by Sean Croxton
It’s the coconut oil, baby!
Last year, I lubed up my head and face, got my keyboard all sticky, and posted one of the most infamous videos ever made on the benefits of coconut oil. I think I’ve gotten more email about coconut oil than just about any other topic I’ve vlogged about.
The video was so popular that one night I was standing in front of a gay nightclub in San Francisco (don’t ask!) and a man asked me, “Hey, aren’t you that coconut oil guy?”
Yeah, that’s me.
Typical coconut queries revolve around weight loss and its ability to boost metabolism. But there is so much more to it!
So, today I thought I’d pay homage by starting a series of blogs on the oil that I dare not live without. Even if you’re the most steadfast saturated fat phobe, I guarantee that after reading this series you’ll have at least one coconut-oil-stained shirt in no time.
I’ve got a bunch.
I’m thinking five blogs will be enough to do the job. Then we’ll cap it all off with next week’s UW Radio show (Thursday, April 28) with Bruce Fife, author of The Coconut Oil Miracle. Should be a pretty dope show!
We’ll start our series with a short discussion on heart disease. It seems as though every time I introduce coconut oil to friends and family, they go on and on about how it’s loaded with saturated fat and how it will crank up their cholesterol levels and make their hearts stop.
Where did this fear of the coconut originate? Well, let’s take a trip back in time.
Back in the 80s, when saturated fat was put on full-blown leper status for its link to cholesterol and heart disease, the American Soybean Association went on a public relations blitz to oust all tropical oils from our diets and replace them with their multi-billion dollar cash cow, otherwise known as “heart-healthy” vegetable oils.
Never mind the fact that generations of tropical people had consumed tons of coconut oil while showing no evidence of heart disease. Nope, those folks must have been exempt from the lipid hypothesis. Coconut oil only targeted American arteries.
But even if cholesterol were the evil terrorist it was made out to be, coconut oil wouldn’t have had any effect on it anyway.
Yes, coconut oil is very high in saturated fat. But that’s a good thing. There are many different types of saturated fats. Some are long. Some are short. Coconut oil is somewhere in between, as it is composed primarily of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs).
Where the soybean industry dropped the ball was its convenient neglect of the fact that MCFAs are burned immediately for energy. They’re not stored as fat. Nor are they converted to blood cholesterol. So even if elevated cholesterol did have anything to do with heart disease, coconut oil certainly was not the culprit.
In fact, the polyunsaturated vegetable oils the industry was pushing as a replacement were far more dangerous. I’m trying to keep this blog short (never happens), but the more unsaturated an oil is, the more prone it is to oxidation.
Coconut oil is super-saturated and chemically stable, making it less vulnerable to oxidation and all of the health dangers that go with it. It even remains stable under high heat, making it the preferred oil for cooking.
There are three things that cause unsaturated oils to oxidize or go rancid: heat, light, and exposure to oxygen. Remember that the next time you fry your chicken in that vegetable oil you keep on the kitchen counter in a clear plastic bottle.
According to Fife, “all conventionally processed and refined oils are rancid (oxidized) to some extent by the time they reach the store.” Most of time, you can’t even tell if the oil you bought is rancid or not since the smell and taste may not change.
And cooking with these oils just makes a bad situation even worse by creating toxic trans fats, which cause all kinds of cellular dysfunctions including many cancers and yes, heart disease!
Oxidized oils generate a tremendous amount of free radicals in the body. These free radicals can damage your DNA, cellular organelles, enzymes, and cell membranes. No bueno. They can also damage your arteries, creating a cascade of events that eventually lead to atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries.
In other words, we replaced a supposedly artery-clogging oil with a really artery-clogging oil!
Sheesh. You can’t make this stuff up!
See you in a couple days. We’ll talk about how coconut oil actually boosts the immune system and is one of the few foods that can battle bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungus. The stuff is just incredible.
Time to head over to David Getoff’s home to film Episode 4 of the Underground Wellness Show.
Looking forward to reading and replying to your comments. You can also TWEET ME at @ugwellness.
