Skip Low-Fat/Fat Free, Add Coconut Oil

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Interviewer: One of the biggest things that we've been taught in the last couple of decades when it comes to nutrition, or at least the things that have been pushed on us, is fat-free, low-fat this, fat-free. And yet, obesity rates, type 2 diabetes continue to climb.  Is there a connection there?

Angela Bruer-Balouch: Yes, that is a really key point. So if you look at the fat-free diets; guess what? We need fat in our diets. And this was a hard one for me to get, because every time I would get a salad, I did not want the dressing. I don't want the fat-free dressing, I don't want the fat dressing. I just didn't want dressing at all, because I thought of it as bad.

But there are some vitamins that our bodies need; they're fat-soluble vitamins. So when I eat those fresh, garden vegetables, having a proportion of fat on your plate will help your body absorb those nutrients from those vegetables. So all fats are not bad. In fact, my very, very favorite is coconut oil. My friends and family will tell you that I'm absolutely crazy for coconut oil. It's a saturated fat, but it's a good saturated fat that has so many different uses.

But there's one thing; it's when you look at the education and fats, there are fats out there that we use that can actually be carcinogenic. There are oils that will spoil. So you have to look at the fats that you're using, but we absolutely need fats in our diets; good fats allow us to metabolize the protein and the carbs altogether, to balance our blood sugar.

Interviewer: Coconut oil is something that has really taken off in the last couple of years.  How do you use it?

Angela Bruer-Balouch: I use coconut oil on my face every night before I go to bed, as a moisturizer. I've removed my son's wart with coconut oil. I've used it as a cleaner.  I put it in smoothies. I eat it whole as a fat source because it just smells delicious.  And I cook with it; I use it eggs, I use it in stir-fries, and I use it as a moisturizer on lips.  

And the interesting thing that I'm going to tell you about coconut oil is that, I believe, and this may be controversial, but I believe that the government or whoever is regulating agriculture, did not want the coconut oil to be seen as a healthy fat, because it would take away from the soy bean and corn oil sales. And guess what?  Corn and soy bean oil, when not properly kept, and after a time frame, it can be a carcinogenic. It can spoil, and you don't even know because it doesn't smell, and it doesn't taste any differently.

And why? Because it's cheap. Coconut oil is expensive oil and guess what?  Our government's not going to make too much money on it, or people aren't going to pay for it because it's more expensive. People in the indigenous Polynesian countries have been using coconut oil for years. So the thing about looking at different healthy alternatives in foods is looking outside of what we've been doing, and looking at what's working on other economies, other countries, other cultures where those people really have healthy lives; they're thriving.
Nutritionist Angela Bruer-Balouch discusses the fat free fad and why that's not healthy. She also discusses healthy fats and why coconut oil can be so beneficial in many ways.

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