I got involved in a case study run by BBC’s series “trust me I am a doctor”; apparently there no medical studies to prove whether coconut oil is good or bad for us. Some say that despite the saturated fats it contains other substances which have different effect on our health from butter or other fats. Someone decided to put it to the test in Cambridge and I decided to opt is as a volunteer. They selected a group of people, aged between 50 and 75, both male and female which will consume daily 50g of either coconut oil, olive oil or butter for 4 consecutive weeks. Each individual must be healthy and not taking medicines to lower cholesterol levels. We have all been tested for weight, height, waist circumference, body fat content and a blood sample was taken to assess cholesterol and (I presume) triglycerides.
I was interested in being part of this study as I feel healthy and I do lots of sports. I am also a regular user of extra virgin olive oil which I use for most of my cooking and dressing. I also used in the past, mostly for frying, coconut oil. My butter consumption, on the other hand, is in the tens of grams per quarter as it’s limited to the occasional recipe which requires butter and, very occasionally, on toast.
The group of volunteers, which I believe is in the region of about 100 of us, has been randomly selected and given the full amount of chosen fat to consume over the next 4 weeks. At the end of the trial each of us will undergo a complete test, identical to the one we did at the beginning. Funny enough I was assigned to use… butter. I was initially a bit disappointed as I have to revolutionise completely my diet for 4 weeks but the results will be interesting to see at the end.
I was given the butter, apparently a good organic butter from grass fed cows in Gloucestershire, in nice 20g and 30g portions which I will try to fit into my diet.