It Might be Time to Ditch the Olive Oil in Favor of Coconut Oil
12/13/2010 1:26 PM
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In my ongoing (okay obsessive) reading about cutting edge nutrition - from the mainstream to the certifiably loony - I've been hearing growing rumblings about olive oil not being very healthy.
Well, consider the fact that per calorie it contains NONE of the following: healthy carbs, proteins, fiber. From a nutrient-density perspective, that actually ranks it lower on the nutrient-value-per-calorie scale than a lot of junk food.
Also, the reason the so-called Mediterranean Diet is so healthy has to do with the foods people typically pair their olive oil with: the foods themselves might actually be protecting people against the adverse effects of olive oil! And Americans, who love to get their nutrition info from 30 second TV soundbites, of course have taken the "olive oil is healthy" message out of context and have started slathering it on everything. Which would be okay if "everything" involved mostly healthy fish, whole grains, and an emphasis on fresh produce. Which we know it doesn't - so IMHO, it means the jury really is still out on the so-called benefits of olive oil.
Me? I plan to replace olive oil with coconut oil.
Here is why: This interesting article explains that olive oil is comprised of Long Chain Triglycerides which have to be mixed with bile from your gallbladder in order to be digested by your body. Coconut oil, however, is almost 70% Medium Chain Triglyerides (MCTs) which are able to bypass your bile entirely and go directly to your liver, which in turn releases a substance into your bloodstream that is transported straight to your brain. This substance is called ketoacid or Ketones; they are created when your body converts fat into energy - and they not only feed your brain but have been shown to actually renew neuron & nerve function.
Because MCTs enter the body as a fat - ie. no dreaded insulin spikes - but feed your brain like a carbohydrate, they could help significantly with fighting Alzheimer's. This terrible disease is actually driven by insulin resistance: the brain is not able to take in glucose, which causes it to starve and slowly die off, a process that appears to happen one or more decades before the symptoms become apparent.
Meaning NOW is the time to start protecting your brain & making sure it's properly nourished.
Coconut oil isn't in the WW tracker, but according to the nutritional data I found, 1 tablespoon contains 13.6g of fat = which is about the same (just slightly lower) as olive oil:
- 1 tsp. coconut oil = 1 PointsPlus
- 1 Tbsp. coconut oil = 4 PP+
Food, Health, Lose For Good