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Does Extra Virgin Coconut Oil Raise Cholesterol

Olive Oil Vs Coconut Oil: Which Is Healthier

Deep Conditioning with Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

Home » Eat Empowered » Healthy Eating Tips » Olive Oil vs. Coconut Oil: Which is Healthier?

When it comes to your health, olive oil and coconut oil are like two of your closest friends.

Olive oil is the friend youve known since grade school whos completely dependable and always supports you. Coconut oil is the new friend you made as an adult whos always up on the latest trend and exposes you to all kinds of things you didnt have access to before.

You need both of them, right? But what if your schedules gotten really busy and youve only got time for one?

Translation: When you reach for a bottle at Trader Joes, which should you carry home if your grocery tote is too full for both?

Here are the facts on which is healthier: olive oil or coconut oil.

How To Use Virgin Coconut Oil

Sauces and dips taste excellent when made with this oil.

Bullet-proof coffee is another fantastic recipe if you are a coffee addict.

Smoothies, meal drinks, ice creams, no-bake cakes, etc. taste richer and are more filling when made with coconut oil.

Sautéed vegetables, including potatoes, have higher nutritional value if prepared this way.

With zero cholesterol and abundant lauric acid, looks like virgin coconut oil is here to stay.

Sadly, that might not happen.

Researchers warn us about using it regularly. Scroll to the next section to know the side effects of virgin coconut oil.

Main Outcomes And Measures

The primary outcome was change in serum LDL-C secondary outcomes were change in total and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol , TC/HDL-C ratio and non-HDL-C change in weight, body mass index , waist circumference, per cent body fat, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, fasting plasma glucose and C reactive protein.

Read Also: Does Shrimp Have High Cholesterol

Amazing For Skin Hair And Your Teeth

Coconut oil is an amazing beauty product. It works wonders for hydrating the skin and reducing symptoms of eczema. It can also be used to moisturize the lips if you have a chapstick addiction like myself ! Coconut oil is also amazing for damaged and dry hair and can pull oils from the teeth when used as a mouthwash.

Does Coconut Oil Raise Cholesterol


Many people wonder, is coconut oil bad for cholesterol? No, it is not. There are two types of cholesterol, good cholesterol, also known as HDL, and bad cholesterol, also called LDL good cholesterol helps to maintain a healthy body, while bad cholesterol damages the body and causes numerous health problems. Coconut oil does raise cholesterol levels however, it raises the HDL or good cholesterol levels, not the LDL or bad cholesterol levels. Coconut oil has been proven to improve cholesterol ratios and reduce the risk of heart disease. The benefits of coconut oil and cholesterol levels are far greater than when other cooking oils like vegetable, olive, soybean, peanut, sunflower, or canola oils are used.

Read Also: How Much Cholesterol In Pork Chops

Does Coconut Oil Raise Ldl Cholesterol

Yes. A recent meta-analysis of 16 well conducted studies found that, compared with nontropical oils, coconut oil significantly increased LDL cholesterol by 10.5 mg/dl when used in cooking. Surprisingly, coconut oil also significantly increased LDL cholesterol compared to palm oil, another tropical oil high in saturated fat.

Only one trial compared coconut oil to butter, and interestingly, coconut oil did better than butter – so theres that!

Elevated levels of LDL cholesterol are important because they cause heart disease by delivering cholesterol to the arteries, causing atherosclerosis. Read more about that here.

Is Coconut Oil Bad For You

Is coconut oil bad for you? Yes, assert the physicians, registered dietitians, and scientists at the Pritikin Longevity Center in Miami, Florida.

Many in the coconut oil business promote it as the “good” saturated fat. But “this is a case where facts have been twisted into fiction,” states Dr. Jay Kenney, Educator and Nutrition Research Specialist at Pritikin.

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Does Coconut Oil Reduce Heart Disease Risk

While LDL cholesterol is a very important, and causative risk factor for heart disease, its not the only risk factor for heart disease. Its important to consider how coconut oil may reduce the risk of heart disease by affecting other pathways.

Unfortunately, we do not have any long-term randomized controlled trials looking at coconut oil ingestion and heart disease outcomes like heart attack.

There is some epidemiological data demonstrating that indigenous populations who consume coconut as part of their native diet in the Philippines and Polynesia have lower rates of heart disease. However, it is important to note that these populations do not consume coconut oil, but whole coconut or pressed coconut cream, as well as a diet that is otherwise very high in fiber and low in processed foods. As a result, its very difficult to extrapolate how that might impact coconut oil consumption given we know that our bodies react differently to processed vs whole foods.

What about other risk factors? The same meta-analysis described above also took a look at those. They found that coconut oil consumption did not significantly affect markers of body fat, body weight, glucose control, or inflammation. Coconut oil, similar to other saturated fats, does raise good HDL cholesterol by 4 mg/dl – but as I discussed here, this cannot be thought of as reliably cardioprotective.

