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Is Coconut Oil Bad For Your Cholesterol

Is Virgin Coconut Oil Safe Daily

Is Coconut Oil Bad for Your Cholesterol?

That said, as long as you moderate your intake of coconut oil, you can definitely enjoy it as part of a healthy diet. Coconut oil is high in saturated fats and should be treated like any other fat or oil. While it can be part of a nutritious diet, its best to stick to two tablespoons or less per day.

Is Coconut Oil Healthy

Its beloved by the Paleo and Keto diet sets and touted by many for health benefits ranging from better skin and hair to weight loss. Coconut oil has been trending for years, and enthusiasts credit it for all sorts of health and nutritional benefits.

A quick look around the internet and its easy to see why. Celebrities and influencers tout coconut oil as something just short of miraculous: a belly fat blaster, appetite suppressant, immune system strengthener, fighter of dementia and teeth cleaner.

Conversely, coconut oil has famously been called pure poison by Karin Michels, a professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She cautioned that coconut oil poses a greater risk to heart health than lard.

The fact is, it’s pure fat, as in literally 100 percent fat. Ninety percent of that fat is saturated fat, which is why coconut oil solidifies at cool or room temperatures. The Mayo Clinic reminds us that the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, issued by the US Department of Agriculture and the US Department of Health and Human Services, recommends limiting saturated fat to less than 10% of calories a day. The American Heart Association recommends staying under 7% of daily calories.

But I keep reading that coconut oil is a good fat

All of that said, using coconut oil in moderation can be part of a healthy diet. And there are many fine uses for coconut oil that do not involve eating it.

Does Coconut Oil Clog Your Arteries

Here are the facts:

All oils are a mixture of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fatty acids, though each oil is usually called by the name of the fatty acid that is most abundant. The artery-clogging and therefore most damaging fatty acid is saturated fat. The fat in coconut oil is 92% saturated fat.

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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.

Is Coconut Oil Healthy Or Not

Is Coconut Oil Bad for Your Cholesterol?

Myth: Coconut oil is a heart-healthy cooking alternative.

The reality: Coconut oil has been shown to raise cholesterol levels the good and the bad kinds more than other plant-based oils like olive or canola. And in truth, medium-chain triglycerides make up only a small amount of the fatty acids in coconut oil.

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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.

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.

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Health Benefits For Heart Disease Are Still Unsupported

When a friend told me about “the wonders of coconut oil,” it sounded a bit like a Saturday Night Live sketch.

It’s a health food. It’s a skin conditioner. You can use it in your hair. It’s even great as a natural wood polish for your furniture! But wait, there’s more! You can use coconut oil to improve your IQ and shrink your bunions!

Okay, I made up those last two, but I was easily able to find more than 100 recommended uses for coconut oil. Indeed, it seems as though everywhere you look, someone is singing its praises.

Maybe it’s the way that coconut oil evokes the image of swaying palm trees in a tropical paradise. Or, maybe it’s that the bright white color suggests an all-natural purity that’s appealing in a world full of highly processed consumer goods. Or maybe we’re all just looking for the next big thing in healthy foods, all-natural beauty products, or innovative jet fuel .

Whatever the explanation, coconut oil does sound good. But is it too good to be true? I won’t comment on its usefulness to polish furniture or power a 747, but I am interested in the health claims.

How Much Coconut Oil Should You Consume

Mayo Clinic Minute: Why coconut oil is bad for your heart

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.

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Ask The Doctor: Coconut Oil And Health

ARCHIVED CONTENT: As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date each article was posted or last reviewed. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

Q. I have started noticing more coconut oil at the grocery store and have heard it is better for you than a lot of other oils. Is that true?

A. I’ve also noticed that coconut oil seems to be catching on these days. Coconut oil is about 90% saturated fat, which is a higher percentage than butter , beef fat , or even lard . Too much saturated fat in the diet is unhealthy because it raises “bad” LDL cholesterol levels, which increases the risk of heart disease. So it would seem that coconut oil would be bad news for our hearts.

