Palm Oil and Coconut Oil: Debunking the Myth

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In the late 1980s I use to suffer from severe stomach pains. All medical tests proved inconclusive and the only advice I was given by my doctor was to take antacid whenever I was in pain. I was not satisfied with this advice, and started looking for alternative treatments to put an end to my suffering. After a year of intense pain, my search for a cure led me to Reflexology.
I had ten sessions of reflexology treatments, one treatment a week for ten weeks and the pain disappeared. I was so impressed with the treatment; I enrolled in a reflexology course and trained as a reflexologist. After this experience, I became a fan of alternative therapies, and started reading magazines in alternative treatments, and started attending seminars and workshops in alternative therapies.
Shortly after qualifying as a reflexologist, I enrolled in a course in Stress Management; because I realised that the cause of my previous health problem was stress related and medical science alone was inadequate. Whilst receiving reflexology treatment, I could feel the stress falling off me and the effect was very therapeutic. I was aware, that there were tens of thousands of people suffering from conditions that medical science could not adequately treat. I decided that with relevant training, I could help treat these conditions. The more I got involved in the alternative therapies; it became apparent to me that in order to maintain good health, it was imperative that one incorporates good diet. Consequently, I obtained a diploma in nutritional medicine.
In 2010, I was directed to move back to my native land Sierra Leone after being away in the UK for thirty one years to help empower my people. My intention was to get Sierra Leoneans to appreciate local produce. I had heard people from this country living abroad, repeating the propaganda of the vegetable oil industry about palm oil. When you think that palm oil has been a major part of the diet of these people for centuries, you wonder whether our ancestors got it wrong. Did the executives of the vegetable oil industry whose drive was to maximise profits, know better than our ancestors who diligently invested in finding natural foods that would keep them alive and healthy?
It is also my intention to get my people to become aware of the virtues of natural unprocessed foods. Red palm oil as is used in Sierra Leone is unrefined wholesome food power packed with antioxidants. Antioxidants are the substances that quench free radicals the stuff that cause cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and other degenerative diseases.
Although coconut oil is not as popular as palm oil in the diet of Sierra Leoneans, it is I am sure the major source of needed fat in the diet in other parts of the tropics. Coconut oil is very special in that it is a medium chain fatty acid (MCFA). MCFA is in mother's breast milk and has a profound effect on the immune system.
It is my innate desire to get people to improve their health and maintain good health by turning to nature and taking an active part in their wellness. This could prove to be very inexpensive and result in longevity.

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About the author (2012)

Mr. Rodney Allen-Campbell is a nutrition medicine practitioner. He is a practising reflexologist and a stress management therapist. He was born in Freetown Sierra Leone and currently practises nutrition medicine, reflexology and frequently conducts stress management seminars to several organizations in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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