Body and Soul: Food Fact or Fiction
Having trouble keeping up with what’s good and what’s bad for you? Dietitians give us the skinny on the latest nutrition news.
Coconut oil, once a nutrition villain, later became a nutrition superhero and a staple in many kitchens. But then a June 2017 story in USA Today returned it to villain status with the headline, “Coconut oil isn’t healthy. It’s never been healthy,” sending many coconut oil-loving people off in a tizzy. “The ‘facts’ have changed, and nutrition has been dumped on its head,” says Renee Matthews of Renee Nutrition. She points to multiple studies that show extra-virgin coconut oil has been linked to a lower body mass index and reduced waistline, an improved cognitive function in Alzheimer’s patients, and in the treatment of insulin resistance and hypertension. “It’s defi nitely a good source of fat for sure. It’s just a matter of is it a quality source,” says Gabrielle Mancella of Orlando Health. “When you’re getting coconut oil, make sure it’s unprocessed and unrefined. If it’s refi ned, we know that the chemical composition has changed and it may not be what we intended to use.”