Virgin Coconut Oil Benefits to the Eyes
Saturated and unsaturated fats can be pro-oxidative and inflammatory. It is very important that
your macular degeneration diet uses fats that will not cause free radical damage and that are in
fact good for you. Being aware of what fats need to be eliminated and what fats need to be
included in our diet can help protect our retinas and our maculas from more oxidative damage.
Saturated fats are solid at room temperature. Many of us, including me, stayed away from all
saturated fats for many years.
I was unaware that we need a certain amount of saturated fats to produce cholesterol. You might
be thinking, "I don't want more cholesterol - I want less." Well cholesterol actually plays many
important roles in the health of our body such as:
1. It is an important component of our cell membranes
2. It is a precursor to many of the bodies hormones
Our bodies need cholesterol. However, we need to be wise about how we obtain these saturated
fats and choose healthy ways of ingesting them. Most saturated fats come from red meats,
processed foods, dairy products or poultry. According to Dr. Michael Samuel, the author of
Macular Degeneration - A Complete Guide for Patients and Their Families, bad fats coming from
sources listed above can be pro-inflammatory. He says, "Reducing your intake of these fats will
reduce slow burning inflammation."
Virgin Coconut Oil Benefits
Virgin coconut oil benefits are found in virgin coconut oil which uses fresh coconut meat. No
chemicals or high heat are used in the processing method.
Look for virgin coconut oil that is certified organic and made from fresh, organic coconuts. Coconut
oil is NOT hydrogenated, and contains NO trans fatty acids. Although it is a saturated fat, it is a
medium chain fatty acid. This means that the body uses it more efficiently and it can be used
quickly for energy.
Coconut Oil for Cooking
According to Jessica K. Black, N.D. in her book, The Anti-Inflammation Diet and Recipe Book,
"The damage done by oxidation of fats usually occurs when heating a relatively unstable fat. Using
a monounsaturated fat such as canola oil in baking or cooking leaves the body more susceptible
to oxidative damage."
This is not so when cooking with coconut oil. Coconut oil is a great oil to use for cooking and
baking because it remains stable in high temperatures and for extended periods of time such as
baking. Coconut oil does not transform into dangerous trans-fatty acids and it is better than olive
oil for cooking at high temperatures.
Yesterday, as I was working outside a man handed me a coupon and a take-out menu for a new
Chinese restaurant in our neighborhood. He was touting how healthy the food was because they
didn't use MSG and he informed me that they used only vegetable oil for all of their cooking.
I didn't want to "pop his bubble" - but if you are wanting to transition to an anti-inflammatory diet or
one that is healthy for your macula - it is important to know that cooking with vegetable oil is NOT
You may find that surprising - because most of us cook and bake with vegetable oil - or in my
case, used to.
Heat turns most oils into trans fats. These fats are pro-oxidative and produce free radicals which
leads to aging and other degenerative diseases, like macular degeneration.
It could be that a plate of stir fried vegetables sauteed with an unstable vegetable oil at high heat
may not be that healthy for you.
Organic virgin coconut oil has replaced all of my vegetable oils for cooking. I bake breads and
muffins with it, make pancakes and saute vegetables. David Wolfe writes in his book, Superfoods:
The Food and Medicine of the Future, "One of the greatest pieces of information you could derive
from this book is to only and exclusively use coconut oil for all your cooking needs." I'd have to
agree. It is an easy change to make without compromising on flavor and taste.
To learn more about the health benefits of coconut oil and what to look for in purchasing it for your
kitchen cupboards go to http://www.webrn-maculardegeneration.com/coconut-oil-benefits.html
Leslie Degner is a registered nurse with over 20 years or R.N experience. Macular degeneration is
the number one cause of legal blindness in our senior population. Take a moment to find out if you
are at risk for developing this retinal disease and what steps can be taken to prevent it by visiting