Thursday, May 14, 2020

Is Coconut Oil Healthy?

The Study
The health effects of coconut oil is a controversial topic in the field of nutrition. Proponents of certain fad diets claim that coconut oil is good for your heart and aids in weight loss. A recent meta-analysis published in the journal Circulation sheds some light on this controversy. Sixteen articles were included in the meta-analysis and the summary results showed that:

LDL Cholesterol increased by 10.47 mg/dl after coconut oil feeding.

HDL Cholesterol increased by 4.00 mg/dl after coconut oil feeding.

Coconut oil had no impact on body weight.

Take Home Message
I was not particularly surprised by these results. Coconut oil is not a healthy fat. While it may slightly increase HDL (the healthy) cholesterol, it can dramatically increase LDL cholesterol, which increases risk of heart attack and stroke. It has also been shown to have no impact on body weight. Stick with healthy, non-tropical vegetable oils like olive oil or canola oil for your cooking. These oils are high in unsaturated fatty acids, which have been shown in the research literature to improve serum cholesterol levels, improve inflammation and stabilize heart rhythms.

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