Patient And Public Involvement
The BBC originally proposed the idea of a study to examine claims about the health benefits of coconut oil in response to public interest the study would be part of their Trust me, Im a doctor series. The study was designed as a randomised trial with participants from the general community in discussion with the BBC.
How Much Coconut Oil Should You Consume
Coconut oil can be used for both baking and cooking. Since coconut imparts such wonderful fragrance, it has been used to cook tropical style dishes and prepare exotic drinks such as coconut milk and citrus juice, which are often so nourishing. If you are consuming coconut oil on a regular basis, try not to push it to more than 3 and a half teaspoons. Taking more would be harmful.
Cholesterol As A Risk Factor
Most studies of young and middle-aged men have found high cholesterol to be a risk factor for coronary heart disease, seemingly a contradiction to the idea that high cholesterol is protective. Why is high cholesterol a risk factor in young and middle-aged men? A likely explanation is that men of that age are often in the midst of their professional career. High cholesterol may therefore reflect mental stress, a well-known cause of high cholesterol and also a risk factor for heart disease. Again, high cholesterol is not necessarily the direct cause but may only be a marker. High cholesterol in young and middle-aged men could, for instance, reflect the bodys need for more cholesterol because cholesterol is the building material of many stress hormones. Any possible protective effect of high cholesterol may therefore be counteracted by the negative influence of a stressful life on the vascular system.
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Do Plant Foods Contain Cholesterol
While a plant-based diet tends to maintain lower cholesterol levels than an omnivorous one, there are still plenty of vegan cholesterol sources to watch for, especially if you’re someone genetically prone to high cholesterol levels.
Read more about the plant sources of cholesterol below and how to quickly implement a lower cholesterol diet full of healthy and delicious plant-based foods.
Do Coconut Water Benefits Include Lowering Cholesterol
A recent phenomenon, seated in the nutritional habits of tropical lands that grow coconut palms, coconut water has been touted as a super-hydration drink and a cancer cure, and many things in between, but what are the real coconut water benefits for overall health and the reduction of LDL cholesterol? Since coconut water has only taken off, in marketing terms, in the last few years, there are to date limited case studies and experiments documented. One thing is certain: coconut water benefits its processors and marketing teams. Its sales double annually and it has become the next big health-food marketing coup.
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The Good And The Bad: Hdl Vs Ldl Cholesterol
Two different types of lipoproteins transport cholesterol around the body:
- High-density lipoproteins, or HDL, are considered healthy.
- And low-density lipoproteins, or LDL, are the problematic ones that can drop cholesterol right into the bloodstream, which then makes its way to develop plaque on artery walls.
Why is LDL so problematic? The plaque that they form on arteries builds up over time and eventually narrows the pathways, making blood flow more difficult over time. Ultimately, that pressure can make artery walls rupture, leading to blood clots that can block blood flow, partially or entirely.
Blocked arteries are the primary cause of heart attacks and strokes, depending on where the blood blockage exists.
Sometimes, your LDL may be in the normal range and still be problematic for your body. That’s because not only do overall levels matter, but so do the balance of the two. If you don’t have too much LDL in the body, but your good cholesterol levels are too low, it can cause an unhealthy imbalance.
The best time to start caring for your cholesterol levels is before they become a problem it’s never too early to begin monitoring your cholesterol and keeping your overall intake low.
Uses And Benefits Of Mct Oil
Aside from cutting out the unnecessary and bad stuff, what advantages for health does it offer if any?
It turns out there is a fair amount of research which suggests that not only is medium-chain triglyceride oil good for you, but it may be healthier than the culinary varieties.
Basic reasoning tells us that would make sense. After all, if youre amping up the good and tossing out the bad, then logically it should lead to greater benefits.
But what seems logical is hardly something you should bank on for healthcare decisions, so lets take a look at what the research has found.
There are currently over 80 clinical trials published on PubMed which mention this ingredient. Not all are directly related, but many are.
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Saturated Fat And Ldl
In its Dietary Fats and Cardiovascular Disease Presidential Advisory, the American Heart Association noted that 72 percent of Americans consider coconut oil to be a healthy food.
But in reviewing more than 100 studies, including data showing that coconut oil increased LDL cholesterol, researchers saw no difference between coconut oil and other saturated fats like butter, fatty meat and palm oil.
Furthermore, the American Heart Association has advised against the use of coconut oil because of its ability to increase LDL cholesterol.
Coconut Oil And Saturated Fat: Clearing Up The Confusion
This post is available in: Spanish
Coconut oil has emerged as a major source for debate about diet, saturated fat and how much of this potentially artery-clogging substance is too much.
Coconut oil had been considered a healthy option by most American and many dietitians, at least up until a few months ago when the American Heart Association concluded officially that it raises your bad cholesterol, or LDL, and advised against its use as a regular dietary or cooking aid.
Whats the big problem with coconut oil? For starters, it happens to be the only plant-based food that contains saturated fat, a potential contributor to heart disease which is found in many popular foods of the American diet. Saturated fats are most often found in animal products such as beef, pork, and chicken. Leaner animal products, such as chicken breast or pork loin, often have less saturated fat.
