Coconut oil has been in the news lately because Karin Michels, an epidemiologist at the T.H. Chan School of Public Health, has called it “one of the worst things you can eat” and “pure poison”. Her comments are based on the high proportion of saturated fat found in it that can cause LDL cholesteral to rise. A video of her speech is on YouTube has gone viral. Alas, it is in German so some of us cannot understand her.
Coconut oil has over 80% saturated fat in it – more than what you would find in beef drippings and lard. Some people like to fry with it because it has a high smoke point. Some use it as a butter substitute in baking to make items dairy-free or to cut back on butter. It is also used in stir-fry. You will also find it in beauty products and hair care products.
Time (time.com) had an article asking the question, “Are Egg Yolks Unhealthy?” This provoked the Victor crew to find out more about this. Here are some highlights from the article:
The yolks have the bulk of an eggs iron, folate, vitamins, and minerals. The downside: eggs yolks are a source of cholesterol. This is why we have things like Egg-Beaters out there, and why egg white omelets are a thing. But here’s the rub: dietary cholesterol does not translate into high levels of blood cholesterol. Current data does not justify eschewing eggs.
Eggs seemed to be vilified for so long, it is a relief to be able to eat them every day if you so choose. You shouldn’t eat five eggs in an omelet, just as too much of any one food is not as healthy, but feel free to eat them. The only questions that some data show is that high egg consumption by those with type 2 diabetes may have a higher risk of coronary heart disease.
You Asked: Are Egg Yolks Unhealthy?
We all know and have heard that trans fat is bad. We are to avoid it as much as possible. That’s ok for food you make yourself but when you go out or bring home some items, are you really paying attention to the trans fat content? Trans fat is what you would see called partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs).
The FDA ruled just Tuesday, June 15, 2015, that it is not “generally recognized as safe” for use in our food. Manufacturers are given three years to remove this fat from their products. However, they can still petition for its use to the FDA. Trans fat is linked to body weight, heart disease, and memory loss. It raises the level of Low Density cholesterol (the bad one) which can lead to heart attacks.
In 2006, the FDA required manufacturers to label trans fat content on nutrition labels. The FDA estimates the drop in trans fat consumption to be about 78% from 2003 to 2012. You may still be getting trans fat and not know it. Labels are permitted to use “0” for the amount if it is 0.5 grams or less. Add that all up and you could still be getting a few grams per day.
Side Note: this took from 2013 until now for this regulation to be finalized.
Seems in some markets, everywhere you turn you see a display of pistachios. Then there are all the commercials on TV for them. The Victor crew wanted to find out if they were healthy or not. This is what we found out:
Pistachios, a member of the cashew family, grow well in hot dry climates. They grow in clusters like grapes. When we eat them, we are eating the seed kernels.
They are about 3-4 calories per nut, fewer than most any other nut. If you get them with their shells, you will eat less overall because of the time it takes to unshell them. Also, seeing the shells in front of you will make you realize how many you are eating. Pistachios contain more potassium than other nuts and they may help lower cholesterol. Make sure you buy the natural pistachios and not the ones that are dyed red. Red pistachios don’t exist naturally.
This past week, new guidelines for risk assessment of heart disease came out. The bottom line is, just the numbers of your cholesterol aren’t figured in anymore for your risk of heart disease. Now it looks at your blood pressure, whether you have diabetes, smoke, and your race, age, and gender as well.
Guess what, Jody, you can download an assessment tool from the American Heart Association to find out your risk. The new guidelines are determining whether you will benefit from statin drugs. More people may find themselves taking statins even if their cholesterol numbers seem normal. Diet and exercise alone may not decrease the risk of needing the drugs.
~ Steve Victor