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Kerala to launch Aggressive Campaign to counter “smear” campaign that has taken sheen away from Coconut Oil

The smear campaign against coconut oil began about two decades ago with reports that the regular use of it could lead to developing heart disease

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Coconut Tree, Pixabay

Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 2, 2016: An aggressive campaign based on scientific studies will be launched to counter a smear campaign that has taken the sheen away from coconut oil, a Kerala Minister said on Friday.

State Agriculture Minister V.S. Sunil Kumar told reporters on the sidelines of an agriculture fair being held here that there was a systematic and organised campaign — involving a section of medical professionals also — against edible coconut oil.

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“We are going to immediately organise a sustained campaign with the help of solid scientific studies proving that coconut oil is the best oil for cooking. In the past, a smear campaign against our own coconut oil affected it so much and many thought it was not healthy and stopped using it,” Sunil Kumar said.

He said the campaign will be part of the policy document which will come out soon.

“In countries like Indonesia, coconut oil is being used to prepare salads and even poured into coffee and tea. We have lost so badly and hence various other cooking oils have penetrated into our kitchen,” said Sunil Kumar.

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The smear campaign against coconut oil began about two decades ago with reports that the regular use of it could lead to developing heart disease.

“The Americans who wanted to promote their soybean oil were behind this campaign along with some medical professionals here and today virgin coconut oil is the most sought after oil in the US,” the Minister added.

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Meanwhile, with the production and productivity of coconut in Kerala declining, newer varieties of coconuts have been developed and will be sold in large numbers across the state, he said.

“We will promote coconut clusters in villages where land will be pooled and the most modern scientific methods of farming will be introduced. There will be a number of agro-processing food parks which will be set up with the sole aim of producing value-added agriculture products from coconut, jackfruit, bananas and other products,” the Minister said. (IANS)

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Doctor Says, Smiling Can Improve Heart Health and Well-Being

Exercise and diet are keys to a healthier life, as many studies show, but here's something that may surprise you: A heart specialist also recommends smiling to improve your health.

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Smile
Nurses practice smiling with chopsticks in their mouths at a hospital in Handan, Hebei province, China, May 8, 2017. VOA

Exercise and diet are keys to a healthier life, as many studies show, but a heart specialist also recommends something more.

“One, two, three — twirl.”

Kendra Martin is taking photographs of three little girls in chiffon dresses. As they twirl, Martin tells them to smile.

“All right, big smiles!”

“I tell people to fake laugh, and they feel stupid doing it, but the result is theyʼre laughing, and it turns into a genuine smile,” Martin said.

And, in this case a giggle.

Big grins and giggles pay off on camera. The girls may be too young to have heart problems, but the smiles can promote heart health.

Brain rewiring

Dr. Anand Chockalingam is a heart specialist at the University of Missouri Health Care who tells his patients to smile.

“When we smile, the brain wiring gets altered. The chemicals that are released are more positive,” he said.

Chockalingam’s advice is supported by a number of studies. He says smiling is a first step in fighting stress and its ill health effects.

When you feel stressed, your body releases a surge of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol.

Adrenaline increases your heart rate and blood pressure. Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, increases sugars in the bloodstream. If you are truly in danger, these hormones can help, but too much of these stress hormones too frequently can lead to heart disease and stroke.

FILE - People gather at a smoking area in Tokyo, April 7, 2017.
People gather at a smoking area in Tokyo, April 7, 2017. VOA
 

Bad habits arise

People who are stressed look for ways to cope. The American Heart Association says smoking, overeating or drinking alcohol as a way to reduce the stress can harm your heart and other organs.

“Once people smile, they are relaxing,” Chockalingam said. “This relaxation directly lowers blood pressure, improves sugar levels in the blood.”

Chockalingam tells his patients to smile 20 times an hour. It might seem like a lot, but it doesn’t involve drugs or have any negative side effects.

“If we are smiling, we are breaking that link between stress and health,” he said.

Also Read:Attention! Signs You Should Not Ignore While Travelling Linked To CVD

Smiling is something Martin does to improve her photography.

“Waking up in the morning with a smile on my face, you know, itʼs gonna put everybody in a better mood,” she said.

And it provides a little boost to everyone’s heart health. (VOA)