[Blueboard] Seminar: Are all saturated fats the same?

Dr. Fabian M. Dayrit fdayrit at ateneo.edu
Wed Feb 25 20:22:11 PHT 2009

Please post. Thanks.

You are cordially invited to a seminar:

Coconut oil: Are saturated fats all the same?

Dr. Fabian M. Dayrit
Department of Chemistry

Date/Time: March 3, 2009 (Tuesday) / 4:30-5:30pm
Place: SEC Lecture Hall B


Coconut oil is the most misunderstood and underappreciated vegetable  
oil. It is unique in that it is about 90% saturated fat. The standard  
literature typically lumps all ?saturated fatty acids? into one group  
with the implication that all saturated fats are the same and that  
these are harmful.

However, there is ample evidence gathered over the past 25 years which  
indicates that the saturated fatty acids should be further divided  
into at least three biochemically distinct groups: short-, medium-,  
and long-chain. Short- and medium-chain fatty acids are rapidly  
absorbed and metabolized by the cell for energy. Medium-chain  
triglycerides (MCTs), which are composed of such fatty acids, are  
known to be healthy fats. Coconut oil is unique in that it contains  
mainly of medium-chain saturated fatty acids (>60%).

The modern Western fat diet is characterized mainly by mono- and  
poly-unsaturated fats. This has lead to an imbalance in the ratio of  
n-6/n-3 fatty acids. This has resulted in an epidemic of various  
inflammatory diseases and cancer which can be linked to an  
overconsumption of n-6 fats, such as corn oil and soybean oil.

The mode of consumption should also be considered, for example,  
whether it is taken directly or used as cooking oil. Chemical analysis  
of heated oils shows that unsaturated fatty acids break down and  
produce carcinogenic substances. Thus, coconut oil is the healthier  
choice for cooking oil.

Dr. Fabian M. Dayrit
Dean, School of Science & Engineering
Professor, Department of Chemistry
Ateneo de Manila University
Loyola Heights
1108 Quezon City, Philippines

Mailing address:
P.O. Box 154, Manila Central Post Office
0917 Manila, Philippines

Tel: (632) 426-6001 ext 5600
Fax: (632) 426-5985
Email: fdayrit at ateneo.edu

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