Using the Math-U-See Skip Counting and Addition Facts CD

We just got our Math-U-See (MUS) music CD for learning the skip counting and addition facts.  The songs are sung by a children’s choir.  I think the music is pleasant to listen to, though it can easily get stuck in your head and drive you nuts.  “Choc-late eight is taking two, not from me, just from you, choc-late eight is taking two, with his vacuum”  (To the tune of London Bridge).  I always say passing it on helps get rid of it, LOL.  I like the fact that they use Bible references in the songs, although the CD also has songs using Science and Literature facts for those that prefer it.  Or for public school classroom use.  My 5 year old is picking up some of the skip counting facts, and we have only had the CD for 4 days.  I like to use it in the car.  We also played games with some of the addition facts songs.  There is a song about building a wall using ten, and you stack the manipulatives.  A ten bar goes on the bottom, then you build each layer using the unit bars.  For example, the second layer of the wall in the song uses the six and four.  I found that once I heard the song enough times I was able to use the included songbook and just sing it without accompaniment.  This allowed me to sing the song slow enough so my son could find the appropriate manipulatives to build the wall.  You have to hold onto the wall as you build it though, or they will fall over easily.  The pieces do not stay together tightly.  We also did this with the song about adding to nine.  It was fun for both of us.

I have two criticisms of MUS Skip Counting and addition facts.  In the songs with the addition facts, sometimes it is hard to understand the children that are singing.  And Steve Demme’s quirk about saying 11 through 19 as ten-ty one, ten-ty two, and so on is included in the songs.  Most of them also say the number as what our English language uses, but I think one or two do not.  And since the children are hard to understand at times, a child listening to this may become confused.  Sometimes it sounds like they are saying twenty-four instead of one-ty four, or thirty-three instead of one-ty three.  So if you aren’t careful, your child may think nine plus five is twenty-four or nine plus four is thirty-three.  But if you sometimes sing acapella with the songbook you could reinforce the correct answers.  All in all, it is good and my child likes listening to it.

Part 2: Treating Hypothyroidism, Important Nutrients

(Also see part 1 on Treating Hypothyroidism, here and my post on the Thyroid and Adrenals here.)

The body needs certain building blocks to produce and utilize thyroid hormone.  Sometimes hypothyroidism does not show up on blood tests because, while thyroid hormone is present at normal levels in the blood, some of these key nutrients to utilize it are missing.  The missing link may be in the process of converting thyroid hormone into its usable form, getting it into the cells, or activation within the cells.  The following are some of the important nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that the body uses to achieve proper thyroid function:

Iron:  In order to produce thyroid hormone, the body must first convert the amino acid phenylalanine into tyrosine.  Sufficient iron is required to make this conversion.

Iodine and manganese:  After the tyrosine reaches the thyroid gland, manganese and iodine are used to convert it into thyroxin (T4) This is what most doctors prescribe, in synthetic form, for patients with hypothyroidism.  Unfortunately it may not help if you are not able to convert T4 into T3, the form of thyroid hormone that enters the cells where it can do its job.  Please note that many believe that the US RDA for iodine is much too low, providing only one tenth of the necessary iodine at best.  I chose to use Lugol’s Iodine solution to supplement iodine.  Some people prefer kelp, but you need to make sure your source is of sufficient potency.

Zinc and Other Minerals:  Zinc must be present in sufficient quantity for the liver to convert T4 into T3.  A simple way to check for zinc deficiency is to try zinc lozenges.  If the lozenges taste bitter or metallic, you are probably not deficient in zinc.  Excess copper, often correlated with low levels of zinc,  interferes with the conversion of T4 to T3.  High blood calcium levels often show up concurrently with the excessive copper.  High blood calcium makes the cells less responsive to T3.  Please note that dietary intake and calcium vitamin pills rarely cause high blood calcium unless intake is extremely high over a period of time, or there is some other problem present. Selenium:  Inside the cell, selenium is needed to help thyroid hormone work.  Low selenium will cause thyroid hormone to become inactive.  The body also uses selenium to produce an enzyme that assists in converting T4 to T3.

Protein:  Extra protein may be helpful to give the thyroid the necessary amino acids to produce thyroid hormone. It is important to purchase supplements from a company that conducts independent tests for potency, purity, and clinical performance.  They should be able to prove that their product raises blood levels of the nutrient(s) provided.

Here are a few of my favorite supplements for thyroid function.

Zinc
Lugol’s Iodine
Iron
For manganese and selenium, this quality multivitamin has more than most available on the market.

