If you have spent any amount of time on health websites over the past few years, you would have come across an exotic superfood called coconut oil. This superfood, according to many health food stores, celebrities and marketers is the solution to many problems with its benefits including from being good for your health, helpful for dry skin and hair, and slowing aging, to benefits like combating Alzheimer’s disease.
However, a report by the AHA (American Heart Association) stated that coconut oil is not as healthy as previously claimed by health sites.
The Report That Debunking Coconut Oil As A Superfood:
The report also compares coconut oil to other saturated fat oils which stated that:
- Coconut Oil contains 82% saturated fat
- Butter contains 63% saturated fat
- Beef fat contains 50% saturated fat
- Pork lard contains 39% saturated fat
So, apparently, when we were cooking with coconut oil thinking that we are helping reduce risks of heart problems, we were actually eating oil that is twice as bad as LARD.
Why Is Coconut Oil Bad For Us?
According to the experts at AHA, coconut oil has been found to increase the levels of your LDL cholesterol that is a known cause of Cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, the study also said that there were no added advantages to using coconut oil that could offset the minor benefits of the oil.
Why Did Most Of Use Believe In The Benefits Of Coconut Oil?
Other than clever marketing, the main reason most of us believed in coconut oil is due to research done on Triglycerides by an associate professor of nutritional medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, Marie-Pierre St-Onge.
St-Onge said in an interview with TIME:
“The reason coconut oil is so popular for weight loss is partly due to my research on medium chain triglycerides … Coconut oil has a higher proportion of medium-chain triglycerides than most other fats or oils, and my research showed eating medium-chain triglycerides may increase the rate of metabolism more than eating long-chain triglycerides.”
However, what people forgot to consider is that while coconut oil contains 13-15% triglycerides, this research used designer oil with 100% medium-chain triglycerides. This led people to think that the results observed by the study were indicative of the benefits of coconut oil.
What Is The Difference Between Good And Bad Cholesterol?
We now know that coconut oil contains high levels of bad cholesterol but some good cholesterol as well. So, what is the difference between the two?
- Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) Cholesterol: Is the bad cholesterol that causes plaque to build up in your arteries, increasing your risk of having heart problems like stroke, peripheral artery disease, and heart attack.
- High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) Cholesterol: Is the good cholesterol that helps regulate LDL cholesterol and clears out the arteries for a healthy heart. It is also said to reduce risks of heart disease.
How Much Coconut Oil Should You Be Eating?
If you take the recommendation of the AHA, you should not be eating more than 6% of saturated fat from your daily calorie count.
However, avoiding eating saturated fats like coconut oil is easier said than done since a 2015 report found that many people who cut saturated fat intake end up switching to empty calories, sugar, and white flour, which are just a bad.
The best way to reduce your coconut oil intake is by switching to healthier oils like olive or vegetable oil.
The Conclusion Regarding Coconut Oil:
While this news about coconut oil being unhealthy is correct, you shouldn’t be chucking the jar you have in your fridge into the rubbish bins. As mentioned, you need to have a certain amount of fats in your daily intake to help keep your body in prime condition. So you can eat coconut oil every day, but just not in large quantities and every meal.
As an estimate, average man and woman should avoid consuming more than 30 and 20 grams of saturated fat per day respectively. Plus, while eating the leftover coconut oil may not be an option anymore, we can still apply it to your skin and hair for its moisturizing and hydrating benefits.