Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
Coconut Oil: Games vested interests play to label it as ‘health demon’
Until the 1930s, even bread in the US was made using coconut oil. Things changed and the ghost of cholesterol rose to flourish as the best business. Several so-called experts and organisations continue to label coconut oil as bad for health. However, one blog, FoodBabe, has exposed the nexus between these experts, organisations and industry players. 
 
"When it comes to health information, we must ALWAYS consider the source (and examine it well!). Even if advice seems to come from a perfectly respectable organisation on the surface (like the American Heart Association-AHA) – research who they are, who funds their work, and what types of health claims they’ve made in the past. This is something I do when reading health-related articles – and in today’s age of political and industry propaganda and manipulations, it is imperative that you take this step to be your own health advocate," says Vani Hari, food activist, creator of FoodBabe.com and author of 'The Food Babe Way'.
 
 
Some recent headlines in the US media once again try to term coconut oil as unhealthy. This includes, "Coconut oil isn’t healthy. It’s never been healthy” (USA Today), “Nutrition experts warn coconut oil is on par with beef fat, butter” (Chicago Tribune), “This popular health food is worse for you than pork lard” (Daily Star) and “Coconut Oil Isn’t As Healthy As We Thought, According To Depressing New Study” (Elite Daily).
 
 
 
Ms Hari says it seems the entire Internet freaked out at this “news”, and for good reason. "But I would be remiss if I did not remind you  all to be very careful about health advice reported in the media – because some well-meaning reporters fall for basic industry tricks like this one that has just happened," she added.
 
 
 
Prof BM Hegde, a renowned doctor and a Padma Bhushan awardee, has maintained that coconut oil is in fact best for treating skin diseases as well as Alzheimer’s disease
 
Busting the myths propagated by doctors and nutritionists over coconut oil, Dr Hegde had told Moneylife, “I am surprised when people say coconut oil is poison. If a doctor says that it contains cholesterol, it means he has not gone to a medical college. First thing they teach you in any medical school is biochemistry, where students learn that cholesterol comes from animal source. How can a plant like coconut could then be a source of cholesterol?”
 
“After realising this mistake, they (doctors and nutritionists) started saying that coconut oil contains saturated fat and hence it is bad. The larger question here is that one should inquire what coconut oil contains and not directly label it as bad,” the “people’s doctor”, had said.
 
According to Prof Dr Hegde, coconut oil and mother’s milk are the only two things that get digested in the mouth of a baby. “Both coconut oil and mother’s milk contains sodium monolaurate, which is monolauric acid and forms the basis of human immune system.”
 
Coming back to Vani Hari's blog, she says the American Heart Association (AHA) had released a new Presidential Advisory recommending that everyone avoid coconut oil, stating that it is high in saturated fat and raises ‘bad’ cholesterol levels – which they believe leads to heart disease. 
 
"AHA is the same organisation who told us for years to eat margarine (which was notoriously high in trans fat) calling it ‘more heart-healthy’ than butter because it contains ‘no dietary cholesterol’. They started this recommendation back in the 1960’s and continued it for decades, while the primary ingredient in margarine was partially hydrogenated oil full of trans fat. Well, we now know that the trans fat in partially hydrogenated oils are responsible for upwards of 20,000 heart attacks every year – which spurred the FDA to finally ban it from our food (effective in 2018). It’s rare for the FDA to ban anything! Boy, I’d say the AHA was way off on that recommendation, wouldn’t you?" Ms Hari says in the post.
 
According to Foodbabe.com, AHA and Big Food are long time best friends. It says, "Over the years, their sponsors have included a who’s who list of the worst Big Food brands out there, who fill their foods up with soybean oil, canola oil, processed meats, and sugar. This includes Kellogg’s, Pepsico, General Mills, Nestle, Mars, Domino’s Pizza, Kraft, Subway and Quaker."
 