Note: This information does not constitute medical advice.
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Treating Hypothyroidism

I came across some very good information on a message board recently and I thought anyone with hypothyroidism could really benefit from this.  I have had Hashimoto’s for over 20 years and I have learned a lot recently about how nutrition affects the thyroid gland and what supplements can help.

Many people have symptoms of hypothyroidism but when the doctor orders blood tests, they come back “normal.”  Part of the problem is due to overly broad reference ranges.  Also, many doctors rely solely on the TSH, which is only a small part of the picture.  To accurately access the thyroid when problems are suspected you need the following labs drawn:  TSH, Free T3, and Free T4.  These 3 should be checked every time the thyroid levels are ordered.  It is the relationship of these three values that will allow a knowledgeable doctor to assess the thyroid properly.  Initially the doctor should check the for thyroid antibodies using TPO and ATA in the hypothyroid patient to rule out Hashimoto’s.   A patient with Hashimoto’s should continue to have TPO and ATA checked to verify the effectiveness of treatment in reducing thyroid antibodies.  For more information about interpreting lab values, visit http://www.drrind.com/thyroidscale.asp#tests
However, diagnosis and monitoring of hypothyroidism should not be based solely on laboratory values.  Here is a list of symptoms of hypothyroidism.

LOSS OF HAIR
WEIGHT GAIN
COLD HANDS AND FEET
CELLULITE
WEIGHT GAIN ON THIGHS AND HIPS
DRY SKIN
LOW BODY TEMPERATURE
LOW BLOOD PRESSURE
LOW ADRENAL FUNCTION
MENSTRUAL IRREGULARITIES
INFERTILITY
PMS
OSTEOPOROSIS
SUGAR CRAVINGS AND HYPOGLYCEMIA
UNEXPLAINED FATIGUE
CHRONIC FATIGUE
CONSTIPATION
MUSCLE CRAMPS AND SPASMS
PROBLEMS DIGESTING FATS AND OILS
SLUGGISH LIVER
COPPER TOXICITY

An easy test you can do at home is a basal temperature.  Is your temperature immediately upon awakening below 97.8?  For a woman in the childbearing years, the best time to check is 2-3 days after your period starts.  Check the temperature before you get out of bed, talk, or do anything else.  Most people with a basal temp below 97.8 will have symptoms of hypothyroidism as well.  It can be helpful to monitor basal temps daily and keep a graph to track change over time.  Keep in mind that a menstruating woman has a di-phasic temperature graph which is higher in the second half of her cycle due to the influence of progesterone.  Temperature readings can also be used to check adrenal function.  In that case they are taken throughout the day, starting 3 hours after waking, and a daily average then is plotted.  You can learn more about temperature patterns and adrenal function here on Dr. Rind’s website.

Hypothyroidism is more common is women, probably because the female hormones exert their effects on thyroid function.  Progesterone aids in the retention of zinc and potassium in our cells.   Zinc and potassium allow the thyroid hormone to enter the cell and then to be converted to the active form known as T3.  Some authorities believe that progesterone facilitates the action of thyroid hormone, while estrogen is antagonistic to thyroid hormone.  So if a woman has low progesterone and/or a high level of estrogen, it is more difficult for the thyroid hormone to do its job.  Weight gain on the hips and thighs, common in women with hypothyroidism,  is associated with high estrogen and/or low progesterone.  Estrogen can cause copper retention if zinc or progesterone levels are too low. Copper has been found to be an antagonist to thyroid hormone.

The thyroid also needs sufficient iodine to function properly.  Years ago, store-bought bread contained iodine.  However, the iodine has been replaced with bromine, which displaces iodine from the thyroid gland.  So it is best to use flour that is unbrominated and unbleached.  Also purchase only breads that are made with unbrominated flour.  In my opinion, a good quality sprouted or a true sourdough bread is best.  Check the labels on everything you use made with wheat flour.    Chlorine and fluoride also displace iodine from the thyroid gland.  The risks of water floridation, including adverse effects on thyroid function, were recently discussed by the scientific community, see ‘Second Thoughts about Fluoride,’ Reports Scientific American. Particularly if you have city water piped in, you should treat your water to remove these harmful substance. If you have well water, you should also have it tested, as you can have high levels of naturally occurring fluoride and other contaminants. You may need to filter your well water, depending on the test results. Please note that only reverse osmosis or a filter specifically designed to remove fluoride will take the fluoride out of your water.  If you choose reverse osmosis, many sources recommend adding minerals back into the water before drinking. See part two on treating hypothyroidism here
Note:  The information here does not constitute medical advice.