I’m new to Underground Wellness – I must say You Are Amazing! I love listening to your interviews. I actually downloaded all of them from Itunes and listen to them in the car. My question about Coconut Oil. I heard it’s good for Hypothyroidism. Is that true? Why? (also where would I post questions for your guests?)
great blog 🙂
I heart coconut oil too! Coconut oil is the only thing I can put on my sons eczema without him screaming that it burns. For a year or so I think every shirt he and I owned had oil stains on them plus a few on the floor. But hey the stuff works great. I cook with it too. It’s delicious on popcorn instead of butter. Looking forward to your coconut oil series. I haven’t seen your video, perhaps I should go check it out……
I got me some pure organic extra virgin coconut oil its been a week now. I can say that for the skin, it is simply awesomeness, I will never buy any over-priced skin care product ever again, even for acne. As of eating it, it does taste delicious, but it is too soon for me to actually talk about the effect/experience i get when eating it, although it does make me feel kind of energetic, more than usual… I’ll keep that update in a month or so.. Anyways.. btw, this oil is awesome for sexual activities/lube. 😉
Also, can you re-up the video that you had ? we’d like to see it again if possible!
Sean, you always give out some of the most interesting knowledge that society needs to hear more about. I admire the effort and work you put into all of these things!! Very nice
— KEEP IT NATURAL PEOPLE —
I’m so pumped about your show! I eat so much coconut oil I get scared some times I eat too much! The gay people in San Francisco love you!
I just found your blog, and I’m so glad I did! I’m currently on a 100% raw diet, and coconut oil has become one of my most used possessions. Every morning I blend 1.5 tbsp in my green smoothie. Not only does it taste great, but it slows the body’s absorption of the fruit allowing me to run on that fuel even longer. I also use it as my total body and hair moisturizer. I’m experimenting with brands. Do you have a favorite?
–Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul
Hey Sean, any thoughts on the clarified butter Ghee?
Sean is there any particular brands of coconut oil you would recommend?
Awesome article, Sean 🙂
As Urgelt of YouTube has taught me, humans are tropical critters and making sure we eat a lot of tropical vegetables and fruits is probably a good idea. Replacing the processed temperate zone vegetable oils (which are used as a supplement to fatten pigs) ( coconut oil leaned the pigs) with coconut oil , tropical nuts, olive oil and fish fat etc. is a probably a good idea also.
Urgelt has commented that the processed polyunsaturated vegetable oils thin cellular walls.
Nutiva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is what I saw Sean use ina video I believe. 😉 🙂
This is such great revision for me! I always want to talk to my clients about this stuff but as a personal trainer its not usually at the top of the list! But its just so simple really…I wish everyone could understand this and PRACTICE it!!! I Luv Coconut Oil!!!
I agree – I am a coconut lover- I cook wth the oil and love coconut milk. But because the canned stuff is processed and there is the BPA issue I will start making my own coconut milk.
You better stockup. Jimmy Moore wrote about a shortage in coconut products :
Keep up the good work.
Me too want your coconut clip that was taken off Youtube up and running again!
Since New Year I have been taking 8-10 table spoons/day which gives me more energy, better skin and god knows what, will get my blood checked shortly to find out the rest. Just can not get enough of the stuff!
I just got a question about coconut oil and weight loss from one of your readers, Sean, and so I answered it on my blog today. It’s sortof in the vein of your “This is Just Silly” post, but the other end of the argument. As in, don’t worry that you’ve got “bad eating” habits just because you may not not regularly eat everything you’ve ever heard might be good for you. If you did, you’d quite possibly end up overeating. Hope it’s useful.
Have a great day!
Coconut oil is truly DA BOMB!!!
That Coconut oil video is what brought UW into my life!
After 2 years of feeling like hell (litterally), and going to my doctor telling him “something just isnt right” and being brushed off with a diagnosis of depression (thank god I never took the prescription).. I FINALLY got the “hypothyroid” diagnosis.
I reasearched hypothyroid online and found a few websites that mentioned the benefits coconut oil for hypothyroid. So I plugged coconut oil benefits into Google search, there you were with the video. And after that video, I watched all your videos I could find!
I have been following ever since, and have never felt better :). Thanks you for doing what you are doing.
What coconut oil are you guys using. The one I found from Whole foods…didn’t taste much like coconut
It’s true! Coconut oil is what helped save my hair…it works great as a leave in conditioner (use it in a hairspray bottle to make your life easier).
I have recently discovered coconut oil and I just love it. It is so soft and silky feeling. thanks so much for your post.