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The “Coconut Oil is Poison” BS (Breather Episode with Brad)

By Brad Kearns

Perhaps you saw the headline stories about some Harvard professor calling out coconut oil as “pure poison?” Her ridiculous lecture sound bites were seized upon by the modern media machine and turned into a salacious international news story. Predictably, folks in the primal/paleo community quickly weighed in to discredit her irresponsible comments, which are remnants from the decades of flawed conventional wisdom that issued a blanket condemnation of saturated fat as the proximate cause of heart disease. always does a great job providing a thoughtful perspective with numerous links to respected science when the debate of the day arises. Here’s Mark’s take on the coconut oil issue. Perhaps you’re old enough to remember the aggressive and highly successful movement in the early 1970s to transition Americans from butter to margarine? Yes, refined high polyunsaturated vegetable oils, now acknowledged by respected science to be directly responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths from heart disease and cancer each year, were highly touted by the pillars of conventional wisdom for decades. This sad story is a fascinating example of what happens when special interests intersect with government and educational bureaucracy heavily invested in the status quo (in assorted ways, including ego, tenure, and profit interests), and the individual consumer ends up royally screwed. It’s still confusing to process today’s passionate and disparate opinions about diet. Today we have the seemingly opposing camps of the plant based folks versus the primal/paleo/keto folks. I prefer to focus on the common ground, such as eating a colorful, nutrient dense diet with abundant intake of vegetables. No one argues with that! If you decide not to eat some of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet (meat, fish, fowl, eggs) in favor of a commitment to vegetarian or veganism, this may work well for you with a careful approach to ensure you get the nutrients you need. Similarly, if you decide to adhere to ancestral eating patterns and end up with most of you calories from fat and comparatively minimal carbohydrate intake, there is great scientific and anecdotal evidence that you can thrive, drop excess body fat, and reduce disease risk factors. One thing is for sure: we have enough sensationalism, controversy and irresponsible cultural influencers out there to proclaim that enough is enough. This coconut oil story is a good example of bullshit of the modern media machine and entrenched conventional wisdom spouters creating massive damage to humans interested in eating and living healthy. Hence, I am compelled to squeeze this show into the lineup ASAP and go off! Hopefully, you will obtain a basic education and fresh perspective on the matter of consuming a healthy, natural product like coconut oil in your diet, and the general rationale for an ancestral style eating pattern. Here’s my starting point: How can something that’s easily and naturally extracted from an edible plant, something that humans have been eating for thousands of years, be a “poison”?

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