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Real results with Inch Loss Diet Plan

I just wanted to post an update as I previously posted about my husband trying the Cinch Inch Loss Plan. (http://www.cinchplan.com/good_health)   You do a shake for breakfast and lunch and eat a regular dinner.  It’s  really easy to use.  There are high protein snack bars included too, as well as an unsweetened instant tea mix.  He has been doing the plan for about 3 weeks now. Only three days after starting the program, he needed to buckle his belt one notch tighter. It isn’t really any more expensive than when he was going out to lunch each day.  He just does the breakfast shake on the weekends, and one week he went on a business trip and didn’t bring it at all. But he has been taking the metabolism boosting supplement faithfully for 4 weeks.  He described the 3 in 1 boost as being like “drinking a triple cappuccino” because he has so much energy. He was previously dealing with a lot of fatigue. But he also said that unlike coffee, which makes you wired and you are still tired, it actually wakes him up fully. One thing he did adjust was that he doesn’t take them past mid afternoon or they keep him awake at night. So he just takes them earlier in the day. He doesn’t feel hungry on the plan either. Today I asked him if he felt that it was working and he gave a resounding “yes!” I noticed his denim shorts looked loose and he said that these were previously very tight. He showed me how they were barely staying on his hips. He hasn’t been checking the scale since the first week, but just going on clothing fit. He did note a 3 pound weight loss the first week, but really, the clothing fit is a better indicator in my opinion.

He actually didn’t get the starter kit until recently because there was a sale on some on the individual items last month. Now that he has the kit I can see how useful it is. Included is computer software to individualize the diet plan, as well as help develop an exercise program. A measuring tape comes with the kit, and this is used to help you track your progress. There is also a pedometer included to encourage you to walk more. You can use this to set a goal for walking for the day and monitor your steps to see if you meet it. The software instructs you to enter your information, including a current weight, and uses this to determine what your daily caloric intake should be. You can then print menus, recipes, shopping lists, etc to plan your meals. You can analyze the nutritional content of a large number of food choices as well. I didn’t realize until he got the starter kit, what a complete plan this is. It not only provides the tools to lose weight, but a way to change your eating habits as well.

Update:  After 6 weeks my husband has lost 11 pounds, and he is very happy with his progress.  He took two weeks off from the diet during the six week period.  One week he was traveling for work and had no refrigerator at the hotel.  The other week we were on a family vacation and he did the shake for breakfast only. 

Another update:  After 10 weeks my husband is wearing his belt 3 notches tighter and fits into jeans he hasn’t been able to wear for 3 years.

You can read more inch loss success stories here.   If you like what you see, please stop back and visit us on our Cinchplan site.


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Study shows that “healthy” fast food is no better for your heart

Here is a recent study I found in the Mercola newsletter that was interesting. 

“Twenty-four healthy volunteers with an average age of 32 years, ate one of three fast food meals during one week, a different meal the second week, and the remaining meal the third week. The fast food meals consisted of:

1. Beef burger, fries, ketchup, lemon-flavored carbonated drink
2. Vegetarian burger, fries, ketchup, lemon-flavored carbonated drink
3. Vegetarian burger, salad, fruit, yogurt, orange juice

Surprisingly, according to lead investigator Dr. Tanja K. Rudolph, endothelial function was adversely affected within 2 to 4 hours after eating any of these three meals, with no statistically significant differences between them.

All three meals also had negative impact on other cardiovascular disease markers.

Endothelial cells line the inside of your blood vessels. These cells control blood flow by regulating the dilation of the blood vessels. When these endothelial cells are impaired, it can lead to high blood pressure or atherosclerosis (clogging of the arteries), which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.”

Dr. Rudolph states: “You can not prevent the harmful effects of fast food to the vascular system if you only add ‘healthy components.’”

See also: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition August, 2007 ;86(2):334-340 and  Reuters August 15, 2007

Apparently, eating fast food is significantly harmful even when it is just 2 times a week. Fast-food habits, weight gain, and insulin resistance (the CARDIA study): 15-year prospective analysis

We had in the past tried to limit fast food for our children to once a week, but when we saw this YouTube video on Mcdonald’s food we have decided to avoid it at all costs. If the food is so full of chemicals and lifeless that it won’t even spoil in a reasonable period of time, how long does it persist in the body?

