Coconut oil has exploded in popularity over the past decade, presenting the positive health benefits over other oils, especially health-conscious gourmets. It seems that it is used in everything from the recipes to cleaning supplies and even skin care products. However, within the last year, individual practitioners and institutions such as the American Heart Association have voiced their concern about the health associated with consuming this particular oil that it may not have as many positive benefits as it goes on. Most of us wonder if coconut oil is really our friend or our enemy. There are always two sides to each good story and we are here to show the case for and against coconut oil. In the end, you will be the judge!
Coconut oil is rich in saturated fat. According to the American Heart Association, increased intake of saturated fat increases LDL cholesterol levels (known as "bad" cholesterol), which increase the risk of heart disease.
Yes, coconut oil is high in saturated fat, but one has to dig deeper and consider the ratio of lauric to non-lauric acid when it comes to saturated fats because it affects its overall health record. Because coconut oil in the Lauric variety is much higher than other vegetable oils, this may play a role in the ability of coconut oil to positively affect HDL cholesterol (known as the "good" cholesterol). In general, some fat is good in the diet. Fat supports the brain, absorbs vitamins and gives us healthy hair, skin and nails.
Coconut oil may be less desirable for cooking because it is solid at room temperature and has a pronounced coconut taste.
While coconut oil may not be the best remedy for prescriptions like salad dressings, it is solid at room temperature and is well suited as a substitute for baked goods that require a solid fat source like butter. The taste of coconut oil can also really complement certain dishes, especially Thai curries. If you do not want the coconut flavor, but still want to use coconut oil, choose a refined version of the oil with a more neutral flavor.
Coconut oil is not as high in other health-promoting compounds compared to other vegetable oils that are high in unsaturated fatty acids and can be high in antioxidants that reduce the risk of heart disease.
It's easy to be distracted from the high content of saturated fat in coconut oil Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) compared to other vegetable oils that have been shown to have beneficial effects on health such as Increased metabolism when taken with long-chain triglycerides. Not to mention some studies that suggest that coconut oil can act as an antimicrobial, reduce oxidative stress, and regulate blood sugar levels.
Without a real isolation of the diet of human participants, studies are limited to coconut oil dietary effects, especially the long term. As with all good things, enjoy in moderation. Consume a diet that is high in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, a variety of fats / oil and lean meats. Oh, and you'll be pleased with the sugar and the refined grains
The opinions expressed in this article are solely my own and are not intended to be diagnosed or treated. Please consult your doctor before making drastic changes to your diet.
- Is coconut oil bad for you? The debate is complex ̵
- Saturated fats: why all Hubbub about coconuts? – American Heart Association
- Coconut oil and health – Harvard Health Publishing
- Coconut oil is not healthy. It has never been healthy. – USA Today