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I know the consensus is not to use coconut oil because of the saturated fat content….however, I continue to hear compelling arguments and advice from reputable foundations and experts on the health benefits of virgin coconut oil, even for MS patients and other autoimmune disorders, with the basis being that virgin coconut oil, as a non-animal based saturated fat, is much different and healthier than any of the animal based fats.

My wife and I (she has MS, I do not) recently had a consultation with a nutritionist at a local, renowned autoimmune center and she also recommended virgin coconut oil in moderation. We purchased a cookbook from the center, which is dairy, egg, and gluten free and they also use coconut oil in some of their recipes (i.e. in moderation). It is very difficult trying to cook vegetables or any kind of organic chicken with a topping (e.g. almond meal) without the use of oil--- I know animal foods (chicken) are not recommended, but we do not eat red meat and do have some chicken…for now :)
We have tried some of the suggestions in the forum and it just isn’t the same without oil.

With health, obviously, being the number one concern of anything that we do with food, I am thinking that virgin coconut oil in moderation (and I STRESS “in moderation”) is perfectly fine. I know the argument is that it is concentrated saturated fat and that “degrades” the product for consideration of use for an autoimmune patient. However, I think the facts about non-animal fat are proven.

We love professor Jelinek’s book, “Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis”, and we abide by everything he suggests in it, practically using it as our step-by-step guide to life with MS. His recommendations would never be questioned; however, we are seeking an answer to the coconut oil “issue” that we ARE constantly questioning.

Here is one of the many explanations (I’m sure some/most of you have read about them):
Virgin coconut oil is a Medium Chain Fatty Acid/Triglyceride (MCFA), whereas animal fats are Long Chain Fatty Acids/ Triglycerides (LCFA).
MCFA = easily digested, easily broken down and immediately converted to energy
LCFA = difficult to break down and digest, stored as fat, can be deposited within arteries in lipid forms

The lauric acid found in virgin coconut oil has anti-inflammatory (Th2) properties and can help repair tissue. This oil is not hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated.
LCFA in animal fat have inflammatory properties (Th1). “Other” oils and animal products are hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated, creating trans fat.

Virgin coconut oil does not cause inflammation, is healthy within the body, and has been recommended by many, including the autoimmune center that we visited in person.

Swank did not count oils (vegetable) in breads – which, one would think, would probably be more harmful than virgin coconut oil in moderation if you are eating healthy bread (i.e. without oil).
The whole basis of a “MS Diet”, which is stated over and over again in the book (Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis), is to cut out all animal products and eat a plant-based, wholefood diet supplemented with seafood. If this is strictly followed, are we wrong to use some coconut oil occasionally…? I am still talking about keeping the daily saturated fat consumption under 20g (hopefully 10g) and especially as low as possible on the days we plan to use any virgin coconut oil.

The more I research, the more I think that virgin coconut oil is a product on its own – not to be coupled with palm oil or any other oil when analyzing it for intake. Virgin coconut oil is unique and “healthy”, from what I see :)

I realize Swank counted coconut oil towards saturated fat intake, but as other parts of Swank’s study have been “updated” by professor Jelinek (e.g. no more low-fat milk, yogurt, etc…), doesn’t coconut oil, with all of the current research and information about it, deserve to be reconsidered (again, in moderation)?

Thanks in advance for any help/input with this.
It is not just the saturated fat content but the melting point that is the problem.
From the FAQ's

"There is a lot of controversy about the oils in coconut and their effect on health. While some reputable authorities like Udo Erasmus argue that the short chain fatty acids in coconut may be quite healthy, Swank was very clear in eliminating coconut from the diets of those in his landmark study. We know that most of the fats in coconut are saturated fats. One of the key issues with saturated fats is their melting point. If the melting point of a fat is above body temperature, then that fat will essentially behave in body cell membranes like a solid fat at body temperature, making cell membranes rigid, inflexible and sticky, thereby encouraging degeneration and inflammation. It is worth noting that the melting points of the common fats in coconut are as follows:

Lauric acid (12:0 carbon chain) 44.2C
Myristic acid (14:0 carbon chain) 53.9C
Palmitic acid (16:0 carbon chain) 63.1C.

These fats are solid at body temperature and are likely to significantly worsen MS. We do not recommend them in any quantity. "
Thank you nryan...where did you pull that from - the FAQs from where???

Also, when roasting vegetables for example, which oil can we use? Olive oil is only recommended for low temps...
Lightly searing fish, lightly coated chicken??? What can be done?
I found the FAQs!! - sorry, I'm new to the site.

Finding an oil is a big issue for us, as we eat a lot of vegetables throughout the week...
I did find some information on Canola Oil:

Smoke Point = 425-475 degrees F (vs EVOO 325-degrees F)
7% Saturated Fatty Acids
63% Oleic Acid (Omega-9) --- melting point of 13 C
21% Linoleic Acid (Omega-6) --- melting point of -5 C
9% Alpha-Linolenic Acid (Omega-3) --- melting point -16.5 C

Canola Oil seems to have the lowest saturated fat of any of the oils (safflower, sunflower, corn, olive, coconut, etc...) and has a higher smoke point than EVOO to prevent the breakdown of the oil when roasting vegetables.
The melting points of the acids seem favorable...
Could this oil be considered for the purpose I describe (limiting the cooking temp to less than 400 F? I would add in the saturated fat content to our daily consumption total.

Thank you again.
Roasting and oil aren't words I put together.
I chop up veg and potato and oven bake using 9 inch square silicon tray which means no oil is needed and the veg comes out full of flavor. I also have a silicon sheet which is great for say aubergene.

400f is very hot even with out oil I don't cook anything over 360f (180c)
I tend to follow Udo Erasmus (Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill) suggestion and whenever I want to sauté vegetables I pour some EVOO in the pan, start the flame and immediately toss the vegetables in the pan. This way the oil will never get too hot (unless you burn the vegetables).

Thank you for the responses - very helpful! I'm glad we are not using coconut oil...thanks to this site! We appreciate the wealth of information here.

I found an informative read on olive oil from a professor who has done a lot of research on oils, along with clinical trials...the footnotes at the end of the article would be interesting to look into:

http://www.truthinoliveoil.com/2013/10/ ... -olive-oil
That is a useful link. Thank you,

I've been reading Terry Wahls' newest book where she uses coconut oil for cooking and doesn't even mention saturated fats! (But then she does eat grass fed organic meat and her diet is very paleo based) She talks about the bonds in the molecular structure a lot but doesn't mention what happens at body temperature. I'm sticking to EVO not heated!
There is a four page explanation of the role of fats in MS in the Recovery Program.
http://www.overcomingmultiplesclerosis. ... ats-in-MS/
* Altered fats - avoid refined oils such as Canola
* Cooking and Oils - extra virgin olive oil is the only oil that should be used in the kitchen - avoid frying if at all possible
* Types of Fats - coconut oil gets a specific mention alongside palm oil
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