Monday, August 3, 2015

OLIVE OIL, CORN OIL, COCONUT OIL . . .WHICH DO I CHOOSE?

by Kate Collins



I read a lot of literature on good health through good food, so years back I switched to olive oil – extra virgin for raw foods, extra light for sautéing. Now coconut oil – in fact anything coconut -- is the hot new trend. And yet it used to be a forbidden fruit, literally, because of its high fat content.  But what about corn, soy, or canola, all of which some doctors claim reduces cholesterol?

As usually happens when I’m researching, a relevant article will pop into my inbox. This one, written by Dr. David Diamond, came in a newsletter yesterday and really helped clarify the issue.  (I will provide the link at the bottom.)

You probably haven’t heard of Dr. Diamond, but his bio is impressive. He’s a neuroscientist with a PhD in biology. He's also a Professor of Psychology, Molecular Pharmacology, and Physiology at the University of South Florida and a Research Career Scientist at the Tampa VA Hospital.

But that isn’t what makes him so knowledgeable on the topic. It was the shocking health report he got from his doctor. In his own words:

'Triglycerides are recommended to be below 150 and even preferably below 100. My triglycerides were stratospheric at 750. My high-density lipoprotein (HDL), which is called the 'good cholesterol' and which you'd like to be above 40 or 50, was about 20 to 25. That combination of extremely high triglycerides and very low HDL put me at about a 15 times greater risk for heart attack compared to someone with optimal lipids.”

And he thought he was in good health.

Dr. Diamond admits to knowing nothing about nutrition. He was taught that saturated fat is bad for you, that it causes heart diseases, and that cholesterol clogs your arteries. And he found out he was wrong!

After exercising and following the recommended low-fat diet for five years, his bad numbers hadn’t budged. And he'd gained five pounds. That was when he took matters into his own hands.

Dr. Diamond discovered that what doctors are taught about nutrition is incorrect. And it's incorrect by design.  After all, if you heal a patient through diet, would there be a need for drugs?

His research turned up shocking studies, such as the following:

In one study, men were given a tablespoon of corn oil every day for three years. At the end they found “The men who consumed the corn oil had lower cholesterol and twice as many heart attacks and deaths from heart disease compared to the group that basically ate what they wanted.

“To me, this should have stopped any kind of belief that lowering cholesterol is good for you, and the paper explicitly stated that people with heart disease should not consume corn oil; it is unhealthy. And yet, the American Heart Association still recommends corn oil to people. Why? Two reasons: 1) it lowers your cholesterol and 2) the corn oil industry is a sponsor to the American Heart Association."

I think that’s appalling news!  So what does Dr. Diamond use?

“Partially hydrogenated fats – especially the unnatural oils like corn oil and soybean oil, which becomes heavily oxidized [when heated] — are very unhealthy.  . . I avoid those artificial vegetable fats and stay with the fats that are really high quality, such as avocado and olive oil. I cook with coconut oil.'"

There was my answer. I’m sticking with my olive and coconut oils.

What are your healthy eating habits?


(Read the entire fascinating article here:  “Doctor Slashes Triglyceride Levels from 800 to 150 Within Days.”  Mercola.Com, http://tinyurl.com/qe9beh6 )




23 comments:

Jen Scott said...

Olive oil is used on salads (instead of salad dressings), and coconut oil is used for cooking at my house.

Gram said...

and corn oil is full of GMO's.

Kate Collins said...

Very smart, Jen!

Kate Collins said...

I know. I don't even eat regular corn unless I know it's not from a GMO seed.

Sheryl Hagan-Booth said...

I use olive oil for cooking and use local honey to eat once a day instead of an oil. Helps my allergies!

Karen in Ohio said...

Olive oil should not be used for high heat cooking. Avocado oil works better, and it does not have any taste. I used coconut oil to cook eggs, and it makes the best stove top popcorn, ever.

Kate Collins said...

I've read that about honey before but never heard if it actually works. Thanks for commenting, Sheryl.

Kate Collins said...

I use light olive oil for sautéing. Does your coconut oil flavor the eggs? I'm afraid of imparting a coconut taste.

Karen in Ohio said...

Not really. Also, it makes a difference what brand you use, in my experience. I've been using Spectrum organic virgin coconut oil, and it has a pleasant smell, but no taste with eggs. The more refined the oil, I think, the less taste and smell. Also, I have some cheap coconut oil that I bought to use for cleaning. (It makes good furniture polish.) It has no smell whatsoever, and presumably no taste.

Nicole said...

Kate, I've relied solely on olive oil for years (I can't tell you the last time I used corn, sunflower, safflower oils)! I haven't tried coconut oil yet, but I have a friend who uses it all the time. I also substitute apple sauce for oil in most recipes (cakes, etc...) and it's a nice, healthy alternative. :-)

Kate Collins said...

Do you substitute exactly the amount of oil called for? I've also heard pumpkin puree can be used, as well.

Kate Collins said...

I bought a brand a few years back that tasted so strongly of coconut that it ruined a chicken dish. So I've been careful to only buy brands that friends have recommended. Spectrum seems to be a favorite. Thanks, Karen.

Nicole said...

Yes, I just make an exact substitution. Another friend recommended substituting applesauce for eggs for l as well, which I will do sometimes, it depends on what I'm baking. I've heard of the pumpkin substitution also, I just haven't tried it yet! :-)

Karen in Ohio said...

I have also used applesauce in place of oil in baked goods, for close to 20 years. And I also use an exact substitution.

Another substitute that will surprise you, perhaps: Flaxseed. Not the oil, but the actual flaxseed. It works just like applesauce.

emilia.m said...

grapeseed oil for salads. canola for cooking/baking. or the very unhealthy margarine (if I have to)
I use recipes that have the least possible amounts of fat in them. substitute with applesauce or sour cream. or prune-puree.
I have inherited high cholesterol problems, it runs in our family for generations. Dieting I am losing weight but my cholesterol levels are where they were. Which is at least double the max.
I've heard so many contradicting opinions in the matter, that I actually just am listening to my own guts and that's it :)

Nicole said...

Karen, I had no idea about the flaxseed - thanks! :-)

Mary Jane Maffini said...

Well said, my friend! Money rules a lot of studies and medical decisions.

Hugs.

MJ

Kate Collins said...

Emilia, I urge you to read a book called, "The Great Cholesterol Con." It's a great book and clear up so much misinformation. Written by a UK doc who is witty and funny -- and dead on the money.

Kate Collins said...

As I am learning, it rules most studies and medical decisions. Sad.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the discussion about coconut oil. When I was shopping in Safeway today, I found some sold by Spectrum and bought a jar. Do I make a 1 for 1 substitution? Cordella

Kate Collins said...

Yes, Cordella, a 1 for 1 substitution. Most people find the mild flavor it adds yummy. Some don't detect any flavor at all. It's so healthy -- enjoy!

Robert Giddings said...

Each of our bodies has developed to operate best. Cholesterol, blood sugars, even blood preasures are going to be different. We've adapted to what we have and it can do more harm to make drastic changes late in life.

Kate Collins said...

The key word is drastic. That's not good for anyone. My motto is 'everything in moderation.' The exception is corn oil. I made a complete switch years ago and my health got better.