Beware the fast food salad!  Some of the ingredients in fast food salads include high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup solids, liquid margarine, and preservatives.   If you don’t have enough reasons yet to avoid fast food, here is another article for you.  Read this excerpt from the book Fast Food Nation, by Eric Schlosser. If you ever wondered why McDonald’s fries taste so good or why your children would prefer a fast food burger over a big, fat, juicy, homemade one, the mystery is solved!

Unfortunately, as much as I hate to cook (and clean the kitchen) it seems it is the only way to go.

Playing Kickball with Sensory Integration Dysfunction

My 5 year old son played kickball for the first time today, and it wasn’t pretty.  Since our church offers weekly group activities for the homeschooling families, we decided to start bringing our son for “Fun Fridays” with gym and other activities.  So we went for the first time today.  The group played kickball, and it really brought back a lot of memories of what gym class was like for me as a child.  At first I watched my confused little boy try to participate in the game.  He can’t seem to keep his eyes on the ball so I could see I would have to be more hands-on and help him out.  To kick the ball, Jamie waited for the ball to come to him and stop, then kicked it.  But then he didn’t know to run.  When he was told to run, he ran out past first base and kept going into right field.  After some explanation, he knew to stop on the bases.  But to keep his attention on the game so he would know when the ball had been kicked again and he could go to the next base, that again required hands-on intervention.  Yelling at him to run was useless unless it was accompanied by a push in the right direction.  He, like me as a child, seemed to have no idea what was going on.  He found it confusing when the teams changed places also.  At first he was placed in the far right field, but he sat down on the ground there.  The next time his team was in the field we put him between the pitcher and third base.  He never happened to be looking if the ball came to him, even with repeated admonitions to “watch the ball”.  Then when he saw it he would kick it, even after repeated instruction to pick up the ball and throw it to a base.  (I don’t suppose if he did manage to get the ball in time that he would know which base to throw it to.)  When he did see and go after the ball he tried to wrestle with one of the boys on his team to get it.  Needless to say, the other team scored big when that happened.  It was a challenge for him to keep his eyes on the ball even when it was his turn to kick.  It will be interesting to see what his appointment with the behavioral optometrist next month shows.  I had a little talk with him later to discuss the object of the game for kickball.   He hadn’t realized that he was trying to win for his team rather than winning individually.  Not surprising.  Of course this is one of the disadvantages of playing a game with a group of mixed ages, the younger ones that have not played before can drag down their team.  I would have hoped that Jamie could have played better since I was standing right behind him to help him.  But it seems that neither watching nor listening are his strengths.  Strange as it seems, this same child is doing mostly first grade work academically.  We will have to see how things go next week. 

Recent Study, Obese Toddlers Lack Proper Iron Levels

Data collected in the NHANES study from 1999 to 2002 found that 20 percent of obese toddlers have iron deficiency, compared to 7 percent of normal-weight toddlers.  This actually makes a lot of sense. When the body is not receiving proper nutrition it responds by signaling the need for more food. Obese children are most likely lacking a  great deal more than just iron. In my opinion, processed food and its additives are largely to blame for the current obesity epidemic. Not only are mass produced foods nutrient poor, they often contain harmful substances. In one of Mercola’s recent newsletters he cited a recent study which found that foods containing artificial sweeteners may increase the occurrence of obesity in children. These diet foods may prevent children from developing the ability of the body to use taste to regulate caloric intake.

MSG, a cheap flavor enhancing ingredient, is added to many foods, often in hidden forms like hydrolyzed vegetable protein and autolyzed yeast extract. See the following sources for a list of ingredients that contain MSG: Hidden Names for MSG or Hidden Sources of MSG in Food .  MSG, a neurotoxin, is also implicated in the obesity epidemic. MSG has been shown to cause animals to overeat to the point of obesity. This effect has been well documented since the 1960’s.  

