Saturday, February 28, 2009

What Oil do you use?

Friday while shopping at our local natural foods grocery, I found several sizes of Organic Virgin Coconut oil on sale, with an article on its use by the store nutritionist.
I'd begun using some for cooking & massage recently, so picked up the largest bottle. Several years ago I'd read with interest the 'new opinion' on Coconut oil - that it's really good for us!
(The blue bottle is olive oil, which I use uncooked.)

Why did we think Coconut & Palm kernel oil were 'bad oils?' basically - bad for US business (& here I am, trying to buy more 'locally,' sigh! But I did just sign up for a CSA membership :)
. . . In the 30s & 40s, they were used widely in commercial baking, but WWII limited access, then in 1987, a conscious 'smear campaign'
by the ASA (American Association, a farm organization), which attempted to block competition by trying to persuade lawmakers to introduce legislation against cholesterol-raising saturated fats. . . .

Beatrice Trum Hunter writes: "Palm and coconut oils resist oxidation and are highly stable. They do not require hydrogenation, and are trans fat-free. However, many of the domestic oils are predominantly polyunsaturated, which makes them quite unstable and subject to oxidation. To make them more stable, they need to be hydrogenated. A major portion of soybean oil, for example, is hydrogenated."
(PLUS: a large percentage of SOY is also GM - genetically modified, requiring use of chemicals such as Round-up for 'optimum' growth. If soy in any form is not marked Organic, it's probably GM.)

Checking online, I found a lovely article by Dr. Mary Newport in Florida, (a neonatalist) whose 58 year old accountant hubby was suffering from dementia - about 5 years into it. They were using various pharmaceutical controls, & taking fish oil, etc. "What if there was a cure for Alzheimer's Disease . . . ?"

Dr. Newport, & her husband Steve were looking into a vaccine (Elan) for the dementia. He went for his annual screening, & scored at 12 one day, 18 the next, 4 1/2 hours after starting the coconut oil (he needed to score at least 16 to be accepted for the vaccine.)
The second day of his tests & screening, she'd picked up some coconut oil, & stirred a couple of tablespoons into his morning oatmeal before taking him for more tests. He began the day as 'forgetful' as ever, the test was ~ 4 1/2 hours after eating the oatmeal with coconut oil, & he knew it was
spring, it was Wed, & both the town & county they were in - (he could only recall the town the day before!)
This was a 'chance' finding for Mary, who was researching one of the possible Alzheimer's drugs on-line, & found it contained 'Medium Chain Triglyceride' (MCT) - oil, with one mention that the source was coconut or palm kernel oil! (Breast milk is high in MCTs.) So they picked up some coconut oil (60% MCT) & began using it, starting the AM of the second test.
Dr Newport writes: "In 2003, George F. Cahill, Jr. and Richard Veech authored, “Ketoacids? Good Medicine?” and in 2004, Richard Veech published a review of the therapeutic implications of ketone bodies. These articles are not found in journals that the average physician would read, much less the lay public. Unless you are researching the topic, it is unlikely that you would ever randomly come across this information."

Two Months later
, having continued to use several tablespoons of coconut oil daily, in addition to his other treatments, Steven was still 'better' - was happy & chatty in the morning, (he'd been depressed), could converse more normally, etc. He remembered names of family members when they went to visit (couldn't before) & interacted socially with more finesse & animation.

Mary writes:
"Until very recently, I didn’t see anything regarding the potential use of medium chain triglycerides (MCT oil), or ketone bodies (also called ketoacids,) the end product of their metabolism, which may not only treat, but also prevent Alzheimer’s disease."

One of Steven's 'tests' at the clinic was to draw a clock on a sheet of paper - the first just has the numbers 9 - 12 on the L side of the sheet, with 4 rough circles on the right, & no circle around. (he later told her he couldn't really picture a clock at that time.)
His wife had him try again 2 weeks & a month later: he drew a circle, made 'pie' lines (without prompting - not all lined up, & more than 12 - still like a kid's drawing) with all the correct numbers in their correct places around the wheel.

