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The Rise of Coconut Oil

While a lot of misinformation still exists about the healthiness and nutrition of coconut oil, before 2011 it was mostly negative until two events happened that started to change the way people thought about coconut oil in America.

In March of 2011, New York Times author, Melissa Clark, wrote an article titled, "Once a Villain, Coconut Oil Charms the Health Food World", which compares CSPI's study of movie theater popcorn with a visit to her local health food store.

What she found was that, "a considerable part of [coconut oil's] stigma can be traced to one major factor," which Dr. Thomas Brenna, a professor of nutritional sciences at Cornell University, said:

“Most of the studies involving coconut oil were done with partially hydrogenated coconut oil, which researchers used because they needed to raise the cholesterol levels of their rabbits in order to collect certain data. Virgin coconut oil, which has not been chemically treated, is a different thing in terms of a health risk perspective. And maybe it isn’t so bad for you after all.”

So as we started to learn that not all fats are created equal and, “Different types of saturated fats behave differently," coconut oil went from being something that could harm you, to just being okay in moderation - until Miranda Kerr.

In July of 2011, Miranda Kerr stated in an article for Cosmopolitan that she doesn’t, "go a day without coconut oil" and that she, "personally take[s] four tablespoons of coconut oil per day," in her salad, cooking, and green tea.

Kerr's statements sent ripples through the news industry, where her statements were repeated on ABC News, The Huffington Post, and Vogue. Suddenly, Kerr's "secret" was out of the bag and coconut oil was in a new light.

In this chart from Google Trends, you can see the relative popularity of coconut oil over time. It's relatively flat until 2011 when the line starts going up like a hockey stick. Statisticians call this the inflection point where things "tip".

Miranda Kerr now has a show on Net-a-Porter and her own line of Kerr Organics. She's an inspiration for us at Skinny Coconut Oil and we're happy that she, along with Melissa Clark have helped pave the way to better health.