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Does Coconut Oil Have Cholesterol

Incorrect Interpretation Of A Study

Does Coconut Oil Have High Cholesterol? â Dr.Berg

In 2008, one study made people think that coconut oil might be healthful. In this investigation, 31 people consumed MCT oil or olive oil during a 16-week weight loss program.

The team found that the body processes MCT oil, such as coconut oil, differently from other oils. They concluded that MCT could have the same impact on CVD risk factors as olive oil.

Some people interpreted this to mean that if MCTs can have a positive effect on HDL and total cholesterol levels, coconut oil must be healthful.

However, the original study did not use coconut oil, but a special oil that was 100% MCT. The MCT content of coconut oil is around 14% . Butter is about 9.2% MCT.

A person would have to eat 150 g, or 10 tbs, of coconut oil each day to get the benefits. Consuming this much oil would not be healthful.

The Dietary Guidelines recommend limiting the intake of saturated fats to 10% or less of total calories. For those monitoring their cholesterol, the AHA recommend a maximum of 5-6%.

Most studies that show positive health benefits use MCT oil, not coconut oil. Studies supporting coconut oil have often been short term, small scale investigations involving animals rather than humans. The results have not been significant enough to warrant advising people to switch to coconut oil.

Research supporting a switch to unsaturated fatty acids has produced more reliable results.

Here are some tips for buying, storing, and using coconut oil:

Coconut: Good Fat Or Bad

Mixed messages abound about coconut and health. Is it a fatty treat, to be eaten with care? Or a miracle food, as some websites claim?

Much can be said about the pleasures of coconut. Certainly the cuisines of a large number of countries, from India to Indonesia, would be much the poorer without it. But would they be healthier?

Coconut is one of those foods that seems to ping-pong between the ‘good food’ and ‘bad food’ list, and if you’re confused about this, don’t worry even the experts can’t quite agree.

The confusion starts because of the differences between the use of coconut oil in cooking, and the use of coconut milk or coconut flesh. Both the American Heart Association and the National Heart Foundation recommend avoiding the use of coconut oil for cooking, but both their websites include recipes that contain coconut milk, albeit a reduced-fat version.

Despite the fuzzy perception that all things plant must be better for us, oil made from coconuts actually contains a whopping 85 to 90 per cent saturated fat. Saturated fats, usually the dominant type in animal foods, are generally regarded as the baddies when it comes to heart disease.

Even reduced-fat coconut milk contains about 10 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, compared to about 2.3 grams per 100 ml in reduced-fat cow’s milk.

May Cause Issues With Use As A Lubricant

Yes, coconut oil could be natural. But it may contain ingredients whose safety and efficacy are not known yet. This is why using coconut oil as a personal lubricant may not be a safe option.

Coconut oil is also known to alter the pH of the vagina, causing yeast infections. It can also degrade the latex in latex condoms and cause serious issues. Hence, one must not use any kind of oil-based lubricant with latex condoms.

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Cracking The Coconut Oil Craze

If you Google coconut oil, youll see a slew of stories touting the alleged health benefits of this solid white fat, which is easy to find in supermarkets these days. But how can something thats chock-full of saturated fat a known culprit in raising heart disease risk be good for you?

Coconut does have some unique qualities that enthusiasts cite to explain its alleged health benefits. But the evidence to support those claims is very thin, says Dr. Qi Sun, assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

If you want to lower your risk of heart disease, coconut oil is not a good choice, he says. Its true that more than other fats do, possibly because coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, a fatty acid that the body processes slightly differently than it does other saturated fats.

Health Concerns Of Saturated Fat

Signsofhighcholesterol Does Coconut Oil Have Good ...

Diets high in saturated fat are linked with a higher risk of heart disease. Saturated fat is known to increase low-density lipoprotein — the “bad” cholesterol. When LDL builds up in your blood, it sticks to the inside of arteries, causing them to become hard rather than pliable warns the American Heart Association. Your heart works harder to keep blood moving, adding unnecessary wear and tear on your heart muscle.

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May Increase Heart Disease Risk

Studies suggest that replacing coconut oil with unsaturated fats can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease .

According to the American Heart Association, consuming fewer saturated fats and more unsaturated fats is the best way to prevent heart disease. Coconut oil, being higher in saturated fats, may affect the heart .

Though coconut oil also contains unsaturated fat, there is no research that shows it mitigating the ill effects of saturated fat.

Coconut oil contains more bad fat than beef or butter . As per a New Zealand study, coconut oil increases bad cholesterol to a greater extent than unsaturated plant oils .

Lipoprotein Function And Health Implications

Lipoproteins are protein compounds that carry cholesterol throughout the body.

They are classified based on their size and density. Most commonly, low-density lipoprotein and high-density lipoprotein are discussed.

