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Category: Nutrition

Coconut Oil as part of the Anti-Alzheimer's Trio

Getting Familiar with Coconut Oil

Part of the triumvirate of foodstuffs that make up my anti-Alzheimer’s trio, coconut oil is one of my favorite ingredients, snacks, and superfoods. It’s an incredible way to increase beta-HBA, one of our brain’s “superfuels,” as well as being a near-perfect source of healthy fat. But the benefits of coconut oil don’t stop there. Importantly, coconut oil is key for fighting inflammation, making it part of a diet that doesn’t just support a healthier brain, but a healthier body. Coconut oil, and the saturated fats present in it, are also to thank for helping us fight off infections, as these fats help the proteins in our immune system more effectively rid our bodies of invading organisms. On Facebook, many of you have been asking about the best way to incorporate coconut oil into your daily meal plan. While you could simply take 1-2 tablespoons in the morning and call it a day, coconut oil is put to better use when added to a dish to improve its overall flavor. Consider getting your daily requirement of coconut oil in any of the following ways:

  • There’s a recipe here on the site for a coconut oil omelet that will soon become a daily staple for you.
  • Add coconut oil to your smoothies (the MCTs will help increase your energy).
  • Mix it into your morning cup of coffee.
  • For stir-fry like you’ve never had before, cook with coconut oil. It’ll even help your body absorb more of the nutrients present in your vegetables.
  • SG

    Thank you for this article. I have been using coconut oil to fry my 7 year olds eggs in the morning. I also use it when making pancakes and lightly frying tortillas!

    • ri

      SG -eggs and coconut oil are great- pancakes and tortillas not so much..unless your just making them for your kids but maybe you can try making buckwheat pancakes

  • Gardener Karen

    What are Dr. Permutter’s favorite brands for supplements?

    • David Perlmutter

      Gardener: There will soon be an answer to that question here on this site! We’re launching a supplements section very soon.

  • Maryann

    Thank you for such revolutionary and life-saving information, Dr. Perlmutter; God bless you for using your gifts to help so many people. When it comes to healthy fats, I have heard you say that they help in weight loss. I understand how vitally important they are for brain health; but, If weight loss is a goal, should an individual hold off on adding in coconut oil and olive oil until at the goal weight? Won’t these extra calories be an obstacle? Thank you so much, Maryann

    • David Perlmutter

      Maryann: Both of those items you mention are brain-healthy fats! Important to add to the diet. But you do have a point, it is not a license to gorge.

      • Maryann

        Thank you Dr. Perlmutter, to clarify my question, I was asking if healthy fats facilitate fat loss in any way; I believe I heard you mention that you have to eat fat to lose fat in a podcast. Thanks!

      • Claudette

        We are trying to do the Grain Brain lifestyle however I have a few questions about the cooking oils. We do not care for the coconut oil taste . Olive oil is our favorite but I know it changes properties when heated. What can we use besides coconut oil to cook with? thanks Claudette

        • David Perlmutter

          Here’s my video on the subject: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33GHfclu8DU

        • Allison

          Minced onion (or garlic) completely covers the coconut taste. I use organic onions & pulverize them in food processor. Scoop the minced onion into a ziplock sandwich bag, flatten to ~ 1/8″ thick & freeze. You can break off a chunk & add it to the coconut oil in your pan. This eliminates onion prep every time you cook. (I wish ziplock bags were BPA free…, hopefully soon). You can also use coconut oil as a salad dressing base. The healthiest store bought dressing is Bragg organic, different varieties. I get the “Braggberry” (its -purple) FAT FREE, & add it to coconut oil to get one of the healthiest dressings possible. Melt the coconut oil on low heat stove top in a pyrex pourable measuring cup (pint) w/ glass handle. You can add some stevia if it is too tart. Whisk w/fork & pour onto salad. you Won’t taste the coconut. Another option is to cook with grass/ pasture fed Ghee (check Amazon) or Kerrygold grass fed butter. (Sams & many stores have Kerrygold butter). But, Unrefined organic coconut oil is cheaper & still the Healthiest choice there is. (Just read about medium chain fat benefits; coconut oil is the best example). A great info source about coconut oil/ medium chain fats is: perfecthealthdiet.com by researchers Paul Jaminet & wife, both Ph.D’s. Good health to you!

