This is a confusing topic. Isn’t coconut good for you? It’s fatty, creamy, sweet and a fruit (from the drupe family). Aren’t people adding coconut oil or butter into their coffees these days? Isn’t it the best oil to cook with?
For quite a few years now, coconut oil has been marketed as the new wonder oil, a cure-all with health benefits ranging from antimicrobial properties (such as fighting viruses and bacteria, including HIV), to fighting cancer (by supporting our immune system), to reducing heart disease (by reducing cholesterol and benefiting our arteries), to promoting weight loss, to treating hyperthyroidism, to many other things. Its uses are also varied—it’s a cooking and baking oil, an ingredient in many packaged foods, and a component used in biodiesel fuel, soaps, and skin products.
Coconut oil is one of the few plant sources of saturated fat. It tends to increase LDL, the bad cholesterol. You hear supporters of Coconut oil say that it contains a fat that does not raise cholesterol.
What gets tricky is that there are different kinds of saturated fats. Some are long-chain (they have 12 or more carbon atoms), and some are medium-chain (fewer than 12 carbon atoms). All these saturated fats do not have the same impact on LDL cholesterol levels in your blood. One long-chain saturated fat, stearic acid, has little impact on LDL cholesterol. Stearic acid is the most common saturated fat in chocolate, which is why chocolate or cocoa butter raises LDL only about one-quarter as much as butter, even though both are about 60% saturated fat. Coconut oil is also worse than lard, which is only 43% saturated fat. And we all know that lard is not a health food.￼
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 (known as tropical 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 oil’s saturated fat is made up of the long-chain varieties that send LDL soaring. Coconut oil is full of these artery-busting long-chain varieties by the sheer fact that there’s such a huge percentage of saturated fat, 92%, packed into coconut oil to begin with.
|1 Tablespoon of coconut oil|
|Total Fat (g)||14|
|Saturated Fat (g)||12|
|Monosaturated Fat (g)||0.8|
|Polyunsaturated Fat (g)||0.2|
|Vitamins A, C, E, B6, B12||0|
|Vitamin K (micogram)||0.1 (1 romain leaf = 30mcg)|
Coconut oil has absolutely no fiber, carbohydrates, protein, vitamins or minerals.
Watch the below video to get the facts.
When you have excess cholesterol in the blood, fat deposits inside your blood vessels. This leads to a chain of unwanted processes in your blood vessels and at the end the blood just cannot flow through your arteries freely. Little by little it creates lots of problems in the body, organs that need oxygen-rich blood suffer the most and eventually break. That is how heart attacks and brain strokes happen.
High cholesterol is a result of a poor diet and an unhealthy lifestyle. The good news is that even if your parents gave you high cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia) you can reverse it in your body with a healthy plant based diet and daily exercise.
Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor. Please consult your healthcare professional for help.