Coconut Oil as Unhealthy as Butter and Beef Fat

Coconut oil is extracted from the meat of mature coconuts using heat. It is preferred by many people because it can last for six months at room temperature without spoiling. While experts argue about the health benefits of coconut oil, recent studies suggest that this particular type of oil is as unhealthy as butter, lard and beef drippings.

Why Is Coconut Oil Unhealthy?                                                                                                           

What makes coconut oil unhealthy? The American Heart Association noted that coconut oil contains high amounts of saturated fat. Saturated fat is the type of fatty acid that is linked to the rise of low-density lipoproteins (LDL) cholesterol in the blood. LDL is also dubbed as bad cholesterol that can clog arteries thereby increasing the risk of stroke and heart disease.

The fat in coconut oil is 82% saturated fat, which makes it larger than that found in butter (63%), pork lard (39%), and beef fat (50%). This is the reason why it is so important for people to limit the amount of coconut oil that they should take and replace it with vegetable oils such as sunflower oil, canola oil, or olive oil.


How to Cut Down on Saturated Fats

People should steer clear from any sources of saturated fat. According to the UK Public Health agency, an average man should consume no more than 30 grams of saturated fat daily while women should eat a lesser amount.

But the responsibility should not only fall in the hands of consumers. Food manufacturers should also be responsible for improving packaged foods with high amounts of saturated fat.

Opting for healthier cooking alternatives is also an excellent way to cut back on your consumption of saturated fats. So instead of frying your potatoes, you can boil, grill, or bake them instead. Before cooking meats, it is also recommended to trim all the meat from fats so that the fat does not render and become oil. You can also make conscious efforts of omitting ingredients containing saturated fats when cooking.

But Is Fat Healthy?

Many health and nutrition experts believe that fat still plays a vital role in our health. Fats are essential so that the body can absorb fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, and E. It is important not to cut out fat completely from your diet.

But instead of stocking up on saturated fats, it is important that you consume healthier fats such as Omega-3 fatty acids. This type of fat increases your good cholesterol numbers so that the LDL cholesterol is pushed to the liver where they are disposed.

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America: Make Breakfast Great Again

A standard American breakfast includes sugary cereals, fruit juices, and toast. In fact, the first cereal plants started commercial manufacturing during the 1950s. Cereals were made from equal parts of sugar and corn flour. The sweet taste of cereals and the positive marketing of these sugary foods made them one of the most famous breakfast staples on any American table. In fact, 90% of Americans have cereals in their cupboard.

The thing is that Americans have enjoyed eating cereals for many decades, and it is only recently that this industry has been placed under the spotlight as America wants to figure out why there is an increasing rate of obesity in the country. Can it be attributed to cereals? Probably so…

Sugary Cereal is Killing Breakfast in America

Cereals may be marketed as whole grains, but they are far from that. A single cereal contains modified food starch, similar to corn syrup. When you say whole grain, it is defined as natural food and not something that is processed to give it a long or indefinite shelf life. It also contains sugar, salt, and additives like tripotassium phosphate–a type of preservative. Marketing it as whole grain is a form of corporate dishonesty. Having said this, cereals are lacking many forms of nutritional value.

Cereals are devoid of any fiber and contain simple sugar. The sugar enters immediately into the bloodstream once you eat cereal. This promotes the body to release a hormone called insulin that delivers the pure sugar to the cells. However, the sugar is then stored as fat and, but at some point, too much sugar will strain the entire system. This results in metabolic diseases like diabetes.

But even if cereals do not have a lot of free sugar in them, they can still wreak havoc on the entire body as they are made from refined grains, which are converted into simple sugar. This requires the same insulin response that overburdens the endocrine system through time.


We Have Been Eating Cereals for A Long Time, Why Are We Now Concerned?

Sugar and refined carbohydrates are now dubbed as toxic the same way as cigarettes were categorized. According to journalists, Michael Moss and Gary Taubes, there has been mounting evidence that shows that sugar and carbohydrates are the biggest culprits in the ballooning waistline of many Americans.

