Coconut oil isn’t ‘healthy,’ but don’t toss it yet

Nowadays, coconut oil is recognized as one of the healthiest products on the market. People use for everything, from cooking to hair and skin care. But, recently, there was a new finding concerning this “healthy” product.

AHA presidential advisory on dietary fats and Cardiovascular Disease released a report saying coconut oil has never been healthy.

You might find this shocking, but the researchers reviewed published data on saturated fat. The results showed that coconut oil raised the bad (LDL) cholesterol in all seven controlled trials.

In fact, they say coconut oil doesn’t differ from other saturated fat-rich oils like beef fat, butter, and palm oil.

According to the data, coconut oil is 82% saturated fat, which is quite beyond pork lard (39 percent), beef fat (50 percent), and butter (63).

On the basis of the Dietary Fats and Cardiovascular Disease Advisory, the American Heart Association recommends avoiding the use of coconut oil. They say the oil increases the risk of cardiovascular disease by raising the LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.

On the other hand, it has no proven offsetting favorable effect.

The Coconut Oil Craze

The lead author, Frank Sacks, can’t understand why majority believe coconut oil is healthy when it’s almost 100 percent fat. The reason might be a prior study investigating the coconut oil effects on the weight loss process.

The associate professor of nutritional medicine at Cornell University Medical School, Marie-Pierre St-Onge, believes the popularity of coconut oil comes from her study on medium chain triglycerides (MCTs).

The study explains that MCTs intake can boost the metabolic rate better than long-chain triglycerides intake. And, coconut oil contains more medium-chain triglycerides than any other fat or oil.

However, Marie-Pierre used a “designer oil” loaded with 100 percent medium chain triglycerides. In contrast, the regular coconut oil has only about 13-15 percent MCTs.

After a while, she published another research showing that smaller doses of medium chain triglycerides don’t help overweight adolescent to lose weight.

The American Heart Association says the daily saturated fat intake for people who need lower cholesterol should be up to 6%.

Nevertheless, BMJ review from 2015 suggests that cutting saturated fat out of your diet doesn’t mean you’ll reduce your risk of heart disease. This is because many people fill the space with white flour, sugar, and empty calories.

What’s more, your body needs some fat to absorb nutrients from outer foods. Therefore, don’t rush to trash your coconut oil.

Stacks says a good idea would be to replace it with olive oil or vegetable oils. Still, you can use it for skin and hair care, but not for consuming.

Source USA Today | TIME | HAL


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