As I explain in Where Do Gorillas Get Their Protein?, a low-fat vegan diet is good for people and good for the environment. However, an article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) disagrees. It claims that vegan diets would be a disaster for public health. Yet the authors are not experts on human nutrition or public health. Instead, they are experts on how to feed livestock. Their did not base their conclusions on any studies of human nutrition. As a result, they give bad dietary advice.
Lately, food faddists have been claiming that coconut oil is a health food. They claim that it will help you lose weight. In reality, coconut oil is as fattening as any other fat. Some people even claim that coconut oil can cure Alzheimer’s disease. In reality, coconut oil can promote atherosclerosis, which is an important cause of vascular dementia. Also, fats of any kind tend to make your body less sensitive to insulin. For this reason, eating coconut oil would probably make type 2 diabetes worse. Coconut oil could even make Alzheimer’s disease worse. Alzheimer’s disease seems to be related to insulin resistance in the brain.
So why are people promoting coconut oil for brain health? They know that coconut oil is part of a diet for children with epilepsy. However, they do not understand why this diet is used.