But if cereals have been around for more than a few decades, then why is America experiencing rapid obesity only now? According to Harry Balzer, a market analyst at NPD Group, cereals were not an everyday affair. A few decades back, it was eaten only on Sundays when women went to church early and did not have time to make breakfast. Today, it seems that people don’t have enough time to prepare their meals, so they rely heavily on cereals and other processed junk labeled as breakfast foods.

Breakfast is still the most important meal of the day, but America needs to start looking for ways to create more convenient and healthy options. Without this push from consumers and brands, the obesity problem in America will continue to rise.

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Over 50% Of Canadians Believe Healthy Eating Improves Well Being

Most consumers all over the world are becoming more conscious about their health and overall well-being. In a market study conducted by research company Mintel, 63% of Canadian consumers believe that what they eat has significant influence over their emotional and physical health. As a result, 45% of consumers are interested in trying out different foods that are marketed for their health benefits. The sales of superfood items like quinoa, spirulina, kale and chia seeds have grown by 35% since last year.

According to Mintel’s Senior Lifestyles and Leisure Analyst, Carol Wong-Li, many Canadians are becoming proactive in looking for ways to maintain good physical and mental well-being. This also gives opportunities to marketers who develop products that convey wellness and overall well-being.

The Statistics Of Healthy Eating

The eating habits of Canadians have changed over the years. In today’s food culture, 49% of Canadian consumers feel guilty after eating unhealthy foods. The Mintel research also noted that the motivation of Canadians to eat healthy stems from guilt especially among women under the age of 55 and mothers, which account for 59% and 60%, respectively.

The research revealed that many Canadian consumers are more mindful of their eating habits and that 76% of the respondents claim to follow healthy eating strictly or most of the time. However, some of the respondents believe that they should also indulge once in a while such that 41% believe that allowing a cheat day once in a blue moon is a good way to motivate healthy eating habits.

Obstacles To Maintaining Healthy Eating Habits

Although there is an increasing trend of healthy eating among Canadians, most of the respondents claim that it’s hard to maintain healthy eating habits because of their busy lifestyles. Some of the interviewees are misinformed when it comes to making healthy choices as such 40% find it difficult to discern which foods are healthy and which ones to avoid.

These are the reasons why health claims on the packages are paramount as 27% of the respondents look at the label and are likely to buy a particular product if it comes with health claims. This has pushed many food manufacturers to include health claims on their packages as well as use all-natural ingredients in making their products.

Possible Solution

While eating healthy is a popular trend among Canadian consumers, there are still obstacles and challenges that prevent them from eating healthy.  Carol Wong-Li added that as much as the respondents would like to eat healthily, they fall back to their old eating habits because it takes too much to time to prepare healthy foods. This problem is now being addressed by many food manufacturers in Canada as they think of ways to create processed foods that are healthy to meet the demands and needs of busy and health-conscious Canadian consumers.

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Taste is Leading Consumer Indicator for Beverages

The rise of lifestyle diseases like diabetes and obesity have created a growing concern for parents and everyone at large to move to beverages that offer more benefits. This migration is what has come to be known as the better-for-you alternatives. It is the direction that the non-alcoholic beverage companies are moving with 90% of the new products they bring to market. However, taste still plays a major role in new product development of healthy alternatives.

Taste + Health = Top Beverages

After recent research by Mintel, it is clear that most people’s choice in non-alcoholic beverages is still primarily driven by taste. The percentage of individuals that prioritize taste above all else stands at a staggering 72% while health or nutritional benefits follow by a far cry at 21%.  The least influential factor for consumer preference according to the study happens to be functional benefits at 12%.

The same research shows that there was a stagnant or decline in sales between 2014-2015 and the saddest part of the story is that this trajectory is synonymous with the findings of the research. Carbonated soft drinks had a 0.1 percent growth, and juices grew by the same margin. The largest hits, however, were dairy milk that fell by 7 percent. On the other hand, beverages like coffee had an 8.7 percent growth and energy drinks had an 8.9 percent growth.

In the report, Mintel indicated that consumer preference was quickly changing and the numbers that stood at 66% for juice drinkers, 64% of carbonated soft drink drinkers and the same for dairy products would soon shift. This was as a result of the more than half of the Americans (67% to be precise) were often buying different or new style beverages. Another 18% indicated that they drink a vast variety of drinks. This goes to suggest that the scope of the non-alcoholic beverage industry is rapidly changing.

