What keeps Don Draper’s (actor Jon Hamm’s) hair so sleek on “Mad Men”? Coconut oil. We YOU Docs don’t 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 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: It’s loaded with saturated fat. And that turns on inflammation-producing genes, clogs your arteries and breaks your heart. (Just like the boys on “Mad Men”!) But Dr. Oz says it helps prevent diabetes, improves calcium and magnesium absorption -- and isn’t to blame for packing on pounds.
So, yes or no to coconut oil?
If you’re 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 our fat-drenched, inactive lives? That’s another story. The bottom line is: Reduce your intake of all saturated fats, but if you must have some, coconut oil isn’t a killer -- as long as it’s not baked or cooked. Substitute it for other sat-fats in your diet; don’t 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 “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Medical Officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. For more information go to www.RealAge.com.