March 8, 2018

The coconut oil health kick is finally losing steam

Turns out, coconut oil may have been a wolf in superfood’s clothing all along. According to new data from research firm SPINS, the golden child of the health food industry’s sales took a nosedive last year, down almost 30% since their high 3 years ago. So what happened? Coconut oil initially attracted users with the […]

Turns out, coconut oil may have been a wolf in superfood’s clothing all along.

According to new data from research firm SPINS, the golden child of the health food industry’s sales took a nosedive last year, down almost 30% since their high 3 years ago.

So what happened?

Coconut oil initially attracted users with the promise of a stronger immune system, weight loss, and better cholesterol.

US searches for coconut oil more than doubled from 2011 to 2013, and at its peak in 2015, Americans purchased $229m worth of the stuff.

But, as it climbed the health food ranks over other health fads like acai and pomegranate, a few cracks in the oil’s health claims shell have come to light.

“Everyone’s doin’ it”

Back in 2003, a study was published by Marie-Pierre St-Onge, a nutrition professor at Columbia, that showed eating medium chain fatty acids — a molecule found in coconut oil — will help burn fat.

Marketers got wind of that, slapped some sexy knowledge on a label and bam: 7 out of 10 people believed coconut oil was a healthy food in 2016.

But last year, the American Heart Association felt differently, and released a report reminding people of the dangers of saturated fats — something that coconut oil is chock-full of — and it looks like people are finally starting to get the hint.

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