There is no doubt that the beverage market is doing all it can to meet the consumer’s need for healthier options. However, flavor and taste are still a big part of why customers prefer different drinks. If the taste is not great, then there is no doubt that the consumers will not even touch it. One of the beverage analysts at Mintel went ahead to state that the vast diversity of products that were available in the market made it much easier for consumers to move on to the next one.

It is true that the better-for-you movement is reshaping the industry, and the sales trends are proving this. However, brands will still have to consider factoring in the flavor factor which is primary as well as function and health.

The Future of Beverages

There has also been an emergence of cross-category beverages that has led to the development of new drinks. They add to consumer preference confusion and makes it also challenging for brands that would like to keep their new customers without polarizing those that have not yet made up their minds.

These varieties continue to diversify the options with 40% of customers being encouraged to purchase a new beverage as long as there is a sample in the store that they could try. The playing field is quite open, and the one brand that can incorporate great taste and health is more than likely going to take over the market.

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Health and Wellness Influencing Food Decisions

Taste, price and convenience are no longer the main factors that help consumers decide which food and beverage to buy. According to a study by Deloitte, Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) called “Capitalizing on the Shifting Consumer Food Value Equation,” about half of the surveyed Americans considered health and wellness, safety, social impact, experience and transparency as “evolving drivers.” These new drivers are examined in addition to traditional factors such as taste, price and convenience. The study also revealed that these new “evolving drivers” play into food decisions regardless of the respondents’ demographics.

consumer values food decisions study

No Artificial Ingredients & Clear Labels Connect Health to Food Safety

Americans are no longer connecting food safety according to only near-term risks to health. Around 74 percent of respondents agreed that food safety should not just be limited to food that can cause immediate harm. Health, wellness, and transparency are all connected to safety which is why food factors including freedom from dangerous ingredients, having clear and accurately made product labels, and the use of non-artificial ingredients should be utilized in describing packaged, processed foods.

“Food retailers are inherently ‘shopper advocates’ and they respect that their customers want both genuine and transparent shopping experiences. Our study sheds light on how companies can better understand the intersection of these new consumer food values and their own growth strategies.” – Mark Baum, Chief Collaboration Officer @ FMI

More Key Insights on Future Food Decisions

Furthermore, the study also addresses several important points regarding the shifting value equation for the industry. According to the results of the survey, the following affect consumer values and food decisions as well.

  • Preferences and tastes of food will continue to fragment
  • Retailers have a unique ability to influence consumers’ decisions
  • New and smaller companies will use new technologies, third-party affiliations, and increase engagement to gain trust.
  • Larger companies in the industry will do all they can to use new, unique value propositions; and market success will be affected by present competitive advantages.

“Today’s consumers have a higher thirst for knowledge than previous generations and they are putting the assessment of that information into their value equation. There is no doubt that the consumer value equation has changed – as taste, price and convenience are now only the foundation with the need to leverage the emerging value drivers. Brands that win with consumers will likely be those that provide the information they seek, well beyond what is on the label.” – Jim Flannery, SVP of Operations & Industry Collaboration @ GMA

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NutriFusion® is Here to Help

Consumer values have been changing over the past ten years, and many companies have tried to seize the opportunity.  Some companies have done an excellent job of creating healthier products, and others have suffered the fate of misleading consumers with health and wellness claims. It’s time to start taking these demands seriously and match your R&D efforts with the value of the future consumer. People have finally connected their health and wellness to food safety. How will you reinvent your products without artificial ingredients and clean labels to enable the consumer to make smart food decisions?


We would like to think that NutriFusion® could be the answer for some of your new products. Instead of fortifying  your packaged foods with synthetic vitamins, you should try our GrandFusion powders. We create non-GMO nutrients from whole fruits and vegetables. So why doesn’t everyone do this? It’s a difficult process and we have made huge advances in our nutrient stabilization method over the past 3 years. NutriFusion® will give you the ability to clean up your ingredient deck and make powerful claims about where your nutrients come from. If you are interested in learning more, please visit your respective category below.