Ways That Cooking With Coconut Oil Can Help You
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.
Ask The Doctors Could Coconut Oil Lower My Cholesterol
Dear Doctor: Im 75, healthy, and want to stay that way in spite of a bad family history regarding hearts and arteries. I have taken 10 milligrams of Lipitor for several years, but am wondering if I should try coconut oil to lower my cholesterol.
We seem to be seeing a sudden rise in the use of coconuts for health reasons, both in this country and in many others. Some of my family members tout coconut oil for a variety of ailments, and many of my patients report health benefits from coconut oil. And, to be sure, Indonesians, Indians and Filipinos have incorporated coconuts into their diets for thousands of years. However, those societies were eating coconut meat and drinking coconut milk, not solely utilizing the oil of coconuts. Thats likely a good thing.
Coconut oil is very high in saturated fat, with 12 grams of saturated fat per tablespoon. Compare that to olive oil, which has 1.9 grams of saturated fat per tablespoon. Both have 14 grams of total fat, but almost all of olive oils fat is monounsatured fat, widely considered to be better for the heart and cardiovascular system. Saturated fats in meats and dairy products, on the other hand, have been shown to increase LDL cholesterol, the so-called bad type of cholesterol linked to coronary artery disease.
In addition, if you have risk factors for heart disease, there is a significant benefit in staying on the statin you are taking. I would not stop that in lieu of adding coconut oil to your diet.
How To Make Coconut Oil At Home
Nowadays supermarkets are flooded with countless varieties of cooking oils and many of us are yet to figure out one which is pure and unadulterated, and it appears to be a tough task. The custom of making oil at home goes way back to a time when our grandmothers used to diligently extract the creamy liquid from nuts and use the leftover to make desi ghee at home for cooking.
However, in the recent years due to industrialization and need for convenience food, most of us have turned to packaged refined oil loaded with emulsifiers, additives and hydrogenated fat. Cooking oil is a quintessential part of dishes in every single meal. Here is a very simple way of making coconut oil at home.
3 to 4 coconuts will give you 1 litre of coconut milk, from which 50 grams of oil can be extracted.
3-4 grated coconut
Extract the coconut milk by pressing it with hand using a muslin cloth, add little hot water that makes it easy to press out all the milk.
Filter the coconut using a muslin cloth to remove any impurities.
In a heavy bottom vessel pour the coconut milk and put it on fire. Cook for 2-3 hours on a low flame.
Keep stirring until the milk turns to brownish colour, be cautious not to burn the coconut milk.
As the milk thickens remove from fire and allow it cool down. Pour the thickened milk in a muslin cloth and squeeze out the pure oil and store it in a can or bottle.
Benefits Of Virgin Coconut oil
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Healthier Alternatives To Coconut Oil
Consuming moderate amounts of healthy oils is good for you because they contain essential fatty acids that your body can’t make on its own. There are three types of fats in plant-based oils:
- Monounsaturated fats, which are the “good” kinds of fat that can reduce LDL cholesterol levels.
- Polyunsaturated fats, which also help lower LDL cholesterol levels. These fats include omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that are essential for your body to function.
- Saturated fats, which are the worst for your health. For this reason, the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends consuming less than 10% of your daily calories from saturated fats.
To choose the healthiest cooking oil, opt for those with high amounts of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and low amounts of saturated fat. Some examples of plant-based alternatives for coconut oil include:
Canola oil: This oil contains both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which can help lower cholesterol and ease inflammation. Canola oil has 62% monounsaturated fat, 32% polyunsaturated fat, and 6% saturated fat.
Extra virgin olive oil: This fat has a high concentration of polyphenols. Polyphenols are naturally occurring antioxidants known to reduce and slow the progression of certain chronic health conditions such as cardiovascular or neurodegenerative diseases. Olive oil contains 77% monounsaturated fat, 9% polyunsaturated fat, and 14% saturated fat.
Are The Saturated Fats In Coconut Oil Different
Roughly 80 percent of the fat in coconut oil is saturated. Yet some people claim that coconut oil doesnt raise LDL. Not true, says Sacks.
The evidence is straightforward. Some of the short-chain saturated fatty acids in coconut oil dont raise LDL cholesterol. But they dont counteract the effects of the oils longer-chain fatty acids, which do increase LDL cholesterol. So coconut oil raises LDL cholesterol in the same way that, say, butter does.
In a 2016 paper, researchers reviewed the evidence from seven small trials that compared coconut oil to monounsaturated or polyunsaturated oils, like olive or soybean. They found that LDL cholesterol levels were higher when people ate coconut oil. The increase was statistically significant in six of the seven studies.
Granted, no large trials have tested coconut oils impact on heart disease. In the absence of any 10,000-person study, we have to go on the best available evidence, which shows that coconut oil raises LDL cholesterol, says Sacks. And coconut oil has no demonstrated benefits to offset the rise in LDL.
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Coconut Oil And Cholesterol The Health Connection
If your doctor told you that you have high cholesterol, government guidelines recommend that you eat a diet low in saturated fats to lower your cholesterol. And coconut oil is a saturated fat.
Saturated fats come from animal sources such as meats and full-fat dairy products such as cheese and milk. However, saturated fats can also come from certain plant oils such as palm oil, cocoa butter, and coconut oil.
Coconut oil is unusual for a plant oil because researchers have found that it contains heart-healthy polyphenols and medium chain fats.
Does Consumption Of Coconut Oil Increase Cholesterol
If you are worried whether coconut oil will improve your heart health or worsen it, here is your answer! Consuming coconut oil can actually be pretty good for you! Surprisingly, it can reduce heart-related diseases. There are many people who have, however, expressed concern regarding this matter. Some who recently got their blood cholesterol checked saw a sudden rise in the cholesterol levels that left them stunned and shattered. If coconut oil can reduce heart diseases, then why did it lead to an increase in the cholesterol levels?
