTs (6-12C), approx 60%. However, dedicated MCT oils tend to use the smaller chain lengths, hence you rightly state MCT findings cannot be extrapolated to coconut oil. Interestingly, I found this article which stated the following:

    “However, lauric acid has a higher propensity to be absorbed via the lymphatic system than other MCTs and be treated as a long-chain saturated fatty acid.[6] Coconut oil does not result in the same blood ketone response observed with other medium-chain triglycerides”

    References 6 & 7 here: https://examine.com/supplements/coconut-oil/

    Which could partly explain why.

    2) coconut milk may or may not impair artery function, as it’s not possible to conclude from that study you highlighted. See this study for example that shows coconut milk lowering LDL and raising HDL:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24282632
    Granted, it’s a study based in Sri Lanka (known for exporting coconuts) but doesn’t necessarily mean it’s biased/inaccurate. I’d like to see other studies, with better designs than the one highlighted in this video, before I conclude.




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  38. Thank you for your thoughtful post Kas. Most contributors here seem to begin with a conclusion, then jump into the internet ocean to find support for it.

    People see only what they choose to see!




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      1. Thanks for your question.

        One “should not treat it any differently than regular sugar. It provides just as many calories and carbohydrates as regular sugar: about 15 calories and 4 grams of carbohydrate per teaspoon.” – ADA

        Hope this answer helps.




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  39. Now Im totally confused, a great believer in all that Dr Greger keeps us informed about, but I also subscribe to Dr Mercola, a contemporary and friend of Dr Gregor who also does and presents so much research advocates using good fats especially coconut oil , saturated fat being villified to promote toxic oils like canola and soy etc — who does one believe I value both their opinions – would love to hear a response

    http://articles.mercola.com/health-benefits-coconut-oil.aspx




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    1. yes. I am confused too. I think the best way is we just have all kinds of food once a while, do not focus on one though. again per Dr Ray peat, veggie is toxic too due to planting environment, protein is best from dairy and grass-fed animal meat, salmon is full of PUSF is not good, may cod and other fish without unsaturated oil is better choice.




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  40. I agree with you Kai – Im in my 60’s and life has got too complicated because every thing we eat has been modified, sprayed and nothing like what my parents grew in the garden and our chickens were fed naturally as God intended – its no wonder we are all sick in some way. Like yourself Iave read Dr Ray Peat he is an excellent researcher and cuts to the heart of the information. Wishing you luck on your health journey




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  41. For anyone wanting to get to the heart of how our very complex human body works – I just came across one of the best researchers who explains simply how every thing we eat and how our body utilises it – worth a browse

    https://books.google.com.au/books?id=v6fuDQAAQBAJ&pg=PA62&lpg=PA62&dq=does+the+collagen+in+gelatin+bind+to+lectins+in+plants&source=bl&ots=sT6YGtNxkY&sig=RDZeRaBQK163ppGOGba9RhUG_Hg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiCnqvB7fTVAhWIqJQKHYWCCJoQ6AEIZDAJ#v=onepage&q=does%20the%20collagen%20in%20gelatin%20bind%20to%20lectins%20in%20plants&f=true




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  42. So I just want to make sure I have this correct, now that I’ve switched from using safflower oil, olive oil and every other kind of oil and just using exclusively coconut oil for cooking things… This is now bad too? Also we’ve been using coconut/almond blend milk. Thoughts?




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  43. You are correct, George, that ANY oil, even your favorite, coconut oil is NOT healthy for you, as Dr. Greger explained. It is not NOW bad for us. It’s always been, but the marketing for this particular oil was effective in hiding the fact that it is still an oil, highly processed and full of fat. Don’t despair, though. You can saute quite well using vegetable broth, onions and in some cases just water. I was dubious too, but find these substitutes work quite satisfactorily without the added fat and calories of oil. As far as coconut/almond blend milk. Compare the fat content of soy, almond and your blend. You may want to switch! Again, it may take some getting used to, but we can train our taste buds. Check this out for motivation to make a switch: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/is-coconut-milk-good-for-you/




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    1. Amy, you asked about a commercial touting a product. There are too many appealing but unfounded such “studies” out there to respond to each one. Of course Dr.Greger focuses on true well-designed studies appearing in reputable journals. Look for the sources and if this supposed research has been replicated. A obviously professional video involving some scare tactics with minimal and shaky references and ending with a plea to purchase makes for a very unconvincing argument. Consider all the red flags and trust your instincts on this one!




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  44. It is simply crazy to me the lengths people will go in efforts to justify their bad habits. Oil is not a whole food… period. If you dont believe me please take a whole coconut and put it on a frying pan and see what happens.

    As humans we are a bit foolish at times when we cannot make sense of the information provided to us.