This one plant-based food has the proponents and components of saturated fat, explains Amy Kimberlain, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator with Baptist Health South Florida. What does saturated fat do in our bodies? It actually can stick because its a solid. So what does that end up doing? It ends up clogging our arteries.
Saturated fat raises total blood cholesterol levels and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, which can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.
So whats behind the school-of-thought reversal?
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Coconut Milks Fat Content
Most people following a standard 2,000-calorie diet should only consume 65 grams of fat each day. No more than 20 grams should come from saturated fat. This means that a third of your DV for fat could come from a single 100-gram serving of coconut milk. The high saturated fat content of coconut milk means that youve basically met your daily limit of this type of fat as well.
The American Heart Association recommends that people avoid saturated fats because they can increase your cholesterol, which can affect the health of your heart. Saturated fats are typically associated with animal fats like butter and lard but are present in many tropical vegetables too. These fats are usually considered to be equivalent, regardless of whether or not they come from plant-based sources.
However, according to The Coconut Palm Research and Development Perspectives, a variety of studies disagree and find coconuts fat content to be neutral for your health, including a 2016 study in the European Journal of Nutrition that showed it didnt affect triglycerides, cholesterol or other cardiometabolic risk markers. In fact, consumption of coconut products is often shown to improve cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Sweetened Fortified Coconut Milk
Many coconut milk products you’ll find in the refrigerated section are fortified with nutrients like calcium and vitamins A, B12 and D. They also contain less fat. However, these products typically contain a lot of added sugar and tend to have very small amounts of coconut.
One hundred grams of a sweetened, fortified coconut milk beverage typically supply 2.1 grams of fat, 0.2 gram of protein, 2.9 grams of carbohydrates and 2.5 grams of sugar. Such coconut milk beverages have few of the same nutrients compared to natural coconut milk. Instead, they contain vitamins and minerals like:
- 14 percent of the DV for calcium
- 7 percent of the DV for vitamin A
- 52 percent of the DV for vitamin B12
- 5 percent of the DV for vitamin D
Given how different coconut milk products can be, you should be careful about the product you select. You’re likely to get more of coconut milk’s benefits if you opt for a natural, unsweetened product.
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How Can Foods Help Lower Cholesterol
One way to help vegans keep their high cholesterol risk in check is by consuming enough vitamin B12. A vegan diet generally tends to be lower in absorbable vitamin B12 than other diets. Those with low B12 levels may also have a high homocysteine level, contributing to heart disease.
Using a diet to lower cholesterol from plants, consuming fruit, veggies, whole grains, peas, beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds can help provide dietary fiber and unsaturated fat alternatives.
- Eating more dietary fiber helps to maintain lower cholesterol levels, as the fiber binds to the cholesterol in your digestive tract and takes them out of the body before they enter your blood system.
- Foods high in polyunsaturated fats not only replace saturated fat options but directly lower cholesterol levels.
- Any foods containing sterols and stanols, like margarine, directly block the body from absorbing cholesterol in the first place.
On top of the foods mentioned, these are a few fantastic options to give your cholesterol levels a healthy “boost”:
- Oats and barley
- Sterol and stanol fortified foods
- Fiber supplements
Whats The Bottom Line
While coconut oil shouldnt be considered off-limits, it doesnt quite live up to the hype, either.
This is another case of it if sounds too good to be true, it probably is, Young says. Its fine to add small amounts to your diet. But keep the focus on healthier fat sources along with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins.
If you want a product with the most flavor, look for jars labeled virgin. That means its made with a process that will help it keep more of its tropical taste.
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Coconut Oil Does Help You Feel Fuller For Longer
Although coconut oil may not be as healthy of a food as most people think, it does have some health benefits, namely its ability to keep you fuller for longer, which might help with weight loss.
Fats are more calorie-dense than most foods, so eating them during meals may help you stay satiated compared to eating a carb-heavy meal. Increasing your MCT intake may also help curb your hunger.
However, you certainly shouldn’t “add it to everything thinking it’s the magical fat for weight loss and health,” says Lisa DeFazio, a registered dietitian nutritionist based in California.
Unhealthy Side Effects Of Coconut Oil You Should Know
When we talk about coconut oil, the first thing that comes to our mind is its health benefits. Coconut oil has so many health benefits that its used for almost everything. Many case studies prove that coconut oil possesses antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties which helps with the smooth functioning of the kidney, nervous system and also protects the liver against deadly ailments. Some coconut oil products are also termed as virgin because some of them are unprocessed. Virgin coconut oil is usually not bleached, deodorised, or refined.
But just like its proven benefits, coconut oil also has some serious side effects that most of us dont know about. First and foremost, as we know coconut oil is available in the market in two forms virgin coconut oil, and the commercial coconut oil. Virgin coconut oil is the unprocessed oil, which has more benefits and comes with almost no side effects. But the same is not the case with commercial coconut oil, which is used by most of us.
