Periodic Coconut Bashing starts again

By Dr Harold Gunatillake - Health Writer

Coconut is a poison- so it is going to kill all people who eat coconut products and using oil for cooking. Half the population of the world will be wiped out soon

Coconuts-its meat, water and the oil have stood the test of time as a beneficial and health providing  ingredient in daily Asian cooked foods for millions of years since the existence of the coconut palms, for humans along the equator, Pacific Basin, Islanders, Thais, Indians, Sri Lankans, middle East inhabitant, They have all been using coconut meat in the preparation of foods (curries included), as scrapings or as squeezed milk, or as an oil for deep and stir frying, daily. Remember the ‘Pol Sambol’ a healthy treat and a good accompaniment to most Asian preparations.

As you fly into Kerala, you might be amazed by the pervasive green that greets you as you're about to land. The sea of palm fronds that stretches for as far as the eye can see makes it clear why Kerala or Keralam (as it is known in Malayalam) is called ‘alam’ meaning the land of, and ‘kera’ meaning coconut.

Keralites though eating this ‘poisonous coconut’ in their daily foods are quite healthy and active. True, there is a high incidence of heart disease in Kerala, so do in other parts of the world.

These bashings, demonizing seems to follow a pattern, every three to four months being published through sponsorships by the giant companies with vested interest.

If they bash butter- also containing saturated fats, exported by New Zealand, their economy would be in crisis. Same applies to meat exports. Meat also contains as much saturated fat and if demonized, it would further add to the economic downfall of the country.

The Westerners will dare not touch demonizing butter or meat, but coconut products imported to the US is given a bash frequently.

Coconut oil is about 90% saturated fat, which is a higher percentage than butter (about 64% saturated fat), beef fat (40%), or even lard (also 40%).

So, does it matter that coconuts have more saturated fat and should be condemned as a ‘Poison’.

Guidelines on your saturated fat per day intake. NHS guidelines on how much saturated fat per day (known as the “recommended intake”, or “RI”) to have state that: The average man should eat no more than 30 grams of saturated fat daily. The average woman should have less than 20 grams of saturated fat per day.

100gram coconut has 30 grams of saturated fat. If a family uses a coconut a day in their food, the amount of fat each member of the family consumes will be very little.

The American Heart foundation states limit your daily saturated fat content to 10 per cent.

On the same token there are fad diets with high fat and low carbs, recommended by doctors, and lots of ladies use such diets for losing weight.

It is the fear that saturated fats increase LDL cholesterol leading to heart disease that was believed in the past.

Regarding the observational evidence, meta-analyses of this data consistently find no association between saturated fat and cardiovascular disease. Moreover, there is a substantial observational finding that low consumption of saturated fats is associated with higher mortality and higher rates of stroke.

In the speech given at the University of Freiburg, Dr Michels stated that coconut oil is “one of the worst foods you can eat” due to the damaging effect the saturated fatty acids in the coconut oil can have on your body.

Where is the research, where is the proof through studies? Just surmising is not scientific evidence.

Do not take this university don’s article seriously. There are such sporadic outbursts from the West and should be ignored. Those who love coconuts and its products, please enjoy daily. It is not a poison.

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