Coconut oil has been toted by health food advocates as the best oil alternative for healthy cooking, but several reports indicate that it could actually be bad for you.
A report released from the American Hearts Association, AHA, advises against the use of coconut oil.
The Dietary Fats and Cardiovascular Disease advisory reviewed existing data on saturated fat. They discovered that coconut oil increased LDL or “bad” cholesterol in seven of the seven controlled trials carried out. Researchers didn’t see a difference between coconut oil when compared to other oils with a high saturation of fat such as beef fat, palm oil, and butter. Except that coconut oil actually has a higher percentage of saturated fat (82%) versus pork (39%), beef fat (50%), and even butter (63%).
The AHA went on to say,
Because coconut oil increases LDL cholesterol, a cause of CVD [cardiovascular disease], and has no known offsetting favorable effects, we advise against the use of coconut oil.
Frank Sacks, author of the AHA report, added that the main reason why everyone thinks coconut oil is healthy is probably due to research from weight loss studies found online. He stated that coconut oil is almost 100% fat and in no way could be considered healthy.
Many people think that coconut oil can assist in weight loss based on research from Marie-Pierre St-Onge of Columbia University Medical Center. St-Onge focused her research on medium-chained triglyceride, MCT, found in coconut oil. The issue is she used a designer oil consisting of 100% MCT compared to the average store shelf coconut oil that only consists of 15% MCT. Research has shown that eating medium-chain triglycerides may increase the rate of metabolism versus eating long-chain triglycerides. This potential benefit was only show with designer coconut oil and does not offset the risks brought on by high saturated fats.
Sacks went on to say that a low percentage of saturated fats is good for your diet, but you should consider substituting coconut oil with olive oil or vegetable oil. If you want to use coconut oil, please use as a hair conditioner or moisturizer.
You can put it on your body, but don’t put it in your body.