According to a new report released last week from the American Heart Association (AHA) discussing dietary fats and reducing heart disease.
Coconut oil is to be avoided and is worse than lard, beef dripping and butter due to its high saturated fat content up to 82%.
We relate saturated fats to animal products such as butter and lard, junk food, cakes, processed foods and chips. Too much of these foods can lead to increased cholesterol levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) which may lead to cardio vascular disease (CVD) by way of clogging your arteries.
So what does that mean for you?
Coconut oil contains both high-density lipoprotein (HDL) aka “good cholesterol” and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) aka “bad cholesterol”.
The latest AHA review concludes that coconut oil raises both LDL and HDL blood cholesterol in the body.
While high in saturated fats coconut oil is derived from a plant and has a complicated molecular profile with many fatty acids contributing differently to blood cholesterol.
The main fatty acid in coconut oil is lauric acid, which can be classified as a long chain or a medium chain fatty acid.
Relating this information to digestion and metabolism coconut oil acts more as a long chain fatty acid because of its mode of absorption from the intestines to other parts of the body with up to 75% absorption.
Medium chain fatty acids are more water-soluble than long chain fatty acids and are therefore absorbed faster up to 95% absorption.
The report acknowledges that changes in HDL through diet or drugs can no longer be directly implicated in changes to CVD.
Other studies suggest that “consumption of coconut products that contain fibre, such as coconut flesh and coconut flour, within a traditional dietary pattern that includes sufficient polyunsaturated fats (omega-3) in the absence of excessive calories from refined carbohydrates does not pose a risk for heart disease” 1.
Excessive use of coconut oil with a standard Western diet will produce similar effects to saturated fats in the body. Unsaturated fats such as olive oil, nuts and seeds would be a preferred option.
We need to ensure we include a well balanced diet rich in whole fresh foods and healthy fats for maintaining good health. Too much of anything will lead to imbalance and potential health concerns.
Should you want more advice on restoring your health and wellbeing why not book an appointment with our Nutritionist. You can contact us on 02 8406 0679 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how we can support you.