If your child’s diet has been less than ideal, make changes gently. Start by replacing one unhealthy food wth one that is healthy. Find a good quality childs multivitamin that is complete and balanced, including all 8 vitamins of the b complex and iron in plant form such as ferrous fumarate. Inorganic iron, such as ferrous sulfate, is difficult for the body to utilize and may cause constipation. A child’s multivitamin should contain no sugar, artificial sweeteners, colors, or flavors. See this link for my favorite choices of children’s vitamins .   Some suggestions for the first dietary changes include the following:

Iron deficiency in toddlers can occur when they are weaned from the breast or iron fortified formula to regular milk. If the milk displaces iron rich foods, anemia will follow. Juice can also displace healthy foods from the diet. Limit the milk and juice, start offering more water, and be sure to offer iron rich foods each day. Remember that vitamin C increases the absorption of iron, so save the orange juice to be served in small quantitiy with the iron rich foods. If toddlers have a poor appetite at meals, it may be helpful to limit milk intake to 24 ounces per day, and to avoid offering milk before or during the meal. Some authorities say that 16 ounces of milk is enough for a toddler. Remember that cheese and yogurt can replace some of the milk. It is important to make sure that a child’s protein intake is not coming solely from milk and milk products, which tend to be low in iron. Eggs, fish, meat, and green leafy vegetables are all good sources of iron.

Processed foods use cheap ingredients to enhance flavor, such as the artificial sweeteners and MSG described above. Parents can protect their children’s health by reading labels carefully when they do choose foods that do come in bags, boxes, etc. However, children need as much fresh, natural foods as possible. Buy organic local food, if you can. Fresh food and organic foods are more rich in the nutrients your children need. If you can find a local source of grass fed beef, do. Look for a local chapter of the Weston A. Price foundation here to help you find local foods. Split up a side of beef with a group of families to save money. Did you know that grass fed beef is as rich in Omega 3’s as is wild salmon? Food as nature intended always offers more nutrition. It is shocking what mass production of foods is depriving us and our children of.

In our household we make our own waffles, muffins, chicken nuggets, and other child favorites to help avoid using processed foods. I batch and freeze so that we have healthy foods available to prepare quickly. For me, having a quick and nutritious breakfast ready to go is important. I’m not much of a morning person. We avoid fast food, which is commonly flavored with MSG and other additives. We use whole grain sprouted bread and certified raw milk. Empty calories such as cookies/candy, cold cereals, chips, etc are either not in the home, or offered on a limited basis. (Like at Grandma’s house.) And remember kids may need to try a new food 10 times before they will accept it. Every house has a picky eater, even ours. Be patient but persistent with your picky eaters, and they eventually will expand their horizons. 

Pros and cons of using olive oil

This is in response to the comment re: my post on coconut oil, asking whether or not olive oil is healthy and if it is heat stable.

Here is what Sally Fallon has to say about olive oil in the book “Nourishing Traditions:”

“Oleic acid is an 18-carbon monounsaturated fat which is the chief component of olive oil.  Olive oil contains 75 percent oleic acid, the stable monounsatured fat, along with 13 percent saturated fat, 10 percent omega-6 oleic acid, and 2 percent omega-3 linoleic acid.  The high percentage of oleic acid makes olive oil ideal for salads and for cooking at moderate temperatures.”  If it smokes or leaves a sticky or gummy residue you are overheating the oil.  ” Extra virgin olive oil is also rich in antioxidants.  It should be cloudy, indicating that is has not been filtered, and have a golden yellow color, indicating that it is made from fully ripened olives.  Olive oil has withstood the test of time;  it is the safest vegetable oil you can use, but don’t overdo.  The longer-chain fatty acids found in olive oil are more likely to contribute to the buildup of body fat than the short- and medium-chain fatty acids found in butter and coconut oil.” (pages 9, 18)  Olive oil is rich in omega 9 fatty acids, rather than the omega 6 that tends to be overconsumed in the American diet.

In addition to antioxidants such as vitamin E, olive oil contains natural enzymes which can facilitate digestion.  Be sure to use a good quality extra virgin olive oil as this is the first pressing and has not subjected to heat.  Therefore it is healthy to consume small amounts of olive oil with other foods.  Remember that enzymes are destroyed by heating, so you would need to use olive oil in salad dressing or otherwise unheated.  Try mixing with raw vinegar or fresh lemon juice.  Add some fresh herbs, garlic or other ingredients. 

On a personal note, when I use olive oil on my unglazed stoneware it tends to leave a sticky, gummy residue.  This residue is a result of the oil being damaged by heat.  Butter, coconut oil, lard, and beef tallow do not leave this type of residue on my stoneware.  Perhaps the baking temperature I am using is too high for olive oil.  I mostly use the stoneware to bake homemade french fries with a little oil coating them.  I bake those at 425F.  I also bake homemade chicken nuggets, but I do not need to oil the stoneware for that as it is already seasoned.