Coconut oil may be extremely healthy, in comparison to other oils available in the market, but it also has some serious side effects like an allergic reaction, which can get severe with time. So if you are using coconut oil for the first time, then you should ideally start with a small quantity to see if you have any reactions. And if you still dont can identify the possible reactions, then here are some side effects of the commercial coconut oil that you must know.
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What Is Coconut Water
Coconut water is not the milky fluid you get when you crack open a whole coconut. The sort you purchase at the supermarket is a mature coconut, brown and hard with dry brown fibers across its rough surface inside there is a thick layer of coconut meat that can be eaten fresh or dried. Coconut water is extracted from young, green coconuts, long before they have reached maturity and the grocery store shelves. They are the fruit of the coconut palm tree, and are grown in most places that boast a tropical climate.
Naturally sterile from being housed in the fruit, coconut water is often drunk where grown by inserting a straw into a hole in the shell. In America, we can purchase coconut water in glass bottles, cans, Tetra-Paks and plastic bottles, and it has almost invariably been pasteurized. But are all the claimed benefits genuine?
Is Virgin Coconut Oil Bad For You
Lately, virgin coconut oil has been heavily promoted. Marketers claim that any bad data on coconut oil are due to hydrogenation, and virgin coconut oil is not hydrogenated.
But only a small percentage, 8%, of coconut oil is unsaturated fat, which means only 8% of coconut oil gets hydrogenated. And the yield is mostly stearic acid, the one common long-chain saturated fatty acid that has minimal impact on LDL cholesterol levels. So completely hydrogenated coconut oil has about the same impact on LDL cholesterol as does virgin oil, points out Dr. Kenney.
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Cholesterol And Chronic Heart Failure
Heart disease may lead to a weakening of the heart muscle. A weak heart means that less blood and therefore less oxygen is delivered to the arteries. To compensate for the decreased power, the heart beat goes up, but in severe heart failure this is not sufficient. Patients with severe heart failure become short of breath because too little oxygen is delivered to the tissues, the pressure in their veins increases because the heart cannot deliver the blood away from the heart with sufficient power, and they become edematous, meaning that fluid accumulates in the legs and in serious cases also in the lungs and other parts of the body. This condition is called congestive or chronic heart failure.
There are many indications that bacteria or other microorganisms play an important role in chronic heart failure. For instance, patients with severe chronic heart failure have high levels of endotoxin and various types of cytokines in their blood. Endotoxin, also named lipopolysaccharide, is the most toxic substance produced by Gram-negative bacteria such as Escherichia coli, Klebsiella, Salmonella, Serratia and Pseudomonas. Cytokines are hormones secreted by white blood cells in their battle with microorganisms high levels of cytokines in the blood indicate that inflammatory processes are going on somewhere in the body.
Health Benefits Of Virgin Coconut Oil
1. It contains antioxidants that can decrease oxidative stress. Virgin coconut oils in the diet are rich in antioxidants such as flavonoids and polyphenols, which have many potential heart-health benefits. When the heart and blood vessels are exposed to a process called oxidative stress, plaques can develop in arteries, which can lead to heart attacks. Blood vessels can stiffen and cause high blood pressure and heart failure can develop. Antioxidants help reduce oxidative stress in the body and lower inflammation.
Polyphenols reduce blood pressure in elderly people with high blood pressure, studies find. Polyphenols have also been shown to reduce the growth of atherosclerotic plaques in arteries in animal studies. Also, in animal studies, researchers have found that polyphenols can help blood vessels relax and become less stiff , preventing the early first steps in the development of high blood pressure.
2. It can reduce total and bad cholesterol. Virgin coconut oil contains both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These are healthy fats that can lower cholesterol, in particular, our triglyceride levels. Virgin coconut oils also increase enzymes, such as lipoprotein lipase, that help break down fat. In addition, virgin coconut oil increases the production of bile, which aids in our bodys digestion of and removal of fats. In animals, this leads to a lowering of the bad cholesterols , triglycerides, and total cholesterol count.
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Coconut Oil And The Boost In Hdl Good Cholesterol
Written By Michael Greger M.D. FACLM on January 28th, 2021
The effects of coconut oil were compared to butter and tallow. Even if virgin coconut oil and other saturated fats raise LDL bad cholesterol, isnt that countered by the increase in HDL good cholesterol?
According to the experience and wisdom of 200 of the countrys leading experts in cardiovascular diseases, in a report representing 29 national medical organizations, including the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, weve known for nearly half a century that coconut oil is one of the most potent agents for elevating serum cholesterol level. As I discuss in my video Coconut Oil and the Boost in HDL Good Cholesterol,studies showing coconut oil elevates cholesterol date back to 1955, when it was first shown experimentally that switching someone from coconut oil to soybean oil could drop cholesterol from around 200 down to 150, as you can see at 0:39 in my video.
Coconut oil can significantly raise cholesterol levels within hours of consumption. In fact, a significant increase in blood cholesterol was found within hours of eating a slice of cake made from either coconut oil , but not from the same cake made from flaxseed oil.
I love topics that give me an excuse to talk about scientific concepts more generally, like various study designs in my video Prostate Cancer and Organic Milk vs. Almond Milk or my discussion of direct versus indirect risk factors in this one.