    Chicken has about 17-20% saturated fat, red meat might reach 25%, and coconut oil is 93-95%. Clearly the Neu5gc component of animal protein is causing the inflammation in our arterial walls and is why people are given statins to thin blood when they are eating their conventional meat based diet… but I guess I dont understand why we always have to use a processed food… go research it folks, coconut oil and how it is manufactured is a pretty nasty process. I find it amusing that people can believe so many marketing labels instead of digging into the data like Dr Greger has and find out truly what is happening.

    I think when Dr Greger said in some other video – Coca Cola is 97% water and water is good for you – so lets drink coke…. was funny but was inversely saying the same thing to all us… Coconut oil has very small amount that is good – the balance is simply bad for our bodies.

    Move on people – so much more to discover.

    And as founder of the world’s leading #vegancookingschool I truly recommend all of you research Shea Nuts if you want a saturated fat that is healthy. Doesnt taste very good… but one that eats it has had heart disease… learn from what works.

    And lastly – I went to the 1st World Health Nutrition Congress in Reus Spain several years ago and it was interesting to note that all of the leading nutritionist of the world said… dont eat oil, eat the food it comes from.




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    1. Thanks for your question Lenka.

      I found one website that gives the nutritional breakdown of coconut meat (see here), but it’s still high in saturated fat and therefore I would not advise it.

      In regards to coconut water, one review published some data on the use of coconut water but I find the results still weak (see here). Therefore, coconut water is a great tasting beverage and it can help hydration but in regards to health properties, further research is required from higher quality evidence.

      Hope this answer helps.




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  45. Wow, here’s an interesting topic to pursue in a later video: right at the end of this video, in the Journal of American Cardiology list, antioxidant supplements were listed as “avoid”. That hidden item seems counter-intuitive to me. Interesting.




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  46. And you thought focussing on whole food plant based foods was enough to keep you in the healthiest corner… With Dr Campbell getting angry for people focussing on compound names likes unsaturated fats instead reading it like the foods they come from “animal foods”.

    One would be inclined to get a newfound respect for Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn and his total fat ban, no nuts and advocados.

    So yes, some plant based whole foods can be bad for you. But they are rare, coconut and cacao mass also known as cacao liquor are two prominent exeptions.

    They are bad for two reasons, firstly they have loads of fat and secondly, most of this fat is saturated. Its not that fats are bad for you but they will be if you eat to much. Besides a handfull of nuts and the fats from plant leaves your body doesnt need alot more of it.

    Also saturated fat is bad even coming from whole coconuts or cacao mass.

    These two foods are exeptional, while cashews also have lots of fats, they have 3 times less saturated fat then cacao mass.

    So nuts are not that bad after all, and if your bloodwork is fine and your blood pressure, your white bloodcell count and cholesterol level too. Go ahead and make yourself a little treat.

    But if you have room for improvement, making all those no oil vegan nut based brownies might and coconut cookies might not be the best idea.

    As for coconut OIL, not even a whole food to begin with, it should have been a no brainer.




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  47. What about C8 (caprylic acid) by itself, are there any studies? I use it to help me get into a mild ketotic state. This is also a tactic used by the navy seals and marathon/ triathletes. The use of ketones has been used in studies and produced to reverse Alzheimer’s by dr veech. Veech is a Krebs cycle expert and worked under Krebs. So is there any study on caprylic acid ALONE and its effects on cholesterol?




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  48. Thanks for your question.

    One review suggests that:

    “The traditional use of coconut oil as a lotion in many parts of the world is well founded. Coconut oil was shown to have antiseptic effects and is used as an efficient, safe skin moisturizer[33]. Monolaurin has statistically significant in vitro broad-spectrum sensitivity against gram-positive and gram-negative bacterial isolates from superficial skin infections[34]. Virgin coconut oil and monolaurin have been suggested for proactive treatment of atopic dermatitis colonization due to their in vitro broad-spectrum activity against S. aureus[35]. Its selective antibacterial effects[20] make it useful for topical applications.”

    Another study found that:

    “Among three oils, coconut oil was the only oil found to reduce the protein loss remarkably for both undamaged and damaged hair when used as a pre-wash and post-wash grooming product. Both sunflower and mineral oils do not help at all in reducing the protein loss from hair. This difference in results could arise from the composition of each of these oils. Coconut oil, being a triglyceride of lauric acid (principal fatty acid), has a high affinity for hair proteins and, because of its low molecular weight and straight linear chain, is able to penetrate inside the hair shaft.”

    Hope this answer helps.




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  49. I was wondering where you found the table 1 that is shown in the video? I read the article in the JACC but couldn’t find the table, would like to see it in full. Thanks.




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  50. Hello! I would love some extra wisdom on this subject: I just switched to a plant based lifestyle a few months ago, and I’ve always loved adding cream/milk to my tea. And I had been adding coconut milk recently because it was the creamiest! But after watching this video, I’m starting to get discouraged that I won’t be able to make/find a dairy free alternative for that creaminess for my tea. Does anyone (Dr. Gregor, here’s lookin’ at you) have any favorite substitutes to make their coffee/tea creamy? Thank you so much in advance!
    Elise




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