Go coconuts- Yes really!
In the 1940’s coronary heart disease was the number one cause of death in the US so several scientific groups took it upon themselves to determine the underlying cause of an epidemic that was affecting almost every corner of the country. After some extensive research, it was suggested that coronary heart disease was as a result of a diet high in saturated fats and cholesterol.
This set the ball rolling and suddenly a myriad of “heart healthy” diets rolled through the media and from the 1950’s into the 1990’s dietary fat was exclusively blamed for coronary heart disease and obesity.
From that moment back in 1940, the food production industry set out to make the consumer’s life easier and “healthier” by capitalizing on the nationwide government message of “fat is bad – stop eating it!”. By the 1980’s Low-fat varieties of almost every type of food hit the shelves and suddenly everyone in America was slurping down fat-free milk and smiling into their tubs of 99% fat-free yoghurt in their lycra.
Fat became the biggest villain of the 80’s and 90’s and was shunned more than Marky-Mark’s pants-dropping escapades. As long it was low fat or fat-free then it was ok – or was it? Removing fat from processed foods left little in taste so food producers balanced out the loss of flavour with sugar and high fructose corn syrup. Instead of the fat-free national initiative improving heart disease it had created a whole other demon – obesity.
Fast forward to 2018 and the dogma of ‘fat is bad’ is still circling the minds of many who grew up in the age of aerobics and microwave dinners, however little by little we are learning that fat is not only ok (in the right form) it is absolutely essential to overall health and fertility.
Why is fat important for fertility?
Fat is essential for the production of hormones without it the body will struggle to produce reproductive hormones such as FSH, progesterone and estrogen. No hormones mean no baby. For example, often women experience a loss of period if their diet is too low in fat. This is because the body is unable to create progesterone. An increase in dietary fat often allows the body to begin menstruating again as progesterone is in free supply.
Why coconut oil?
There has been some confusion in the media around whether or not coconut oil is as beneficial as we are led to believe. This is due to its high concentration of saturated fat, and saturated fat is bad. isn’t it? Well, yes and no. It depends on the type of saturated fat because not all saturated fats are created equal and they do not behave the same way once they enter the body.
Saturated fats such as those in dairy, red meat and poultry are known to contribute to coronary heart disease and higher levels of LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) and while the saturated fat in coconut oil does still contribute to LDL it also increases HDL – the good cholesterol.
Coconut oil also has a bunch of other benefits such as:
- Supports immune function
- Increases energy
- Antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal
- Supports fat storage for pregnancy
- Increases lauric acid in breast milk
Why do we need saturated fat?
Saturated fat is responsible synthesising cholesterol which is structurally essential for many bodily functions. Cholesterol is required to strengthen cell membranes, make hormones such as estrogen and testosterone, produce vitamin D and produce bile acids which help you to digest fat.
As you can see fat is an important key player in helping you get pregnant. So choose the right type, have the right portion size and forget everything you have heard about the “demon fat!”.
What is your favourite way to cook with coconut oil? Leave it in the comments below!
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