Dr Mary Newport: " Further, this is a potential treatment for Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease), drug resistant epilepsy, brittle type I diabetes, and diabetes type II, where there is insulin resistance.
"Ketone bodies may help the brain recover after a loss of oxygen in newborns through adults, may help the heart recover after an acute attack, and may shrink cancerous tumors. Children with drug resistant epilepsy sometimes respond to an extremely low carbohydrate ketogenic diet. MCT oil appears to be useful as an aid in weight loss and body builders use it already to improve their lean body mass."

"The Philippines has one of the lowest incidences of cardiovascular disease in the world. Studies have shown that total cholesterol to HDL ratio improves with non-hydrogenated coconut oil. The people in this part of the world also eat fish regularly, providing them with omega-3 fatty acids, which probably contributes as well to the lack of cardiovascular disease. My nurse friends from the Philippines tell me that many of their relatives back home cook everything in coconut oil and have coconut in one form or another at nearly every meal."

-- Dr Dickson (an ND at our clinic) is big on 'ketosis' for weight loss - coconut oil reacts in the body in a way that promotes the ketones in the blood, without restricting carbs (of course focusing on whole grains, etc, too :) & at the same time, stabilizes blood sugar.

Dr Newport: "Instead of storing all MCTs as fat, the liver converts them directly to ketone bodies, which are then available for use as energy. Oral and intravenous administration of MCT oil produces hyperketonemia, or circulating ketone bodies, which are then available to the brain for energy, in the absence of glucose and even in the presence of glucose. In addition, hyperketonemia results in a substantial (39%) increase in cerebral blood flow, and appears to reduce cognitive dysfunction as-sociated with systemic hypoglycemia in normal humans."

V. Potter writes: I am just now jumping on the coconut oil bandwagon (about three weeks now) and I’m really starting to feel GREAT! I have suffered from severe migraines for the past 25 years, the last 15 becoming increasingly severe, coinciding with the addition of soy and the "low-fat mentality" to my diet. Nothing helped! I should be experiencing my pre-menstrual migraine by now and instead I feel like I could climb Mt. Everest! Also I wondered if it decreased the waist to hip ratio because mine has gone from 7.2 all my life to 7 (or something like that). I think I had the sluggish thyroid too, with a low body temperature of between 96 and 96.8. Now it’s starting to climb for the first time in years. Thank you... Sincerely, V. Potter

Dr Newport: "If you are using any type of hydrogenated vegetable oil or any oil with trans fat, do not use any more and get rid of it! Extra virgin olive oil, butter and other natural, non-hydrogenated oils are okay to use along with the coconut oil. It is possible to use coconut oil in place of all other oils, however, since it contains no omega-3 fatty acids, it is very important to eat salmon twice a week or get enough omega-3 fatty acid from other rich sources such as fish oil capsules, flax meal, flax oil (not for cooking) or walnuts."

-- I make my own flax meal by grinding it with sesame seeds in a seed grinder & FREEZING it (small ~ 3 day batches), & sprinkle a Tbsp. or so on my morning granola (homemade, now with coconut oil. I bake it at 320* for 20 minutes, a mix of OG rolled oats, some shredded (OG) coconut, flax seeds, a few tablespoons of oil & one or two of honey.

Another author writes: "Researchers have known for quite some time that the secret to health and weight loss associated with coconut oil is related to the length of the fatty acid chains contained in coconut oil. Coconut oil contains what are called medium chain fatty acids, or medium chain triglycerides (MCTs for short). These medium chain fatty acids are different from the common longer chain fatty acids found in other plant-based oils. Most vegetable oils are composed of longer chain fatty acids, or triglycerides (LCTs). LCTs are typically stored in the body as fat, while MCTs are burned for energy. MCTs burn up quickly in the body. They are a lot like adding kindling to a fireplace, rather than a big damp log."

-- Anyway - I'm trying it!! I already use olive oil pretty exclusively for dressings & such, & had begun using the coconut for cooking, have always loved 'real butter' & read of the dangers in margarine years ago. When I was 9 & my dad got his 'Good' Post office job, I remember him telling my mom "We can afford butter now - no more margarine!" She still baked with Crisco, & cooked with Wesson oil (which she kept in the cupboard), & we had hydrogenated peanut butter, I always preferred the butter :)
He would often complain at the artificial coffee creamer on the table at our Grange Hall, & their use of margarine - "We're supposed to be a farm organization - we need to use the real thing!"

