USA Today recently put out an article stating that “COCONUT OIL IS BAD FOR YOU.”
The article claimed that people should stop eating coconut oil immediately, that everyone should start using hydrogenated vegetable oil again, and that this “darling” of the health food industry should immediately be called out.
When you see headlines like this, it can be easy to jump to conclusions, right? Totally. And I saw the confusion that happened for my Body Buddies as they tried to make sense. I was grateful to be clued in early on this sensationalism so I could calm the fears of my Body Buds and continue teaching proper nutrition science as the true evidence states.
Is coconut oil a saturated fat?
Is saturated fat bad for you?
You see, here at the Power Foods Lifestyle, I try to train you to think critically, and to realize there is never any absolutes. You see, every answer depends on a series of questions that first must be asked to better understand the variables.
Some questions I would ask to determine if coconut oil, as a saturated fat, were not strategic (we don’t say ‘bad’ here) are the following:
What is your family’s history of heart disease?
How many servings of vegetables are you eating daily?
What is the ratio of saturated fat to unsaturated fat in your daily diet?
How much exercise per week are you getting?
How much of that exercise is at a >70% max heart rate?
What is your daily intake of carbohydrates/sugars?
Are you currently on any statins?
And this is just the tip of the iceberg to better understand an individuals situation. Only when I knew the answers to all of the above would I be in a better position to give specific coaching criteria.
Additionally, a study published in Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases in 2016 states that “some food sources of Saturated Fatty Acids may pose no risk for Coronary Hear Disease or possibly even be protective. Thus, advice to reduce saturated fat in the diet without regard to such nuance could actually increase people’s risk of CHD.”
I realize I cannot individually coach each and every one of you to discover these nuances, and so, I continue to teach general PFL principles that you may apply through thinking critically about your lifestyle. So here is the saturated fat principle, k? Are you ready for it?
The optimal ratio of unsaturated fats (fats from the earth like olives, avocado, nuts, seeds, and healthy oils) to saturated fats (fats from animals) is 2:1. That means for every two PVF meals (or PVFF or PVCF meal) you eat an unsaturated fat, the F (fat) in the third PVF meal can come from a saturated fat.
Additionally, I have a follow-up point to make which is more clearly explained in my book, The Power Foods Lifestyle. To truly understand nutrition, I highly recommend you read it! 🙂
Heighten your awareness of the carbs (C) you are pairing with fats (F). Sugar (carbs break down to sugar) oxidizes the fat and builds the plaque in the arterial wall. Therefore, when eating saturated fats, seek to reduce carbohydrate intake.
For example, I recommend the following EASY TWEAKS:
- Swap your steak (PF) and potato (C) for a steak (PF) and green salad with avocado (PVFF)
- Swap your eggs (PF), toast (CF), and bacon (pF) for eggs (PF) with bell pepper (V) and bacon (pF).
- Swap your chicken (P) and angel hair spaghetti (C) with zucchini (V) for chicken (P) and zuccchini noodles (V) spaghetti with olives (F).
My goal here at Body Buddies and the Power Foods Lifestyle is to educate and empower you. And so, I ask you to tune into Episode #161 of the Body Buddies Podcast to learn more about this scandal, how to think critically, and so much more!
In this Body Buddies Podcast episode, you will learn:
- How triglycerides actually rise
- How cholesterol ACTUALLY rises
- How to not be swayed by sensationalist headlines
- How to find the truth about all the variables that matter
- and other tips and tricks about nutrition strategy
- How often should you be eating saturated fat?
- How often should you be eating unsaturated fats?
- How do you get rid of all-or-nothing thinking?
The Power Foods Lifestyle is your proven method of bridging the gap between the science of optimality within nutrition science and the latest academic findings and the REALITY of being a human being living in a processed food world with some pretty difficult emotional coping.
I’m honored to help you find the path that is best for YOU to achieve health, hope, and happiness.
#PowerYourBody one meal, one workout, one day at a time.
Love your bud,