Why People Think Coconut Oil Improves Heart Health

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

Despite its high saturated fat content, there are a few reasons that people think coconut oil is a healthy fat.

The main reason is coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides , a type of fat found in coconut oil. MCTs have a different chemical makeup than other fats, meaning your body processes them differently. MCTs have six to 12 carbon atoms, which is less than more commonly found long-chain triglycerides’ 12 to 18 carbon atoms.

“MCTs are able to be digested and absorbed more rapidly than other fats, and therefore can be used as a more immediate energy source,” says Melissa Rifkin, MS, RD, CDN, a dietitian based in New York City.

“Because they are less likely to store as fat due to how they are digested and absorbed, MCTs are less likely to impact LDL levels in the blood,” says Rifkin.

However, despite its benefits, store-bought coconut oils only contain around 54% MCTs, says Rifkin. Additionally, the chemical makeup of MCTs used in research tends to be different than those found in coconut oil.

“Many of the MCT oils used in clinical studies have eight or 10 carbon chains, whereas those in coconut oil typically have 12. This composition makes the coconut oil we use in cooking quite different from those studies using MCT oil,” says Christensen.

Although coconut oil does have some MCTs, it doesn’t have enough to reap their health benefits and override the negative consequences associated with its high saturated fat content.

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Virgin Coconut Oil: Uses Nutrition And Health Benefits

The coconut tree belongs to the palm tree family , which is botanically a drupe, not a nut. Coconut oil is an edible oil produced from the kernel of mature coconuts and it has gained immense popularity in the recent years for its innumerable health benefits.

Almost over thousands of studies have proven, coconut oil to be one of the healthiest foods. The many uses and healing benefits of coconut oil go beyond peoples expectation, coconut is indeed a true superfood.

The coconut tree is claimed as the lifeline of health due to its versatile benefits and uses. However, choosing the right type of oil from the different types available coconut oil brands can be a bit challenging.

Coconut oils are typically available in two varieties -virgin and refined oil. Virgin Coconut Oil is produced by cold-pressing the liquid from the coconut meat, later extracting the oil from milk and water and has a milky appearance. It is 100% natural, unbleached and cold-pressed. Virgin coconut oil is popular for its pleasant aroma, taste, powerful antioxidants, healthy fatty acids and essential vitamins to name a few.

Virgin coconut oil is produced from the coconut without heat exposure. It is gaining more popularity across the world in comparison with ordinary coconut oil for its indispensable nutrition and benefits.

Though refined coconut oil is less expensive, it is not widely recommended as it loses all its nutrition while processing.

Is Coconut Oil Good Or Bad For You

A Harvard professor called coconut oil pure poison. Not everyone takes such a harsh stand.

By Roni Caryn Rabin and Sophie Egan

In an online video that has gone viral, a Harvard professor takes on the popular food coconut oil, calling it pure poison.

Is it really that bad for you?

The lecture, by Karin Michels, a professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, was delivered in German. It was translated by Business Insider Deutschland and called Coconut Oil and Other Nutritional Errors. While not everyone takes such a harsh view against coconut oil, many experts are skeptical about its rising popularity as a purported health food. The New York Times health writer Roni Rabin and food writer Sophie Egan both answered readers questions about the health benefits of coconut oil. Heres what they had to say.

Q. Why is coconut oil suddenly considered healthy after being declared unhealthy for three decades?

A. Coconut oils image has gotten a makeover in recent years, and many natural food stores stock the product. But despite a lot of hype about it, said Dr. Alice H. Lichtenstein, a Tufts University professor of nutrition science and policy who is vice chair of the federal governments dietary guidelines advisory committee, theres virtually no data to support the hype.

There is little research on the health effects in people of coconut oil, Dr. Lichtenstein said, but there appears to be no independent benefit of consuming it.

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The Effects Of Heating Dietary Oils

People living in tropical areas are beginning to figure out that they have been deceived by the so-called research in the area of dietary oils coming out of the U.S. for the past 30 to 40 years. The conventional nutritional wisdom in the U.S. for many years now has been that the polyunsaturated oils are heart-healthy, while saturated fats lead to high cholesterol and heart disease. However, as many populations in tropical areas switched from their native dietary oils such as coconut oil, and replaced them with mass-produced unsaturated oils, their rate of hypertension have actually gone up. We have documented many of these studies in the Peer-Reviewed Research section of .