To assist you in selecting an oil for cooking or baking, please consult the following chart:

Below 212 F
–Cooking Methods
Boil, steam, scald, stew, simmer, steep, parboil, salad dressings
–Oils You Should Use
Unrefined canola oil (smoke point is below 225 F)
Unrefined flaxseed oil (smoke point is below 225 F)
Unrefined safflower oil (smoke point 225 F)
Unrefined sunflower oil (smoke point is below 225 F)
Below 320 F–Cooking Methods
Low-heat baking, light sauté, pressure cooking
–Oils You Should Use
Unrefined corn oil (smoke point is below 32 F)
Unrefined peanut oil (smoke point is below 320 F)
Semirefined safflower oil (smoke point is below 320 F)
Unrefined soy oil (smoke point is below 320 F)
Unrefined high-Oleic sunflower oil (smoke point is below 320 F)
Unrefined walnut oil (smoke point is below 320 F)

Below 375 F

–Unrefined coconut oil – (smoke point is 350 F)

–Cooking Methods Baking sauté, stir-fry, wok cooking
–Oils You Should Use

Semirefined canola oil (smoke point is below 350 F)
Refined canola oil (smoke point is below 400 F)
Refined corn oil (smoke point is below 450 F)
Unrefined olive oil (smoke point is below 320)
Refined peanut oil (smoke point is below 450 F)
Refined safflower oil (smoke point is below blow 450 F)
Unrefined sesame oil (smoke point is below 350 F)
Semirefined sesame oil (smoke point is below 450 F)
Semirefined soy oil (smoke point is below 350 F)
Refined soy oil (smoke point is below blow 450 F)
Semirefined sunflower oil (smoke point is below 450 F)
Refined high-oleic sunflower oil (smoke point is below 450 F)
Semirefined walnut oil (smoke point is below 400 F)

Below 500 F

–Cooking Methods
Sear, brown, deep-fry.
–Oils You Should Use

Refined avocado oil has a smoke point of below 520 F, the highest temperature of all the plant oils.Unrefined Red Palm Oil – VERY high smoke point of 437F

While some undesirable oils such as canola, corn, or soy oil are listed in the chart, I would recommend avoiding these because they are usually derived from genetically modified plants.

 

 I hope this helps answer the question about olive oil.

Is coconut oil healthy?

Another blogger queried about the benefits of Virgin Coconut oil but stated that it should consumed in moderation, citing the risks of eating saturated fats.  Having read up on this subject I wrote a response, and I decided to post it here as well.  This is such an important subject.  See the original blog post here. And the following is what I have to say on this topic:

No, I don’t believe saturated fats are harmful, coconut or otherwise. What I have read refutes what the AHA and other authorities say about saturated fats in general. If you read the section on fats in Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon you will find that highly processed vegetable oils are far more harmful. For more in depth information about fats, I recommend the books Eat Fat, Lose Fat and Know Your Fats: The Complete Primer for Understanding the Nutrition of Fats, Oils and Cholesterol by Mary Enig, PhD. For example, in the often cited Framingham Heart Study, the people who ate the most cholesterol, saturated fat, and calories; weighed the least and were the most physically active and had the lowest serum cholesterol values. The study did find that those who weighed more and have high serum cholesterol were slightly more at risk for future heart disease, but these factors were not correlated with a high intake of cholesterol and fat.

The fact is, that highly processed vegetable oils are cheap to produce and benefit the food industry enormously. (And probably the medical profession as well, unfortunately.) But these vegetable oils are produced using high temperatures and solvents, and are unstable, going rancid easily, and are easily damaged by high temperatures in processing and in cooking. These unstable oils break apart creating dangerous free radicals. There protective vitamin E these oils contain is also destroyed by processing. It is often replaced by harmful preservatives such as BHT and BHA.

In the US, from 1910 to 1970 we have reduced our consumption of butter from 18 pounds per person per year to only 4 pounds. Stable saturated fats such as coconut oil or palm have been largely removed from our food supply and replaced with the unstable vegetable oils, or worse, transfats. We have also significantly reduced consumption of animal fats. But the corresponding reduction in heart disease and obesity has not occurred.

As for coconut oil, here are a few of the benefits. Coconut oil is rich in medium chain fatty acids, which do not need the action of bile salts to be utilized, but are absorbed directly from the small intestine to the liver and are converted into quick energy. Coconut oil contains large amounts of lauric acid, which has antimicrobial, antifungal, antitumor, and immune system supporting properties. The only other good sources of lauric acid are breastmilk and, to a lesser extent, butter.

This is a great subject to do some research and learn more about. Some other good sources of information include the Weston A Price foundation website http://www.westonaprice.org and Price’s book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.