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Cracking coconut oil’s "health halo" Thanks to marketing strategies that tout coconut oil as healthy, many people consider this solid, white fat a portion of healthy food. But a new analysis confirms what nutrition experts have said for years: Coconut oil raises harmful LDL cholesterol (a well-known contributor to heart disease) much more than other vegetable oils. The study, published online March 10, 2020, by the journal Circulation , pooled findings from 16 trials involving a total of 730 people. Most of the trials lasted one to two months and compared coconut oil consumption with that of other fats, including other vegetable oils such as soybean, safflower, canola, and olive oils. Compared with these vegetable oils, coconut oil raised LDL cholesterol by 10 points, on average. An editorial accompanying the study states "In culinary practice, coconut oil should not be used as regular cooking oil, although it can be used sparingly for flavor or texture.
Autophagy: The body's Anti-aging process Autophagy is how the body removes and recycles dangerous, and damaged organelles and particles, as well as pathogens, from inside cells, thus aiding your immune system and greatly reducing your risk of developing cancer, heart disease, chronic inflammation, osteoarthritis, and neurological disorders such as depression and dementia. Autophagy makes us physiologically more efficient by getting rid of defective parts, promoting healthy metabolism, stopping cancerous growths, and preventing metabolic disorders such as diabetes and obesity --- which means that by boosting your body's autophagy, you dampen inflammation, slow down the aging process, reduce your risk of developing certain diseases, and optimize your biological function. The autophagy process is activated by intermittent fasting and calorie restriction. Intermittent fasting and calorie restriction turn up the autophagy dial, increasing protein turnover and cellular repai
How to lower your cholesterol without drugs You can begin to reduce your “bad” LDL cholesterol by making a few simple changes in your diet. If your cholesterol is creeping upward, your doctor has probably told you that diet and exercise — the traditional cornerstones of heart health — could help to bring it down. And if you’d prefer to make just one change at a time, you might want to begin with your diet. A major 2012 analysis of several controlled trials involving hundreds of men and women found that dietary changes reduced LDL and total cholesterol while exercise alone had no effect on either. (However, adding aerobic exercise did enhance the lipid-lowering effects of a heart-healthy diet.) The people in the studies followed a variety of diets, from the Mediterranean to low-fat to low-calorie. However, the most effective diets substituted foods with cholesterol-lowering power for those that boost cholesterol. According to Kathy McManus, director of the Department of Nutrition at Bri