This Tuesday, I had just returned home after watching the movie Descendants and was about to retire to bed when I decided to check the emails and found this interesting question raised by an Organic Facts visitor – Erik. Erik likes Organic Facts and reads the articles with great attention. Erik pointed out a difficult question.
“In one article (http://www.organicfacts.net/organic-oils/organic-coconut-oil/health-benefits-of-coconut-oil.html) about the health benefits of Coconut oil your site talks about how good it is in helping to reduce Cholesterol levels, then in another article (http://www.organicfacts.net/nutrition-facts/others/little-known-cooking-methods-to-cut-down-high-cholesterol-levels.html) your site talks about how Coconut oil should be substituted with Olive Oil to help reduce Cholesterol levels. Which is it?”
Yes, which is it? For almost all foods (not just coconut oil), you will find several conflicting views and information (even research reports). But why
Our bodies are all different and react differently to different foods: Take the example of peanut. Is it safe to eat Peanuts? The answer is both yes and no. It all depends on how your body reacts to peanuts. We all know of several cases where peanut allergy has also caused death. Same is the case with milk. If you are lactose intolerant, you are sure to have a bad time for at least a day after drinking just half cup milk. And there are people in this world who drink over a litre of milk daily!
In the context of coconut oil, there are several visitors of Organic Facts who have claimed to have benefited from coconut oil. On the contrary, there are others who have informed that their cholesterol levels have increased.
Similar responses have been received for other food items. Example – some people have reported that their weight has reduced after regular consumption of lime juice and some have reported no effect.
Beliefs often govern what we get to hear, see and read
When people talk about different foods, there is an element of propaganda. No I am not talking about the “Happy Cow” and similar cases where companies show you a wrong picture to sell you a product or make money. I am talking about beliefs held by people, which gets converted into propaganda. For example, you will find several people (and groups) that claim milk (here we are referring to milk obtained from cow, buffalo, goat and similar animals) is quite good for human health. And there are others who have a no-milk policy stating that milk is not good for adults.
Both sets of people will have sufficient examples (both empirical and scientific) to prove their point, which one they choose depends on their belief.
Another example is of organic food. Several people who write about organic food (including Organic Facts team) do so because of their belief. If we are to look for scientific research, we will find more scientific research proving that chemically sprayed food and genetically modified food is better for human health. However, consumers as well as proponents of organic food happily ignore the research (discarding it as being biased, fake, etc).
So finally, lets come to Erik’s question – which of the above two articles is correct? Erik’s question was difficult not because it’s not easy to answer but because there is no correct answer. Often (in the kind of articles that you find on Organic Facts and similar websites) the point put forward is based on the beliefs the author of an article has. So both the articles are right in their own way.
Here is what we wrote to Erik “In case you have high cholesterol levels, and if you are deciding which oil is good for you, monitor your cholesterol levels regularly and see if your body reacts positively or negatively to an oil. Kindly do not blindly follow any information including that provided on Organic Facts.”