Does Coconut Oil Have Health Benefits?
What keeps Don Draper's hair so sleek in the TV show Mad Men? Coconut oil. We YOU Docs don't actually know if he uses it, but it would look the same if he did. Coconut oil contains vitamin E and more saturated fat than lard, which makes it great for skin and hair. Just don't eat it (at least, not much).
Do we YOU Docs differ on this? Maybe.
Dr. Mike has always said coconut oil will put you on the fast track for the cardiac care unit because the saturated fat turns on inflammation-producing genes, clogs your arteries, and breaks your heart (just like the boys on Mad Men!). Dr. Oz, however, says coconut oil helps prevent diabetes, improves calcium and magnesium absorption, and isnt to blame for packing on pounds. (Unless . . .)
So, yes or no to coconut oil?
If youre a South Sea Islander eating coconuts as part of a fish-rich diet and leading a physically active life, that's one thing, but add coconut oil to typical American, fat-drenched, inactive lives, thats another story. The bottom line is this: Reduce your intake of all saturated fats, but if you must have some, coconut oil isnt a killer -- as long as it's not baked or cooked. Substitute coconut oil for other sat-fats in your diet. Dont add it on. Remember, coconut oil's best benefits are for hair and skin health: It moisturizes, it's anti-microbial and anti-wrinkle, and it soothes eczema and psoriasis. Plus, it helps protect your skin from sun damage.