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coconut oil pros and cons - personal experiences

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Old 04-20-2011, 09:21 AM   #1
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Default coconut oil pros and cons - personal experiences

My new doctor is recommending I add coconut oil to raise my HDL levels. I've been researching all morning and haven't found a single peer reviewed study advocating that. OTOH she keeps very current, so maybe there's new research I haven't found (and yes, I need to call back and ask her for some citations too). South Beach is my primary plan but I use calorie counting for portion control. Obviously the extra calories in any added fat unnerve me because my metabolism is already annoyingly slow and I'd hate to eliminate 100 calories of actual food to add oil. I'm really curious about any personal experiences with coconut oil, particularly around cholesterol levels. Is your HDL improving? Has it raised your LDL? And hey, how the heck do I use it now that I've learned to cook without added fat?!
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Old 04-20-2011, 09:47 AM   #2
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Apparently there's a couple of articles on the subject in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
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Old 04-20-2011, 10:47 AM   #3
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Not quite what you're looking for, but two bloggers I (sort of) follow use coconut oil and talk about it.

Kath Eats Real Food - She's an RD who mainly talks about whole foods, but she uses coconut oil a couple of times a week. She's said that the saturated fats in it are a different type than the "dangerous" sat fats we usually think of.

Heather Eats Almond Butter - Heather lost weight a few years ago and now talks about living a high(er) fat/low sugar WOE. She has recipes with coconut oil.

I just bought some a couple of weeks ago at Whole Foods, but have so far only used it once. The taste is very mild, if slightly sweet. I think it would go really well anywhere you'd use a nut butter.
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Old 04-20-2011, 11:10 AM   #4
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Terrible with eggs I made an almond encrusted chicken fried in coconut oil and it was DELICIOUS!
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Old 04-20-2011, 11:26 AM   #5
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I eat a pretty low fat diet and my HDL levels have gone up but I attribute that to exercise.
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Old 04-20-2011, 11:34 AM   #6
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My beau and I are in a debate about this right now. I'm willing to use coconut oil in place of other saturated fats as it does seem like the better option within that category. However I pretty much concentrate on getting my fats from the MUFAs so don't really eat many sat fat foods to make the substitution.
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Old 06-23-2011, 09:42 AM   #7
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I'm starting to use coconut oil starting this week as my primary healthy oil. I follow weight watchers and they say to have 2 servings of healthy oil a day. But they want you to have olive,flax,canola oils. I'm going out on my own research and experimenting with coconut oil. I will keep u posted.
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Old 06-23-2011, 11:01 AM   #8
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Try other forums for info- lowcarbfriends, mark sissons, jimmy moore, etc. There were possible uses for it with Alzheimer's cases. I use it and account for it. I count both cal & carbs. I like the flavor and get Nutivia. Do your own reading, which you are, and avoid the hype- anywhere. You probably do this but it is a reminder to those who read this thread. Let us know what you find out.
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Old 06-23-2011, 11:09 AM   #9
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I've seen raw food recipes which use coconut oil a lot, especially anything involving chocolate.

If all else fails, it makes a fantastic moisturiser. For years, the only moisturiser I have used is one I make up myself with solid coconut oil (extra virgin organic blah blah blah, I've been on the same tub of it for years so it's worthy buying the good stuff), bit of cocoa butter (of similar pedigree), and a bit of kokum butter I bought from a shop which specialises in the more exotic oils and butters, as the first two alone weren't solidifying quite the way I wanted them to. I put them into a small glass jar, melt by sitting the jar on a (ceramic) hob ring on low, stir in a few drops of essential oils, put in the freezer to resolidify, and voila, a lovely solid oil moisturiser. I have ludicrously fussy skin and it's by far the best thing I've ever tried, although it probably wouldn't be a good base for make-up.
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Old 06-23-2011, 11:39 AM   #10
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I take my coconut oil along with other daily vitamins. I've heard about the many benefits and know others do use it to aid in weight loss. I actually started using it to help with a terrible case of psoriasis on my scalp and so I started taking it and using it as a topical moisturizer. I haven't started cooking with it yet...
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Old 06-24-2011, 05:13 PM   #11
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I use coconut oil to pop popcorn and it tastes so much better than oil. It's very lite. I don't know the health/nutrition benefits, if any, versus canola/vegetable oils, but I do prefer it with my popcorn. I will have to try it for other things as well.

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Old 06-24-2011, 06:01 PM   #12
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Yeah I like coconut oil, I melt some on my microwave popcorn sometimes. Also spread it on wholewheat toast or add some into stir fry's for a tropical taste!
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Old 06-24-2011, 06:55 PM   #13
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I've played with it -- Tropical Traditions brand, I think.

It goes well with some things, not so well with others.

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Old 06-24-2011, 09:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CyndiM View Post
My new doctor is recommending I add coconut oil to raise my HDL levels. I've been researching all morning and haven't found a single peer reviewed study advocating that.
There's been quite a bit of peer-reviewed research linking coconut oil to various benefits and health improvements. The research spans at least three decades, so it's not a new topic of research.

To find references to the research, you can check out any of the coconut oil books (just search on coconut oil in the search screen on amazon.com - select for books only, or you'll also get coconut products).

I'd recommend checking them out from your library, rather than buying them, because a few of them are pure testimonial books, but the ones I've read from my library have had annotated references.

While the authors of the book often have a biased agenda, the research they cite, is still sound (providing they're referencing it properly) but you can go directly to the research (because of the annotated references) and read the articles for yourself.
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Old 06-24-2011, 10:06 PM   #15
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I also just discovered that if you use the "search inside this book" feature on amazon.com, you can see the references for The Coconut Oil Miracle and The Coconut Diet (probably other coconut oil books also, I just picked a couple).

You have to read through the list, but the journal articles and reviews of the literature the authors use as support for their views are all listed. For journals you're not familiar with, you'll have to do a little digging to learn whether they're peer-reviewed and reputable, but it would be a start.
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