Today I cooked the brown rice: sauteed a leek & a few OG white mushrooms with the brown & some red rice, in a Tbsp of coconut oil,'till the rice turned opaque.
I added a piece of Kombu (kelp) & my Herbes de Provence mix (from my own herbs), simmered in veggie stock for ~ 20 minutes; then added the leek tops, a couple of sliced garlic cloves, 1/2 cup Quinoa & 2 Tbsp Teff (African millet) & simmered 20 min more. My dau & son-in law loved it! Said it tasted a bit sweet - way yummy :)

Oh, & check your salad dressings!
Many marked 'Olive Oil' often have that as the third or forth oil, after peanut, soy, corn, &/or canola, (& if they're not marked OG, they are also prob. GM) . . .
I just make my own with olive oil!! & there are some fun recipes using coconut oil for dressing as well.

cheers! & happy March :)


miss*R said...

thankyou Dia for pointing me to this article. i use black sesame oil for self massage every morning but coconut is another that is recommended, i might try that.
also thankyou for the reiki and love sent for Paul. it all helps, I am sure xo

miss*R said...

oh & by the way, I use olive oil to cook with and always, always use GM free foods.. my soy is organic too!

Anonymous said...

This is fascinating! I always use olive oil to cook with.
I never thought about coconut oil, other than it being an external body moisturizer. This post is so informative, thanks.
I'm going to definitely check out my health food for coconut oil.

Genie Sea said...

A very thorough and interesting report on coconut oil, which I love! Thank you for all the information!

It's wonderful the it's healing effects are working brilliantly for Steve! YAY! :)

DarklyFey said...

Huh. I didn't know any of this. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. :)

Anonymous said...

Dia: Thanks for the coconut oil recommendations! Hehe, I had just posted on my blog in response to your comment as I was curious about how you cook with your coconut oil. Excited to give some of your creations a try.

~ Jules (Lovely Las Vegas)

peppylady said...

Coconut oil is an all around oil.

As I see you live on the west coast and reasonable price is Azure standard.
There a local sort of food co-op here and I don't have to met any type of minimum order.

Coffee is on.

Serena said...

GREAT post!!

I buy the virgin, organic, cold pressed coconut oil and LOVE it!

Dia, you might be interested in these links too. I found them very helpful -

It can even be used on the face in place of moisturiser because it is so easily absorbed by the body.

love, light and peace,

Hanlie said...

Dia, thank you for visiting my blog and introducing yourself!

I've recently started using coconut oil on my skin, but always lick the spoon with which I scrape it out the jar. Last week I cooked with it for the first time and I really liked the flavor it imparted while cooking and afterwards.

Up to now I had been using butter for sauteeing and frying, since I know not to heat olive oil or avocado oil (I only use cold-pressed).

I also grind my flax and sprinkle it on my oatmeal and fruit salads.

Dia said...

Thanks for all your sweet comments! Serena - thank you for the green smoothie girl links - she has a GREAT site!! She shares lots of wonderful info on all sorts of things. & yes, the Virgin OG coconut oil, & OG olive, etc are the 'best'
I already notice a difference in what I want to eat - my 4 yr old granddaughter handed me half a 'store bought' cookie after church yest, I took one look at it, & put it in the garbage!! If it had been homemade, I might have been tempted - but 'yuck!'

Dia said...

& a report a year & half later - I lost ~ 5# after switching to coconut oil for most of my cooking, & that summer (2009) went Gluten free with my daughter & her family - inc the 4 year old - no wonder that cookie looked 'yucky!' tee hee
I now am about 5# over my High School weight - have lost 20# over the last year, & don't miss gluten!! I'm still cooking with coconut oil, & doing all my massage sessions with it - unless someone happens to be sensitive to it!
Still LOVE it!! & am going to look into the fair trade coconut oil Azure standard carries ...