NUTRITION – Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is an increasingly popular fat used for frying, baking and added to drinks. This is mainly because it has been associated with several health benefits. However, is it as healthy as it seems?

Coconut oil is one of the highest sources of saturated fat, aka “unhealthy fat”. Saturated fat has been associated with a number of diseases such as cardiovascular disease (CVD), and we therefore advise saturated fat intake to be less than 10% of our total daily energy intake.

Reducing saturated fat lowers blood cholesterol and risk of CVD ...

“Reducing saturated fat lowers total blood cholesterol and cuts the risk of heart disease. Our advice remains that saturated fats should be reduced to no more than about 10% of dietary energy”.

Professor Paul Haggarty, SACN

Coconut oil is also high in Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs), which have been linked to weight loss. However, most evidence is from animal studies and there is not strong evidence of MCTs and weight loss in human studies. MCTs come in different forms. One type is Lauric Acid, which causes the highest increase in LDL Cholesterol, aka “Bad Cholesterol”. Lauric Acid is the most abundant form found in coconut oil, therefore the high levels of MCTs found in coconut oil may not be as effective as they seem.

So is coconut oil as healthy as it seems? Coconut oil is high in saturated fat and its health benefits are not conclusive. However, it is a tasty food which works wonders in bakes and for frying! Therefore, coconut oil may be included in your diet but in moderation.

Summary

Article Links

Here are some articles for more information on Coconut Oil and Lauric Acid.

The Properties of Lauric Acid and Their Significance in Coconut Oil

Effects of Medium-Chain Triglycerides on Weight Loss and Body Composition: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Comparison of effects of lauric acid and palmitic acid on plasma lipids and lipoproteins

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Published by foodnaticblog

My name is Sarah and I am a BSc Nutrition & Food Consumer Science graduate, who also is a massive Foodie! I am here to share Recipes for Health. This involves a collection of food recipes, nutrition advice and mental wellbeing tips, allowing you to reach your best possible health. Health is not just physical; optimal mental health is also crucial for a successful life. This is why I not only share recipes and nutrition knowledge, but I also share ways on how to take care of your mental health. You will find as well my own personal foodie reviews and travel experiences which will give you ideas of foods to try and places to visit!

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