For Tew, the coconut oil issue is another example of the perils of classifying some foods as superfoods. Labelling products as superfoods can fool people into thinking they are eating well when they are not. The obsession with expensive, exotic superfoods also means we forget the easy, cheap foods that are more likely to keep us healthy — apples, oranges, broccoli and milk.
But if canonising foods is unhelpful, then perhaps so is demonising them. And here, public health officials may have been guilty of oversimplification — and an unfair assessment of fats. In the past few years, the debate over whether fats have been wrongly turned into villains has become intense and polarised. But even more moderate voices acknowledge that the low-fat diet health message is too crude — and not always supported by the evidence. One of the best studies into saturated fats and heart disease was a Cochrane review of 15 clinical trials covering 59, people, which found that cutting out saturated fat and replacing it with carbs and proteins made no difference to cardiovascular disease.
It seemed to be showing that saturated fats are no worse for us than carbs — but that the real benefits come when we swap them for olive oils, nut oils and the fats in avocado. Sanders believes not all saturated fats are the same.
Dairy provides other things — magnesium, calcium and nutrients that may counteract the effects of saturated fat. But while not all fats are equal, Sanders, like most food scientists, remains unconvinced by the health claims for coconut oil or the suggestion that the saturated fat in coconut oil is less harmful than other saturated fats.
There is, he says, insufficient evidence for such claims. Coconut oil may be no superfood, but equally, it is no villain. He has written for the Observer on acupuncture, mindfulness and the science of wine-tasting. According to health food websites, coconut oil can be used to treat everything from thyroid disorders to thrush, via brittle bones and dementia.
- Subscribe to PND Newsletters and Alerts?
- Bloomberg, CZI, Gates Launch $225 Million Global Health Initiative.
- Meet the chef who’s debunking detox, diets and wellness.
- Amazing Faith.
Coconut oil advocates believe that it has powerful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties because it contains lauric acid, a fatty acid also found in breast milk. It is true that lauric acid derived from coconut oil acts as an antibiotic, but this has only been seen in vitro and at super-concentrated doses. In studies where the two have been directly compared, coconut oil was shown to be as useful as water at killing bacteria.
What actually is the Mediterranean diet – and does it work?
Here are three more of the most commonly cited, scientifically dubious health uses for coconut oil to be wary of. Agnes Donnelly. Skin While it is true that coconut oil is found in many sunscreens, coconut oil on its own has an SPF of around 1. Hair Coconut oil is believed to moisturise, provide nutrients, kill bacteria and improve circulation of blood in the scalp.
Some websites even promote it as a way to slow hair loss. In truth, coconut oil contains tiny amounts of nutrients and its antibacterial properties are unproved. Any effect it has on your hair is purely cosmetic. There is no evidence that this works. However, there have been cases of lipoid pneumonia, when the oil is accidentally inhaled into the lungs and causes disease.
Dietary fat can be divided into two camps — the solid, mostly animal-derived saturated fats such as lard, dripping and butter and the liquid, unsaturated fats such as olive oil and nut oil, mostly derived from plants. We are so used to bandying around words such as saturated and trans fat that many of us or at least those of us without a chemistry A-level rarely consider what the words mean.
Whether a fat is saturated or unsaturated depends on the way that carbon atoms in the long chains of fatty acids found in fat molecules are connected to one another.
In an unsaturated fat molecule, one or more carbon atoms are linked by double bonds. If the circumstances are right, one of these bonds can loosen and connect to a passing hydrogen atom, adding another hydrogen atom to the molecule. However, in a saturated fat such as lard, all the carbon atoms are held together with single bonds. Trans fats are cheaper than normal saturated fats, more suitable for industrial scale baking and have a longer shelf life.
A fat is monounsaturated if it contains just one double bond among its carbon atoms. If it has many double bonds, it is polyunsaturated. This article contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission if a reader clicks through and makes a purchase. All our journalism is independent and is in no way influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative. By clicking on an affiliate link, you accept that third-party cookies will be set. More information.
14 Secrets from Countries with the Lowest Heart Attack Rates
Facebook Twitter Pinterest. Topics Coconuts The Observer. Reuse this content. Order by newest oldest recommendations. They found that those in the group who ate the most Mediterranean diets were around 66 per cent more likely to get pregnant and give birth to a live baby than those in the group whose diets were relatively less Mediterranean. New Delhi: Child and maternal malnutrition posed the most challenging health risk in India in , followed by air pollution, dietary risks, high blood pressure and diabetes, according to the Economic Survey , presented in Parliament on Monday.
India is a country of 1. India has 29 states and 7 territories, with the populations of many states exceeding those of large countries. There are more than distinct ethnic groups in India who speak languages, of which 23 are considered official languages that are spoken by more than a million native speakers. India also has one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Along with rapid globalization and technological transformations, however, have come health problems, such as obesity, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes.
A new report has highlighted the need for the world to look at more sustainable ways of feeding livestock, as half of all agricultural land is used for feed production. Titled 'The Feed Behind Our Food', the report highlights its significant impacts on environmental health and food security. This call for increased scrutiny comes at a time when animal feed production is projected to grow exponentially to meet future demand. Already, nearly half of global agricultural land is used for livestock feed production and more than a fifth of wild caught fish is fed to animals.
Algae are being used to develop new technology to clean up waste. The ALG-AD project could potentially result in a circular economy solution whereby excess waste nutrients produced from anaerobic digestion of food and farm waste are used to cultivate algal biomass for animal feed and other products of value. Sharing big data from satellite imagery and other Earth observations across Asia, the Middle East and east Africa is key to sustainability.
Food supplies can be unreliable.
Diet dreams are splashed across magazine covers and blare from the TV, offering tips and tricks, that will, readers and viewers are promised, make weight loss easy and fast. Diet books making similar claims can be found at the top of the best-seller list without fail, every January. But where does this obsession with losing weight to reach some kind of idealized body type come from?
How long have gurus and doctors alike made millions from the West's preoccupation with the "d" word, and. Holy chickens: Did Medieval religious rules drive domestic chicken evolution? Chickens were domesticated from Asian jungle fowl around 6, years ago. Since domestication they have acquired a number of traits that are valuable to humans, including those concerning appearance, reduced aggression and faster egg-laying, although it is not known when and why these traits evolved. Now, an international team of scientists has combined DNA data from archaeological chicken bones with statistical modeling to pinpoint when these traits started to increase in frequency in Europe.
Red meat, TMAO, and your heart - Harvard Health
The ancient Greeks may have liberally indulged in wine, but that's not the only alcoholic beverage they imbibed, according to a new study that describes the discovery of two potential Bronze Age breweries. The "stout" discoveries mark what may be the oldest beer-making facilities in Greece and upend the notion that the region's ancient go-to drink was only wine, the researchers said.
One of the most famous Levantine exports of the 20th century was the Jaffa orange, and we have long associated the region with citrus. Today citrus orchards are a major component of the Mediterranean landscape and among the region's most important cultivated fruits.
Related Global Health Research Digest, Heart Disease and Stroke
Copyright 2019 - All Right Reserved