HDL is the good cholesterol. It actually scavenges LDL cholesterol, taking it to the liver for excretion .

LDL is the bad cholesterol, and often thought as unequivocally detrimental to health.

However, this is not the whole story.

In fact, the majority of people suffering from heart disease have normal total cholesterol levels, and only 50% of those whove suffered a cardiovascular event have high cholesterol.

Whats more, a 2016 review of 30 studies and over 68,000 adults, showed no link between high LDL and mortality of any kind or high LDL and heart disease .

Admittedly, there are limitations to a review like this, and its not necessarily the final word.

But, it does show that the cholesterol hypothesis of high cholesterol increases the risk of heart disease and death is likely, not true.

Theres definitely more to investigate.

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Ldl And Heart Disease Risk

First, note that LDL cholesterol is not dangerous unless it becomes oxidized and enters the cell wall to form plaques.

Next, only one type of LDL is usually tested.

In fact, the risk is actually more associated with LDL cholesterol size, density, and the number of particles . Two LDL numbers are important and are highly variable in adults: LDL-C and LDL-P.

Keep Your Weight Under Control

Does Coconut oil really have health benefits?

Like I just said, coconut oil has been shown in studies to help with weight. In addition, regular consumption of coconut oil has also been proven to reduce the amount of fat you carry on your body. Additionally, research shows that cooking with coconut oil might also reduce your waist size. Just keep your intake moderate to prevent the opposite from happening.

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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.

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?

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What About Weight Loss

Some argue that coconut oil can aid weight loss because it contains medium-chain triglycerides . MCTs lead to greater energy expenditure than long-chain triglycerides .

If this appeals to you and you choose to use coconut oil, do so in moderation and adjust the other forms of saturated fat in your diet to allow for its use.;

Is Coconut Oil A Health Food

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Coconut oil has been marketed as a health food for several years.;Low-carb, high-fat weight loss diets, including the keto diet, favor coconut oil, claiming it can help bust belly fat;by inducing ketosis.;Back in 2016, The New York Times asked people whether;coconut oil is healthy and 72% said yes, but medical experts say there’s largely no good scientific data that backs;up health;claims.

In 2018, a Harvard professor called coconut oil pure poison, saying its one of the worst foods you can eat.” While it’s not poison, most medical experts say it’s not a health food.

I don’t think that we need to fear it or take it out of the diet completely, but there’s no need to be using it in excess or as the only oil in the diet, said Ginger;Hultin, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.;

A tablespoon of coconut oil is about equal to the amount of;saturated fat adults should eat in one day, according to;AHA recommendations. The World Health Organization also recommends limiting saturated fats.;

“Until we get some good evidence, we should be suspect of claims that something is healthy,”;Hensrud said.

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May Lead To Liver Issues

The medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil are transported to the liver, where they are converted into energy. Some experts theorize that the speed at which these MCFAs are brought to the liver can cause a problem. This may put stress on the liver and even harm the organ over time. If you have any liver disease or diabetes, it is recommended to avoid coconut oil or any other food containing MCFAs.

Another study linked using repeatedly heated coconut oil to toxic effects on the liver . More studies are warranted to prove these effects.

May Lead To Intestinal Distress

Individuals with fructose malabsorption may be particularly susceptible to this condition. This is when someone has trouble absorbing fructose, which results in digestive issues, including intestinal distress. Though coconut oil does not contain fructose, all other products made from it do. If you experience intestinal distress or related issues after consuming products containing coconut oil, consult your doctor.

Numerous food products based on coconut oil also contain fructans that are made of a small chain of fructose. Fructans can also cause gastrointestinal problems.

Individuals experiencing digestive distress after the consumption of such foods also often react to broccoli, garlic, onions, wheat, and Brussels sprouts.

Certain compounds called sulfites are present in desiccated coconut that can also cause digestive issues. The best solution could be to eliminate all forms of coconut from your diet and see if the symptoms improve. If not, visit your doctor.

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Is Coconut Good For You

There are a lot of claims being made about coconut oil. In relation to heart health, the claims are not convincing, and there is little evidence to support coconut oil being called a ‘superfood’.

The research suggests coconut oil is better than butter for cholesterol levels, but not as good as other plant oils that are lower in saturated fat.

Is Virgin Coconut Oil Bad For You

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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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Despite Popular Belief Coconut Oil Has No Anti

Coconut oil consumption leads to higher levels of LDL cholesterol compared with other vegetable oils, according to a new meta-analysis. In contrast to popular belief, coconut oil also was not linked to lower rates of inflammation, glycemia, or adiposity, leading experts to discourage its use.