  • Linda Perry Briggs

    I see that goat cheese is allowed, there isn’t too much that I have found about other cheeses, are they allowed? limited? and if limited how much can you have?

    • David Perlmutter

      You’re okay to reach for most any cheese, except blue cheeses.

      • Linda Perry Briggs

        limits? can I have 1 oz or 2 oz? OK so I love cheese! I have been able to shake flour and sugar, but cheese, that’ll be tough. I know you say not to much on the cream, so I wondered if there was a limit on cheese, and I guess I want the amount to be defined so I can do my best to follow and adhere to the basics
        by the way thanks! I have been type 2 diabetic for 20 years, the best I feel is when I am off sugar and flour, I always knew I felt a clarity of mind, but the book just put so much into perspective for me.

  • KF

    Does it matter if I use refined coconut oil? I really do not like the flavor of coconut in my eggs:-(

    • Allison

      Pulverize onion in food processor, scoop into ziplock sandwich bags, flatten & freeze. Break off a small chunk & add to your pan w/ unrefined coconut oil. You Won’t taste the coconut oil in your eggs!. Unrefined is healthier than refined.

  • bob N

    The coconut oil at several stores in my area is white and solid. It does not look like oil. Is it still OK or should I keep looking??

    • gaylep

      Yes. That is the oil in solid form. If you live in a colder climate, during the summer it will liquify…or at least partially liquify.

  • Ellie

    Coconut oil chocolate is my favoured way of ingesting coconut oil or drizzled straight over a fresh salad. The chocolate is just oil, cacao and a bit of stevia added. You can add raw nuts, coconut chips or a bit of vanilla, peppermint or orange essence for variety. My biggest worry is that I take in too much coconut oil! I also do coconut cream popsicles … heaven.

  • Pingback: Coconut Palm Sugar – What’s the Skinny? | David Perlmutter M.D.()

  • Maryann

    Hi Dr! So many people put coconut oil in their morning coffee. Is this a good idea for people doing intermittent fasting? Wouldn’t coconut oil or Fuel for Thought (which has 3 grams of added sugar along with MCT and coconut oil) destroy the period of IF someone is making the effort to achieve? Thank you very much! Maryann

  • Connie

    After a lot of research there’s no doubt c/o is healthful. I love it, but it always makes my lips chapped. This seems minor but is a real annoyance. Should I continue using coconut oil or am I creating more inflammation? I have tried many types of the coconut oils but react to all of them. Sure could use some advice. Thank you Connie

    • jill

      Hi Connie–the MCT’s (medium chain triglycerides) in CO are great for managing our inflammation.
      Your chapped lips are likely a food allergy symptom: coconut sensitivity or allergy. I see a large number of people sensitive to coconut in my holistic allergy practice: remoteallergyrelief.com. It would take 5 appointments to eliminate that allergy but it would likely also improve your digestion as well as eliminate any other fruit sensitivities you may have. You’re welcome to sign up for a free 30 minute Skype Consultation. Love to help you. Dr. Jill Cohn, DC

  • Robin Maisel

    I am very confused by the whole issue of oils and AGEs.I thought I remembered you saying at so me point that all oils were dangerous and could cause serious damage. Could you please clairy. I’ve been using coconut oil for heating, but now i’m not sure whether to continue this.

    • Allison

      DO use coconut oil! it is for medium heat, & the healthiest oil there is. If you Must cook w/ high heat at times, use almond oil. Be sure to read Grain Brain for specifics. Some oils can take more heat w/out creating AGE’s than others. All Industrial seed oils are the dangerous ones. (Canola, soy, corn,…). Healthy fats & oils are critical to brain/ body health. Grain Brain will clarify all, & you may want to highlight & read some sections twice.

  • Laura86

    Been making scramble eggs with coconut oil taste good though

    • David Perlmutter

      Sounds great!

  • CFW

    I’m unsure of how much coconut oil is required per day in one’s diet. In Grain Brain is states one teaspoon per day and above it states one to two tablespoons per day. LOVE the book. My husband and I feel SOOO much better. Two very interesting observations since adopting this diet and lifestyle into our lives and I don’t mind saying so, my libido is back!! Also, I’ve been experience alopecia areata for years and I haven’t had a bald spot in quite some time. I’m hoping it’s gone for good!! THANK YOU Dr. Perlmutter!!!

