October 2018

Is coconut oil “poison”?

Coconut oil has been getting a lot of bad press after a Harvard professor called it “pure poison” during a lecture in Germany. The debate has been causing international buzz.

Coconut oil can be safely incorporated into the diet. But it shouldn’t be considered a healthy alternative to other saturated fats. Coconut oil contains more saturated fat than animal-based fats, including lard and butter. Just like all saturated fats, it should be used in moderation. It can also increase total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol levels. Therefore, people with high cholesterol or risk factors for heart disease should be discouraged from using coconut oil. Instead, these patients should be encouraged to use polyunsaturated fats (e.g., safflower oilsunflower oil) or monounsaturated fats (e.g., olive oil) in place of saturated fats. Replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats can reduce the risk of heart disease by up to 25%.

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