I’ve always been kind of flabbergasted by this popular culture fascination with coconut oil when it’s one of the most fatty substances on the planet, and I think this study confirms some of those things we’ve seen play out in smaller individual studies as well, Deirdre Mattina, MD , who was not involved with the study, told TCTMD.

The confusion has stemmed from widespread claims that coconut oil has anti-inflammatory properties that are based on smaller studies from geographically isolated populations, she said. A lot of that we sort of took out of context and from what other components are available in those populations’ diets. And then people are just naturally always looking for something that’s marketed as being natural or different in processing, so I think they’re flocking to those things and maybe misinterpreting what healthy really is.

Senior author Rob M. van Dam, PhD , told TCTMD that the researchers embarked on this study because of how widely coconut oil is promoted in the press as being beneficial.

Comparisons to Other Oils

Effects of Coconut Oil vs Nontropical Vegetable Oils in All Trials


Not a Healthy Oil

Cholesterol Tests Types Of Ldl And Triglycerides

Cholesterol tests usually include total cholesterol, LDL, and HDL levels.

As discussed, total cholesterol is somewhat insignificant. High cholesterol may simply mean high HDL. And again, theres not a solid link between total cholesterol and heart disease.

LDL tests are usually a test of LDL-C only . However, most cardiovascular risk is associated with LDL-P , and not LDL-C.

LDL-C can be harmful or not harmful. When the LDL-C quality improves and they become bigger and fluffier cholesterol , this is a positive for health. Saturated fats like MCT improve LDL-C quality.

When the LDL-C is small and dense , they are harmful. In fact, the smaller they are, the more room the lipoprotein has to carry triglycerides. Whats more, this is associated with more particles needed or more LDL-P.

LDL-P and triglycerides are now known to be the best lipid profile tests for cardiovascular disease assessment. High LDL-P is associated with metabolic syndrome and several risk factors .

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What Else Can It Do

Theres a claim that coconut oil can reduce the mental losses from Alzheimers disease by providing an alternate energy source for your brain. But right now the evidence is mostly word-of-mouth and not from research.

Coconut oil does have antioxidants, compounds that may help reduce the risk of disease. But Young says youll likely get a bigger antioxidant bang for your buck from vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.

You may also see coconut butter — coconut flesh thats been pureed into a creamy spread. It has more fiber than the oil. Coconut flour is another higher-fiber option that you can use when baking.

Types Of Healthy Fat In Oils

Coconut oil: Benefits, uses, and controversy

Incorporating a variety of different oils in your diet can help to provide an array of different micronutrients.

Monounsaturated fats contain a single unsaturated carbon bond in the molecule. A good source of vitamin E, monounsaturated fats are found only in plants. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics;recommends;MUFAs make up 15% to 20% of total daily calories.

Polyunsaturated fats have more than one unsaturated carbon bond in the molecule and are found in plants and fish such as salmon. PUFAs also contain vitamin E and high levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acidsnutrients essential for brain function and cell growth.

Some oils are high in omega-3 fatty acidshealthy fats that help to reduce inflammation and prevent the formation of arterial plaque. Avocado, canola, flaxseed, olive, peanut, sunflower, and walnut oils are all good sources of omega-3.

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Fight A Candida Infection

Your intestines naturally harbor a certain amount of the Candida fungus, but when things get out of whack, you can suffer. The resulting infection can be hard to treat, but research has found that coconut oil is an effective way to keep things under control in your gut. If you already have a Candida infection, studies show that it can also help lessen the severity of the illness.

Heart Uk Says Bbc Coconut Oil Claim Not To Be Trusted

HEART UK are very concerned regarding the latest coverage of coconut – See article here. The idea that consuming coconut oil lowers cholesterol made by the BBC programme Trust me Im a Doctor, is both misleading, unhelpful and not to be trusted.

The majority of respected scientific evidence shows that the saturated fats in coconut oil raise the bad cholesterol and the very limited experiment in the programme is misleading viewers to believe that coconut oil has beneficial effects on cholesterol.

HEART UK is delighted to see that the media are encouraging the use of olive oil and discouraging the use of butter because of their effects on blood cholesterol.

Coconut oil, unlike most vegetable oils, is solid at room temperature and is 85% saturated fat which when compared to butter at 52% and lard at 40% saturated fat puts it into context.

Some have argued that coconut oil contains a large amount of medium chain fats which are metabolised differently however the predominant fats in coconut oils are Lauric acid, Myristic acid and Palmitic acid all of which are classified as long chain saturated fats and all have been shown to raise the level of damaging LDL cholesterol in the blood.;;

Small variations in cholesterol resulting from changes in diet can be difficult to demonstrate due to the variability in many factors including:


Fat and Fatty Acid Intake and Metabolic Effects in the Human BodyAnn Nutr Metab 2009;55:162172 DOI: 10.1159/000229001

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