  • CFW

    I’m unsure of how much coconut oil is required per day in one’s diet. In Grain Brain is states one teaspoon per day and above it states one to two tablespoons per day. LOVE the book. My husband and I feel SOOO much better. Two very interesting observations since adopting this diet and lifestyle into our lives and I don’t mind saying so, my libido is back!! Also, I’ve been experience alopecia areata for years and I haven’t had a bald spot in quite some time. I’m hoping it’s gone for good!! THANK YOU Dr. Perlmutter!!!

  • floridahank

    I like to cut banana into 4-5 pieces and dip them into c/o before eating them.
    Get 2 healthy foods at one time.

    • David Perlmutter

      Just be careful with the sugar load in bananas. Considering having half of a banana at a time, and saving the rest for later.

  • Cebuana

    A delicious way to add coconut oil to your diet is by cooking with coconut milk/cream in such dishes as Curry. I also make a Flan/Custard substituting coconut milk/cream for the milk in the recipe and using Truvia to sweeten. Coconut milk is available in cans unsweetened. A brand from Thailand (Aroy-D) has no preservatives, just coconut extract and water.

    • Marianne

      Truvia only has a tiny bit of Stevia in it, check out the lable. Trader Joe has pure Stevia for a good price! 🙂

      • David Perlmutter

        Yes, and pure stevia is the best choice.

  • James Montgomery

    I have been substituting the butter in pound cakes with extra virgin coconut oil.
    I am using a 1:1 ratio and they are coming out fantastic.
    I also substitute the sugar in this recipe with organic maple syrup and with the coconut oil and maple syrup people are raving about my pound cakes.

  • Julie

    Does eating raw coconut have better benefits or is the oil important?

  • Pingback: Coconut Oil – It’s a Super Food You Should Be Eating Every Day. | Rock Solid Nutrition & Wellness()

  • Colette

    FOR BREAKFAST, I saute 1/4 cup of large flake oats in 1 TB. Coconut oil. I add 1/2 cup wild blueberries and 2 TB hemp seed & 1 TB toasted almonds . Pour it into a bowl and add fat free Greek yogurt or almond milk. YUMMY.

  • cocoNut

    I have an abundance of Coconut available to me. I make a flourless bread with almond meal, eggs, coconut meal, flaxseed meal and coconut oil. I like to use freshly flaked coconut to top off french toast (using that same bread) and also thrown into my omletes. Dr Perlmutter, what is your take on fresh coconut (and coconut meal)?

  • Dave Walls

    I asked my mom’s cardiologist if he thought coconut oil would be OK for her (because it’s a saturated fat). He recommended against it. Anyone have any thoughts about this? She has a slight arrhythmia, slightly elevated blood pressure (controlled by medication), and cholesterol levels were good.

  • Jill

    Took coconut oil for a couple weeks my libido was flying and was losing a pound every other day than all of a sudden everything stopped. Does anyone know why and should I use more or less to bring all back?

  • Sasha

    Has using coconut oil shown any positive effects with people who have fetal alcohol syndrome?

  • Joseph Hein

    Added coconut oil and eggs to my daily diet about one year ago. Just received first blood tests since. LDL and Tryclicerides shot way up. Prior to this, they were dropping on low carb, high fat diet

  • John Dorlon

    I mix it with cocoa powder and a touch of honey.

  • Mark

    What do you think of this recent (6/15/17) AHA post on coconut oil raising LDL levels:

    People are also quick to believe trends that aren’t supported by science, he said. A prime example is coconut oil, widely touted for its health benefits. “I just don’t know” who is pushing it, but it’s not scientists, Sacks said. It may be driven by manufacturers looking to profit, or some countries’ economic dependence on coconut oil, he said.

    According to the advisory, coconut oil is 82 percent saturated fat, and studies show it raises LDL “bad” cholesterol as much as butter, beef fat or palm oil. Canola oil, on the other hand, has only 7 percent saturated fat. All fats and oils have varying levels of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat.

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