While heating monounsaturated fats is not wise, as it destroys the antioxidant properties, heating polyunsaturated oils is even worse. They are much more prone to break down and oxidize. Soybean oil is the most consumed dietary oil in the world, and is a polyunsaturated oil. Along with corn oil, it is not a traditional oil that has been in the food chain for very long. The expeller-pressed technology developed post WWII allowed companies to start extracting oil from these North American crops, heavily subsidized by the U.S. government today, to produce cheaper cooking oils. Today, soybean oil is everywhere, including Malaysia. A similar study was done in Malaysia also looking at the unhealthy practice of heating soybean oil repeatedly and how this related to heart disease.

Types Of Healthy Fat In Oils

Extra Virgin

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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Extra Virgin Coconut Oil And Its Benefits For Heart Health

Saturated fat is typically thought of as the less healthy fat. There has been mixed research on saturated fats and health. One of the likely reasons for this conflict in research is because coconut oil is a saturated fat but has a lot of health benefits. Coconut oil is great for heart health, specifically for blood lipids, as well as having antimicrobial and antiviral properties. In this blog we will focus on the heart health benefits and look at one study demonstrating this in particular.

Blood lipids are comprised of low density lipoproteins , very low density lipoproteins , high density lipoproteins , and triglycerides total cholesterol is also a measure of importance. In most instances the goal is to keep LDL, VLDL, and TG low, and HDL high. This is important for heart health because LDL and VLDL cholesterol can build up in arteries overtime causing different forms of cardiovascular disease. HDL helps remove cholesterol build up in the arteries.


  • Ogbolu, D. O., Oni, A. A., Daini, O. A., & Oloko, A. P. . In vitro antimicrobial properties of coconut oil on Candida species in Ibadan, Nigeria. Journal of medicinal food, 10, 384-387.
  • Khaw, K. T., Sharp, S. J., Finikarides, L., Afzal, I., Lentjes, M., Luben, R., & Forouhi, N. G. . Randomised trial of coconut oil, olive oil or butter on blood lipids and other cardiovascular risk factors in healthy men and women. BMJ open, 8, e020167.
  • Promotes Healthy Hair Growth

    Applying coconut oil to hair has shown to reduce protein loss. Compared to sunflower oil and mineral oil, coconut oil penetrates better into the hair shaft. Mineral oil cannot chemically interact with proteins to trap/conserve them .

    Whereas, coconut oil has lauric acid as its principal fatty acid. Lauric acid interacts better with hair proteins. Hence, using coconut oil on damaged or undamaged hair, or during pre-wash or post-wash gives the best results , .

    Such oils reduce the formation of split ends in your hair. They can fill the gap between hair cells and protect them from harsh chemical damage .

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    Is Coconut Oil Healthy For Blood Cholesterol Levels

    To clear up the confusion surrounding coconut oil, it should be noted that all oils and fats are composed of different types of fatty acids in different proportions and that each of these has qualities and defects. For example, 15% of sesame oil fatty acids are saturated and 85% are unsaturated . Coconut oil, which is of particular interest to us, is an exception for vegetable fats because it is highly saturated .

    Saturated fats, two words quite well known among consumers but unfortunately, misunderstood by most people that have a tendency to put them all in one basket. Indeed, within the family of saturated fats, all are not so bad! Only long-chain fatty acids are detrimental to our health Saturated fatty acids with medium and short chains should not be considered as harmful, they are more easily assimilated by our organism and therefore without danger of increased cholesterol and cardiovascular risks.

    Also, when compared with trans fats, saturated fats are still a better choice because they do not adversely affect HDL . Moreover, the replacement of trans fats with saturated fats resulted in an increase in HDL cholesterol, the desired effect in improving cardiovascular health.

    How Does Olive Oil Compare With Coconut Oil

    Increase your energy, burn fat and have glowing skin with Extra Virgin Coconut oil

    Coconut oil has grown in popularity over recent years. An example of the power of the Internet to propagate any food to superfood status, are the claims made about coconut oil more a case of good marketing over good science? Here we look at how coconut oil stacks up against the well-researched health benefits of olive oil, especially as a key part of a Mediterranean-style dietary pattern.

    Fatty acid profile

    Fatty acids are the key defining difference between different fats and oils. For coconut oil, it is very high in saturated fatty acids, at around 90 percent, which ranks it higher than lard or butter in this domain. Its saturated fat content is the key reason why coconut oil is normally solid at room temperature. The saturated fat in coconut oil consists mostly of the medium chain fatty acid lauric acid in addition to longer chain saturated fatty acids such as myristic and palmitic acid. Olive oil, on the other hand, is high in the monounsaturated fatty acid of oleic acid at around 75 percent with the rest being a combination of polyunsaturated and saturated fatty acids.

    Other compounds

    Heart health benefits

    A Mediterranean-style dietary pattern, which includes plenty of olive oil consumed throughout the day, has been linked in many observational studies to a lower risk of chronic disease. Specifically looking at olive oil consumption, lower rates of coronary heart disease9, stroke10 and a lower risk of earlier mortality stand out11.

    What it all means

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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.


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