Coconut oil is an ancient food, and has been an essential component of many of the earth’s healthiest cultures. Cultures that have consumed high amounts of coconut oil generally have not suffered with diabetes or other “civilized” diseases. Unfortunately, as many of these people abandon their traditional ways of eating, they begin to suffer with diabetes.
For example, the people who live on the island of Nauru long enjoyed a diet of mostly bananas, yams and coconuts. Diabetes was a completely unknown illness. As the island became Westernized, and the diet began to include refined flour, sugar and vegetable oils, diabetes appeared. According to the World Health Organisation, up to 50% of the urbanised Nauru population age 30 – 64 are diabetic today.
Although few people make the association between refined vegetable oils and diabetes, the link has been well researched. In the 1920s Dr. S. Sweeney found that a diet high in vegetable oil could cause reversible diabetes within 48 hours in subjects who had not been previously diabetic. A 1998 study published in Metabolism showed that diabetes could be reversed by cutting out polyunsaturated fat.
There is a molecular difference between coconut oil and all other common vegetable oils such as corn, sunflower and safflower oil. The molecules that make up these polyunsaturated oils are made up of a long chain of fatty acids. On the other hand, virgin coconut oil is made up of smaller molecules or medium chain fatty acids.
Long chain fats are either deposited in blood vessels as cholesterol or stored around the waist, thighs and buttocks as energy stores of fat for emergencies. Medium chain fatty acids are used immediately as a source of energy.
Most people with diabetes are on strict low fat, high carbohydrate diets in which the few fats allowed are polyunsaturated vegetable oils. However, studies have shown that polyunsaturated long chain fats decrease cellular ability to bind with insulin, and reduce their ability to absorb glucose…especially when these oils are heated during cooking. In other words, polyunsaturated long chain fats, commonly thought to be “healthful”, actually make diabetes worse.
Furthermore, polyunsaturated vegetable oils can cause free radical damage to the cells, and adversely affect their ability to function. The bottom line is that cooking with polyunsaturated vegetable oils should be avoided by people with diabetes.
Why is Coconut Oil so Beneficial for Diabetes?
The smaller and more easily absorbed medium chain molecules found in coconut oil supply the cells with essential fatty acids without inhibiting insulin and without glucose, so they combat insulin resistance. Virgin coconut oil is a unique food that serves as an energy boost to the body, without causing a spike in blood sugar levels.
Researchers have discovered that while heavy foods (including polyunsaturated oils) slow down the metabolism, organic coconut oil actually stimulates the metabolism to assist the fat burning process, even when heated. In simple terms, simply replacing your cooking oils with coconut oil – while avoiding sugar and getting sufficient exercise – can address and even prevent diabetes.
Hippocrates Coconut Oil (Virgin, Organic, Unrefined, Unbleached, Unhydrogenated, Undeodorised, Cold-Pressed) is available.