How Healthy is the Oil You’re Using? Have you Considered Coconut Oil?
From partially hydrogenated to 100% vegetable oil, generic vegetable oil is perhaps the most common oil used in American kitchens, and there are three general reasons why these oils are highly toxic. First, when these oils are heated, especially at high heats, these oils oxidize and release toxins, such as cyclic aldehydes, which have been linked to health issues such as various neurodegenerative diseases and certain types of cancer . Second, vegetable oils are highly concentrated sources of omega-6 which can cause an imbalance in the body between omega-6 and the healthier omega-3. Third, many of today’s vegetable oils produced are derived from GMO ingredients including soy and corn which have been exposed to the compound glyphosate, the active ingredient in the most popular weed killer .
Additionally, vegetable oils (polyunsaturated fat) harm the body in various other ways including:
- Releasing high levels of oxidation products which cause oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LDL) – think bad cholesterol – which is associated with heart disease .
- Damaging mitochondria and DNA by making cell membranes more permeable which allows compounds to enter which shouldn’t .
- Stripping the liver of glutathione which produces antioxidant enzymes, consequentially lowering antioxidant defenses .
- Exposing 4-hydroxynoneal (4HNE), which is formed with the oil is processed, to your gut, which has been linked to an imbalance of gut flora and inflammation in the small intestine .
Those are only four of the several ways vegetable oils can inhibit the proper function of your body.
Continuing, over the past century as food has become more processed, the level of omega-6 people consume has increased exponentially, and as a consequence, the balance of omega-3 to omega-6 is overlooked. Omega-6 itself is unhealthy, but the imbalance of excess omega-6 makes matters much worse.
The ideal ratio is (4-2)-to-1 of omega-6 to omega-3 fats. Paradoxically, this is virtually impossible if one’s diet highly consists of processed or restaurant foods because these foods are often cooked in/with corn oil or canola oil which are high in omega-6. Therefore, there are two things you need to do to help correct this imbalance of fatty acids:
- Decrease the amount of omega-6 you consume whether that is eating out or eating fried foods. Remember, the higher the oil heats, the more it breaks down and releases toxic compounds. Further, studies have shown people who frequently consume deep-fried foods have a significantly increased risk of stroke and death .
- Increase your intake of omega-3. This can be done by taking a supplement such as Healthmasters’ Norwegian Omega 3 or Healthmasters' Body Balance HEMMLA or increasing the level of small fatty fish in your diet such as sardines, herring, and or anchovies. Also, salmon is a good alternative.
But what if you want to go above and beyond and really take care of yourself? Well, by changing the oil you cook with, you could both be helping the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 and helping your body in other ways. Coconut oil is perhaps one of the healthiest oils you can consume, along with avocado oil and olive oil.
Numerous studies have illustrated the positive health effects of coconut oil:
- Coconut oil has been argued to help reduce belly fat .
- Has been shown to increase cognitive improvement in patients with Alzheimer’s disease .
- Some argue coconut oil could be an NSAID alternative because of its anti-inflammatory effects 
- During one study, researchers stated, “Coconut oil should be used in the treatment of fungal infections given emerging drug-resistant Candida species” highlighting coconut oil’s anti-fungal properties .
- Coconut oil has been shown to reduce oxidative stress within the bone, which may prevent structural damage in osteoporotic bone .
- In a recently published article, coconut oil has been argued to protect against macular degeneration .
Further, one tablespoon of coconut oil a day has been shown to increase HDL or “good” cholesterol, while simultaneously reducing body-mass index (BMI) and waist circumference .
All in all, the type of oil people put into their bodies is commonly overlooked and considered unimportant to notice. However, when you multiply its effects over decades, the research is quite clear: oil does, in-fact, matter.