Coconut oil pros and cons
What keeps Don Draperís (actor Jon Hammís) hair so sleek on ďMad MenĒ? Coconut oil. We YOU Docs donít actually know he uses it, but it would look the same if he did. Coconut oil has more saturated fats than lard, and that, along with the vitamin E it contains, makes it great for skin and hair. Just donít 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: Itís loaded with saturated fat. And that turns on inflammation-producing genes, clogs your arteries and breaks your heart. (Just like the boys on ďMad MenĒ!) But Dr. Oz says it helps prevent diabetes, improves calcium and magnesium absorption -- and isnít to blame for packing on pounds.
So, yes or no to coconut oil?
If youíre a South Sea Islander eating coconuts as part of a fish-rich diet and leading a physically active life, thatís one thing. But add coconut oil to our fat-drenched, inactive lives? Thatís another story. The bottom line is: Reduce your intake of all saturated fats, but if you must have some, coconut oil isnít a killer -- as long as itís not baked or cooked. Substitute it for other sat-fats in your diet; donít add it on. And remember, its most healthful benefits are for hair and skin: It moisturizes, is anti-microbial, anti-wrinkle and soothes eczema and psoriasis. Plus, it helps protect you from sun damage.
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of ďThe Dr. Oz Show,Ē and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Medical Officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. For more information go to www.RealAge.com.