By Lori Corbin

In January 2006, food manufacturers will be required to list any trans fat in food on the nutrition facts. Since experts have clarified that this type of fat is worse for us than saturated fats, many are taking a second look at coconut oil. It's true that coconut oil is a saturated fat. But it doesn't contain cholesterol or trans fat. Even though it is a saturated fat, it has been shown to elevate levels of HDL or the good cholesterol.

Author of "Rx: Coconuts," Dr. Vermen Rowell has been studying the effects of coconut oil for years. She says it can help with weight loss, skin problems, heart disease and certain cancers.

Rowell says the studies on cancer have been done on animals so more research is needed, but she feels it is important to swap coconut oil for other oils that are high in Omega 6 fats.

Typically, Americans consume to much Omega 6 fat which has been shown to make us prone to inflammatory diseases.

Susan Bowerman, Assistant Director at UCLA's "Center for Nutrition," agrees coconut oil is a nice alternative to some oils, but feels that olive oil is still the best fat when it comes to heart health and versatility.

Due to the new coconut craze, Whole Foods markets have stocked their produce section with coconuts, coconut oil, coconut water, and juice. The oil is 125 calories a tablespoon and solid at room temperature. To give coconut try, Rowell recommends spreading the coconut oil on toast like butter, sprinkling shredded coconut in a salad, or melting down the oil to stir fry. In addition, the coconut water is a nice source of sodium and potassium for a post workout beverage.

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Rx: Coconuts! (The Perfect Health Nut)

“Expounds on the clinical usefulness of our discovery on monoglycerides… A must read for anyone concerned with their health and the way they look… I wish I could write half as well.” — Jon Kabara, B.S., M.S., Chicago, IL

“An enlightening read on coconut oil’s efficacy for various skin problems, infections and precancerous lesions… Ideal for the dermatologist and the average person interested in skin care, weight control and all aspects of their health” — Conrado S. Dayrit, M.D., FACC, Fellow, American College of Cardiologists, FPCP, FPCC

“..once I started, I could not put it down!!!” — Adolf Oriña, Retired U.S. MD, Baguio, Philippines

more testimonials

Dermatological Effects of Topical and Oral VCO and its Monoglyceride Derivative by Vermén M. Verallo-Rowell, MD, FABD, FABDP, FPDS read more

Crazy For Coconut Oil by Lori Corbin, ABC7 read more

Coconut Oil is Cholesterol Free by Ernesto M. Ordoñez, Philippine Daily Inquirer read more

White Oil that Heals Published on page A12 of the September 17, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer read more

Copyright 2009. Dra. Vermén M. Verallo-Rowell. All rights reserved.