Coconut oil is not only considered to be the most versatile health food on the planet, but its uses are numerous and can extend to being a form of natural medicine.
The coconut tree is considered the “tree of life” in much of Southeast Asia, India, the Philippines, and other tropical locations. The oil has a variety of purposes – from cooking to beauty needs, improving digestion, boosting immunity, facilitating weight loss, promoting healthy hair and skin, and maintaining heart health. But recent studies suggest that it may actually be worse than butter.
According to a report, Dietary Fats Cardiovascular Disease: A Presidential Advisory from the American Heart Association, consumption of coconut oil is worse than having butter and other sources of saturated fats. Saturated fat consumption has long been tied to the rising incident of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). “Clinical trials that used polyunsaturated fat to replace saturated fat reduced the incidence of CVD. The main sources of saturated fat to be decreased are dairy fat (butter), lard (pork), palm oil, palm kernel oil, and coconut oil,” noted AHA.
Indeed, coconut oil has been touted to promote weight loss, ease digestion, and even boost your metabolism. But given that coconut oil contains a whopping 82 percent saturated fat, it’s logical that it would actually fall into the category of not-so-good-for-you fats.
“A recent systematic review found 7 controlled trials, including the 2 just mentioned, that compared coconut oil with monounsaturated or polyunsaturated oils. Coconut oil raised LDL cholesterol in all 7 of these trials, significantly in 6 of them. Clinical trials that compared direct effects on CVD of coconut oil and other dietary oils have not been reported. However, because coconut oil increases LDL cholesterol, a cause of CVD, and has no known offsetting favourable effects, we advise against the use of coconut oil,” noted the AHA research.
Although that doesn’t mean it directly increases the risk of heart disease. But still, there is some indirect link between ‘bad’ cholesterol and cardiovascular disease, so the review basically advises you to avoid using coconut oil. But if you really like adding coconut oil to your diet, consider it a treat, and keep your consumption levels to a minimum.
Oil isn’t ineffectual for us. Oil can be an effective moisturiser or hair conditioner.
“You can put it on your body, but don’t put in your body,” Sacks said.
By: Simran Dhingra