September 2017

Is coconut oil really a "healthy" fat?

Over 70% of Americans think of coconut oil as a “healthy food.” But this is a misconception. Coconut oil contains more saturated fat than most other dietary fats, including animal fats such as butter and lard. Coconut oil can also increase total and LDL cholesterol levels. For this reason, the American Heart Association now recommends that people with high cholesterol avoid using coconut oil to lower cholesterol or prevent heart disease. The best bet is to use polyunsaturated fats (e.g., safflower oil, sunflower oil, others) ormonounsaturated fats (e.g., olive oil) in place of saturated fats. Replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by up to 25%.

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