It Might be Time to Ditch the Olive Oil in Favor of Coconut Oil

Written by lesleyls (lesley) on 12/13/2010 1:26 PM | COMMENTS (20)

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.

Just sayin'.

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+

Categories: FoodHealthLose For Good

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  • Post Image moonlight_sonata (kimmi)

    2/3/2013 7:50 PM
    I would LOVE to see cco added to the WW protocol for "good fats". One question, though...if 1 teaspoon of cco is 1 point, and 3 tsp equals 1 Tablespoon, why is 1 T. 4 points? It seems since it's 3 pts per teaspoon, it wouls stand to reason that 1 T. would be three points...just wondering...seems that's not correct..JMO...

  • Post Image workingtogoal

    8/7/2011 1:00 PM
    Coconut oil is great for stir frying. It can handle high heat unlike olive oil and adds a great flavor to various foods. There are many articles beginning to surface on the health benefits of cold pressed, virgin coconut oil and it's digestion, immune system, etc. It would be nice to see Weight Watchers investigate the pro's and the con's of this foot versus just saying it is high in saturated fat. They recoginze the benefit of nuts yet they are high in saturated fat.

  • Post Image akartist

    7/25/2011 6:56 PM
    Coconut oil is great for baking, wonderful melted in pancake batter. Buy the unrefined, cold pressed coconut oil. You can use as a spread, like butter. It heals dry skin.

  • Post Image poohmoz

    12/29/2010 1:59 PM
    I have been on WW 1 month so I have been exploring lots of new things. Coconut oil came up at one of our meetings and so I did some research and could not believe all the benefits. I ended up finding it at Hy-Vee in their Organic section. It is a solid but melts easily. I just took a teaspoon scraped some up and down the hatch. It was a little rough! It does have a coconut taste but not very over powering. Tomorrow I think I will try it in my oatmeal!

  • Post Image mimilefay (maria)

    12/23/2010 9:28 AM
    I like Coconut Oil, but I prefer Safflower. I don't know if it helps lose weight, etc... but I like it better than Olive Oil. It's lighter tasting and feeling.

  • Post Image charrowe

    12/22/2010 3:15 PM
    I think I'd rather dip my Italian bread into Olive oil.

  • Post Image herethere

    12/18/2010 1:42 PM
    Hmmmmm - verrrry interesting. Gonna give this alooksee myself. You rock.

  • Post Image this1isit

    12/18/2010 12:46 AM
    This is very, very interesting. I just wonder how difficult it is to get your hands on this stuff. I am going to do some digging. Thanks!

  • Post Image bullardsnc

    12/16/2010 11:57 AM
    I'm a fish oil and flax seed oil fan myself. I agree, the olive oil isn't particularly good for you, just not bad for you. Glad to hear you're moving to this. I want you around for a while

  • Post Image melissa lishner

    12/14/2010 8:44 AM
    Lesley -check out todays NYT Science section - breaking news on research for Alzheimers - which has to do with breakdown of a substance as opposed to lack thereof - very interesting stuff. I'm going to check out this article, as I've never read up on coconut oil before. Thanks for the info!

  • Post Image happi2behere2

    12/13/2010 9:16 PM
    Thank you! I like organic, virgin, unrefined, cold pressed coconut oil. It's also great for your hair and skin (a tiny bit goes a long way). Oil pulling with coconut oil is great for detoxing and whitens the teeth too (Sunflower & Sesame oil do the same). Coconut "butter" is very yummy and Artisana is my favorite brand. The "coconut butter" is the whole coconut mixed with the oil, for cooking the oil is better. Good oils support weight loss and keep us young! Enjoy : )

  • Post Image suz608

    12/13/2010 6:35 PM
    Can you cook with it? That's about all I use olive oil for. I'm just not a drizzler...unless, of course, it's good italian bread. Of course, I won't go there...for a while anyway

  • Post Image iwantedtobearockstar

    12/13/2010 3:54 PM
    Is it hard to find? How does it taste?

  • Post Image lesleyls (lesley)

    12/13/2010 3:53 PM
    Coconut oil update: b/c it's a healthy unrefined saturated fat, it remains somewhat solid at room temperature (like butter). Aes, it tastes like coconuts, so I think it would be excellent for making dishes like Coconut Shrimp & other fish, etc.

  • Post Image zonicka1

    12/13/2010 3:29 PM
    Also, since Alzheimer's is prevalent in my family I think my brain can use all the protection it can get!

  • Post Image zonicka1

    12/13/2010 3:27 PM
    I'm going to have to pick some up and give it a whirl. Thank you for sharing!

  • Post Image stradczola (maryann)

    12/13/2010 2:42 PM
    Must find out about the taste. I don't really use a lot of oil, so I'm not sure how much danger I'm in.

  • Post Image alysco1 (alyssa)

    12/13/2010 2:09 PM
    Please let me know how it tastes. I would love to try something new and if it's better for the brain, I'm all for it. I've already lost two grand parents from Alzheimers. Thanks for the input and please, tell how it tastes!

  • Post Image corinnak4 (corinna)

    12/13/2010 2:08 PM
    Mmm. Coconut oil. I have some in my pantry. :-)

  • Post Image drivecde (julia)

    12/13/2010 2:06 PM
    You always have something that I need to wrap my old brain around. Thank you for your "obsessive" reading. It helps all of us!


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