But what’s interesting about coconut oil is that it also gives “good” HDL cholesterol a boost. Fat in the diet, whether it’s saturated or unsaturated, tends to nudge HDL levels up, but coconut oil seems to be especially potent at doing so.

Coconut is a wonderful flavor and there’s no problem using coconut oil occasionally. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, so cooks are experimenting with using it instead of butter or vegetable shortening to make pie crust and other baked goods that require a solid source of fat. And if you’re preparing a Thai dish, cooking with coconut oil may be essential.

What Is Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is extracted from coconut flesh, leaving behind the fibre, carbohydrate and protein, the extracted oil is pure fat. As we know, there are many different types of fats. The two major kinds are saturated fats and unsaturated fats . Saturated fats make up 92% of coconut oil a higher percentage than butter. Saturated fats tend to increase your LDL cholesterol in the blood and should be eaten sparingly to minimise your risk of developing heart disease.

One of the main arguments put forward by those who support coconut oil is that the saturated fat in coconut oil behaves differently to typical saturated fats, preventing any negative effects on health. The evidence states its not that simple. In fact, a recent report from the American Heart Association, based on a recent review of clinical trials, advises against using coconut oil due to its high saturated fat content.

Coconut oil is particularly high in one type of saturated fatty acid called lauric acid. This type of fatty acid tends to mimic healthy unsaturated fats by boosting HDL cholesterol. This may make it less concerning than other saturated fats. However, studies show that with the consumption of coconut oil, whilst healthy HDL cholesterol levels appear to rise, so too does total cholesterol and unhealthy LDL cholesterol in the blood!1

Overall, the current evidence shows that coconut oil simply does not stack up against healthy unsaturated fats that lower the bad stuff whilst increasing the good stuff too.

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Types Of Healthy Fat In Oils

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.

Coconut Oil Bad For Ldl Cholesterol

Is Coconut Bad For Your Cholesterol?,can coconut oil lower ...

But other long-chain saturated fatty acids, like the ones that make up most of the saturated fat in coconut, palm kernel, and palm oils , do in fact raise LDL cholesterol considerably. These saturated fats are called palmitic, myristic, and lauric acids. They also make up most of the saturated fatty acids in meat, poultry, and dairy fats like milk, butter, and cheese.

Other saturated fats that have little impact on LDL cholesterol levels include medium-chain varieties like caproic, caprylic, and capric acids. A small percentage of the saturated fat in coconut oil, about 10%, is made up of these less harmful saturated fatty acids, but virtually all the rest of coconut oils saturated fat is made up of the long-chain varieties that send LDL soaring.

And coconut oil is full of these artery-busting long-chain varieties by the sheer fact that theres such a huge percentage of saturated fat, 92%, packed into coconut oil to begin with.

Ounce for ounce, coconut oil has more saturated fat than butter, beef tallow, or lard.So coconut oil raises LDL cholesterol as much or more than animal fats, cautions Dr. Kenney.

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Ways That Cooking With Coconut Oil Can Help You

By Eliza

Youâve no doubt heard all about the beauty benefits of using coconut oil on your skin and in your hair. If youâve already started with it, more power to you. Did you know that you can also cook with coconut oil? It has health benefits that should make it a natural part of your pantry. You can get coconut oil at any supermarket where the other cooking oils are sold. Once you try it, you may never go back.

  • Coconut Oil Easily Replaces Other Kinds of Fat
  • Coconut Milk And Cholesterol

    Because there is so much disagreement on whether the fats in coconut can increase your cholesterol, the best thing to do is consume coconut products in moderation. If you want to drink large amounts of coconut milk, you should make sure that the rest of your diet contains primarily polyunsaturated fats, which are good for your heart.

    If you are concerned about coconut milk and cholesterol but still want to drink this beverage, you can always purchase fortified products that have lower amounts of coconut. While these are not nutritionally comparable to the more natural products, they are certainly lower in fat. Just make sure you only select unsweetened options.

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    Health Concerns Of Saturated Fat

    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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    Is Coconut Oil A Health Food

    Is Coconut Oil Going to Raise Your Cholesterol?