"The AHA is also raking in upwards of $15 million dollars per year from drug and healthcare companies – including over $3 million from Pfizer (the maker of the statin drug Lipitor that reduces cholesterol). Could this be why the AHA recommends that millions more Americans be prescribed statins, even healthy older people with no history of heart disease? The members of their research committee are raking in industry dollars too… receiving tens of thousands from drug companies to fund research, make trial appearances, and serve as consultants – which is a blatant conflict of interest," Ms Hari says in her blogpost.
 

 

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COMMENTS

shadi katyal

2 months ago

How the USA keeps changing the usage ofoil is a mystery to most of us.Linseed oil which is commonly used in India is labelled as not for consumption. Similarly we have seen recent changes in other food consumptions like Coffee etc.Coconut oil now is considered as the best cooking oikl after Olive as it has Omega 3 and thus healthy

Ankur Bamne

2 months ago

Coconut oil, just like any other oil is a refined and processed food. It is impossible in nature to fall in a pit of coconut oil. If one has the entire coconut, he/she gets the fiber along with the phytonutrients, not just the oil. Whereas coconut oil is the highest concentrated form of energy (9Cal/gm). It is highest in saturated fat and contains no essential omega 3 fatty acids. Its not a health food. No oil is. Not even oilve oil. Apply it externally and its good. Dont drinkit or fry in it.

REPLY

Ravi Chandra Vattipalli

In Reply to Ankur Bamne 2 months ago

Dear Ankur ji ,
Coconut oil is good as it contains Medium Chain Triglycerides, which are absorbed right from our mouth and cause early satiety. They can get converted into ketones thru salivary lipase and form alternative fuel to the brain. Coconut oil also has a high gas point and is suitable for re heating unlike other oils. The idea of the article to my understanding is only to be ware of AHA recomondations which could be market driven rather than being solely in public interest.

SC Constitution bench to hear Aadhaar challenge on privacy issue
A five-judge constitution bench will hear from July 18 the challenge to validity of the controversial Aadhaar Act on the touchstone of privacy, an issue that has been pending for two years.
 
The bench would decide whether the right to privacy is a fundamental right -- a question central to the Aadhaar Act. 
 
A bench of Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud said on Wednesday the five-judge bench would hear the matter for two days.
 
Khehar agreed to the hearing by the constitution bench after senior counsel Shyam Divan and Attorney General K.K. Venugopal mentioned the matter for an early hearing. 
 
The question on the validity of Aadhaar scheme on the touchstone of whether privacy was fundamental right was referred to the constitution bench in October 2015. 
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

A BANERJEE

2 months ago

I sincerely hope that the concerns of the investigating officers in the IT deptt., ED, etc., engaged in unearthing tax fraud cases, money laundering cases, etc., are placed before the Hon'ble Court.

Nabbed in Rajastan, Jio hacker to face charges in Mumbai
Navi Mumbai (Maharashtra), Cracking the Reliance JIO data breach case within 24 hours, the Navi Mumbai and Maharashtra Cyber police teams have zeroed in on the prime suspect in Rajasthan who will be brought to Mumbai on Wednesday.
 
Confirming the developments, Maharashtra Cyber Superintendent of Police Balsing Rajput said that following an FIR lodged by the Navi Mumbai Police, the cyber sleuths got a lead which was thoroughly analysed to pinpoint information on the culprit.
 
Rajput said that with the help of Rajasthan Police, one man was arrested from Churu district of that state and further investigations were on.
 
"A team of Maharashtra Cyber, Navi Mumbai Police and Reliance Jio officials are in Rajasthan conducting raids with the help of Rajasthan Police, while a team from QuickHeal is providing technical help in the probe," Rajput said.
 
The suspect, identified as an engineering student Imran Chimpa hails from Sujangarh in Churu and the Navi Mumbai Police have sought his transit remand from Rajasthan to Mumbai.
 
He would be brought to Navi Mumbai later on Wednesday where the case was registered following a complaint by Reliance JIO.
 
The accused had posted a message on an online message board on July 5, claiming to offer personal user details of anybody having a Jio SIM card and said it was available from the customer's original details.
 
This raised apprehensions that Jio customers' data may have been compromised, but the company has made it clear that subscribers' data was safe and maintained with highest security.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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