According to experts, peoples responses often vary when they begin to use coconut oil. For some, the cholesterol levels decrease while among others, they tend to increase. But in both these cases, the good cholesterol, also known as HDL , always increases. When there seems to be a rise in your total cholesterol, it is the good cholesterol and not the bad one. This, therefore, reduces heart attacks and other heart-related diseases.
It has been declared earlier that the ratio of cholesterol is a much more accurate indicator of heart-related diseases than the total cholesterol level. Looking at the total cholesterol levels alone, on the other hand, happens to be very misleading. Total cholesterol actually lets you know how much cholesterol is good and how much is detrimental to your health. One could be having a very high level of total cholesterol, but if most of it is made up of HDL, then the risk is much lower.
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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:
- maintain healthy cholesterol
- help raise good high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels
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.
Cholesterol And Healthy Eating
What we eat has an impact on our cholesterol levels and can help reduce our risk of disease. Try to eat a wide variety of foods from each of the five food groups. Not only does this help to maintain a healthy and interesting diet, but it provides essential nutrients to the body.
The Heart Foundation recommends:
- Plenty of vegetables, fruits and wholegrains.
- A variety of healthy protein sources , legumes , nuts and seeds. Smaller amounts of eggs and lean poultry can also be included in a heart healthy diet. If choosing red meat, make sure it is lean and limit to 1-3 times a week.
- Unflavoured milk, yoghurt and cheese. Those with high blood cholesterol should choose reduced fat varieties.
- Healthy fat choices nuts, seeds, avocados, olives and their oils for cooking
- Herbs and spices to flavour foods, instead of adding salt.
Also, be mindful on how much you are eating and whether you are filling up on unhealthy foods. Portion sizes have increased over time and many of us are eating more than we need which can lead to obesity and increase our risk of cardiovascular disease.
Ideally, a healthy plate would include servings of ¼ protein, ¼ carbohydrates and ½ vegetables.
Serving size can vary depending on age, gender and specific nutrition needs.
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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.
Virgin Coconut Oil Is Rich In Antioxidants
Because coconut oil comes from a plant, it contains some antioxidants. Antioxidants help counteract free radical damage, which reduces your risk of all kinds of health conditions, from heart disease to cancer. Virgin coconut oil a better bet than other versions because it is less processed, which preserves more of the antioxidants in the oil.
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Is Coconut Oil Good Or Bad For Your Cholesterol
The latest so-called superfood whose sales are rocketing because of its health claims is coconut oil.
We spend around £16 million a year on it in the UK, some 70 times more than just 6 years ago.
Perhaps the most surprising claim is that eating coconut oil can cut your risk of heart disease by reducing your cholesterol levels.
Coconut oil is more than 80% saturated fat, which has long been associated with raising cholesterol levels.
And there are some reports suggesting that coconut oil does this, too, in line with expectations.
However, other reports claim that coconut oil is good for your heart, because it reduces levels of the harmful form of cholesterol, LDL.
Coconut Oil For Cooking: Is It Good Or Bad For You
This article was published more than 9 years ago. Some information may no longer be current.
I read coconut oil is the healthiest oil to cook with. Is this true?
Coconut oil has recently been dubbed the “world’s healthiest oil.” Claims abound about its near-miraculous healing powers. It’s reported to dissolve kidney stones, lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation, boost immune function, promote weight loss, protect against certain cancers and a whole lot more.
The fact is, there’s limited evidence to suggest coconut oil does any of these things. All that has been studied in depth is the impact of coconut oil on blood-cholesterol levels and even those findings aren’t clear-cut.
Coconut oil, a tropical oil made from the dried fruit of the coconut palm tree, contains 86 per cent saturated fat. Because diets high in saturated fat raise LDL blood cholesterol, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and the American Heart Association advise limiting sources of it in your diet.
But coconut oil isn’t as bad as its high saturated fat content might make you think. Studies suggest that diets high in coconut oil do raise total blood cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, but not nearly to the same extent as butter. Coconut oil also seems to raise HDL cholesterol. In one small study, taking 2 tablespoons of coconut oil daily for one week did not significantly raise bad cholesterol but did increase good cholesterol.
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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.
Contains Healthy Fatty Acids
Coconut oil is high in certain saturated fats. These fats have different effects in the body compared with most other dietary fats.
The fatty acids in coconut oil can encourage your body to burn fat, and they provide quick energy to your body and brain. They also raise HDL cholesterol in your blood, which may help reduce heart disease risk .
Most dietary fats are categorized as long-chain triglycerides , while coconut oil contains some medium-chain triglycerides , which are shorter fatty acid chains .
When you eat MCTs, they tend to go straight to your liver. Your body uses them as a quick source of energy or turns them into ketones.
Ketones can have powerful benefits for your brain, and researchers are studying ketones as a treatment for epilepsy, Alzheimers disease, and other conditions.
Summary Coconut oil is high in MCTs, a type of fat that your body metabolizes differently than most other fats. MCTs are responsible for many of the health benefits of coconut oil.
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Products Used In The Study
VCO was produced by Siam Paradise Health Products Co. Ltd. The oil contained lauric acid 50.4%, myristic acid 17.5%, caprylic acid 9.0%, palmitic acid 7.9%, capric acid 7.0%, oleic acid 5.9%, stearic acid 1.6%, and linoleic acid 0.9%. The control regimen was 2% CMC solution, produced by the Faculty of Pharmacy, Chiang Mai University. A 2% CMC solution was chosen as the control regimen instead of other types of oil in order to avoid any effects of other oils on the lipid profiles.
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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