    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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    Coconut Oil And Cholesterol


    Coconut oil has been in the headlines in recent years for various health reasons. In particular, experts go back and forth debating about whether or not its good for cholesterol levels.

    Some experts say you should avoid coconut oil because of its high levels of saturated fat .

    Others say that the structure of the fat in coconut oil makes it less likely to add to fat buildup in the body and that, for that reason, its healthy.

    There are a lot of conflicting reports about whether or not coconut oil can help:

    Research hasnt been definitive, but there are many facts known about this oil. These may help you choose whether or not to incorporate coconut oil into your diet. Consulting your physician is also a good idea.

    According to the Mayo Clinic, the oil from fresh coconuts contains a high proportion of medium chain fatty acids. These dont seem to be stored in fat tissue as easily as are long chain fatty acids.

    Experts say that coconut oils lauric acid, which is a healthy type of saturated fatty acid, is quickly burned up by the body for energy rather than stored. Thats why some people think of coconut oil as a potential weight loss tool.

    All types of fat have the same number of calories. Its only the difference in the fatty acid makeup that makes each fat distinct from the others.

    In a saturated fat to soybean oils 15 percent.

    Accredited Practising Dietitian Recipe Tips

    • Choose to cook with unsaturated oils such as olive, avocado and canola oils
    • When a recipe calls for coconut cream or milk, use light varieties and thicken with corn flour if a creamier texture is required
    • Another alternative is to blend half the required amount of coconut cream/milk with evaporated milk, reducing the saturated fat content whilst still providing a subtle coconut flavour
    • Experiment with other flavours, try kafir lime leaves, basil, lemongrass or ginger for an exotic flavour boost
    • For people who use lots of coconut oil in their diet, put a cap on the amount you use or try blending it with some monounsaturated oils such as olive, canola or avocado oil.

    APDs can decipher the fact from the fiction when it comes to nutrition. For advice tailored to your individual needs, an APD can support you to make the right decisions for your diet based on the latest evidence.

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    Potential Risks Of Coconut Oil

    Taken in moderation and used as a topical agent for moisturizing, coconut oil can provide many benefits. Still, there are a few potential health risks to be aware of, including the amount of saturated fat the oil contains. Here are some other potential health risks of coconut oil:

    Increased Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke

    Even though some studies have shown that coconut oil can boost good cholesterol and lower the bad, other studies have shown that compared to other oils like olive oil, coconut oil raised harmful LDL cholesterol levels. High levels of LDL cholesterol can raise your risk of developing heart diseases or suffering from a stroke.

    The American Heart Association recommends no more than 13 grams of saturated fat per day in your diet. As stated earlier, coconut oil contains more than that in one serving, meaning its easy to overdo saturated fat in your diet when you consume coconut oil. Too much saturated fat can lead to high cholesterol, increasing risks of heart disease and stroke.

    The Effects Of Vco On Plasma Lipoproteins Levels

    Is Coconut Oil Bad for Your Cholesterol?

    This open-label, randomized, controlled, crossover trial among 32 healthy participants assessed the effects of daily VCO consumption on plasma lipoproteins levels compared to control . We found that taking 15mL of VCO twice daily for 8 weeks was associated with a significant increase in HDL-C level compared with taking 2% CMC solution. Nevertheless, we did not find any significant differences in total cholesterol, LDL-C, and triglyceride levels between VCO and the control.

    Our findings are in line with the findings that VCO consumption is potentially beneficial for increasing HDL-C levels . Our lipid parameter results are similar to a recent study by Cardoso et al. who evaluated the effect of VCO on lipid profiles and anthropometric parameters among patients with coronary artery disease . Cardoso et al. found that HDL-C levels significantly increased in those consuming VCO 15mL for 3 months, while no significant change occurred in total cholesterol or LDL-C levels . Our results are similar to a randomized crossover study by Voon et al. conducted in Malaysia with 45 healthy participants who consumed diets with 30% of energy from fat and two-thirds of fat from coconut oil, palm oil, or extra virgin olive oil . Compared with consuming extra virgin olive oil, consuming coconut oil significantly increased the HDL-C level by 3.48mg/dL .

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