Coconut Oil - Is It Healthy?

Is Coconut Oil Healthy?  Coconut oil is commonly marketed as a health food, but is it really healthier for you?

Recent research reported by the American Heart Association indicates that coconut oil is just as unhealthy as beef dripping and butter. Coconut oil contains a high amount of saturated fat, which can raise 'bad cholesterol' in the body. According to the AHA, 82% of the fat in coconut oil is saturated.  That's more than in butter (63%), beef fat (50%) and pork lard (39%).

A recent survey reported that 72% of the American public rated coconut oil as a “healthy food” compared with 37% of nutritionists.  This difference in opinion is largely due to how coconut oil has been recently marketed.

Some believe that the mixture of fats in coconut oil make it a healthy option, but the AHA states there is no solid evidence for this claim.  Other myths that surround coconut oil are that it is good for your skin, that it increases your metabolism, that it's heart healthy, but these claims do not have sufficient evidence.

Eating a diet high in saturated fat can raise LDL levels.  LDL, also known as bad cholesterol, can clog arteries, and increase risk of heart disease, or stroke.  Scientific research from the AHA indicates that limiting saturated fats helps to prevent heart disease and other serious health risks. One source of bad cholesterol is animal fats - try to limit eggs, red meat, and other fatty meats to help reduce bad cholesterol. Fiber rich foods and certain green vegetables will help to lower bad cholesterol. HDL, also known as good cholesterol, carries the bad cholesterol to our liver, where our liver gets rid of it.  It is important to limit saturated fats in our diet. To help achieve this, you can replace some saturated fats with unsaturated fats, such as olive oil, sunflower oil, and vegetable oil.

While saturated fat should be limited in our diets, fat is essential for a balanced diet, so it shouldn't be completely cut out. Vitamins A, D, and E are absorbed by our body and fatty acids feed off particular fats in our diet to aid in this process. To help keep a healthy balance of fats in your diet, try trimming meat of skin, fat, and bone before cooking.  Also grill, bake, broil, or steam your food, instead of frying.

Original Article Here: http://www.bbc.com/news/health-40300145

AHA Research Here: http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/early/2017/06/15/CIR.0000000000000510