I started using coconut oil after reading that it is good for you because it
contains only "good" saturated fat. Then, I read a warning about
using it and how bad it was. I'm confused with this conflicting information.
What's the truth about coconut oil?
glad you asked this question…there's a lot of hype surrounding coconut as a
"miracle food" right now and I'm happy to have a chance to clear up
the confusion. Most of the controversy surrounding coconut oil concerns its
effects on heart health. First, it's important to note that there are two types
of coconut oil — hydrogenated coconut oil and virgin coconut oil. Hydrogenated
coconut oil is a type of trans fat, which we know is definitively detrimental
to heart health, so you absolutely want to avoid hydrogenated coconut oil
(usually found in snack foods, but even that's rare these days).
questions remain about non-hydrogenated coconut oil, typically sold as virgin
coconut oil. In the past, coconut oil had a bad reputation because it
is over 90 percent saturated
fat — the type of fat that causes a rise in LDL ("bad") cholesterol,
which is linked to atherosclerosis (clogging of the arteries) and heart
disease. But some types of saturated fat may be less harmful than others, and
it appears that coconut oil may contain one of the better
ones as some studies show that coconut oil does not have a significant
effect on cholesterol levels. Coconut oil is rich in a category of saturated
fat known as "medium chain triglycerides," which may be healthier than
the main types of saturated fat found in butter, meat, and dairy.
have a clear understanding of coconut oil’s effects, my advice is to use
cooking oils with proven benefits for cholesterol levels and heart health, such
as olive and canola, as your standard, everyday cooking oils. These liquid oils
are primarily unsaturated fats, which means they decrease LDL (“bad”)
cholesterol. There are better options available, so there's no need to play a
guessing game with coconut oil. Of course, if you want to enjoy grated coconut
or coconut milk occasionally in recipes, that's perfectly fine.