Did you know that a lot of food experts are warning that coconut oil is actually DANGEROUS for your health? Thanks to its incredibly high fat content (roughly 80% saturated fat), they’re warning that it is bad for your heart and may lead to cardiovascular disorders. But how true is that? What’s the real truth about coconut oil—whether it’s good or bad for you? Below, we break down everything you need to know about this amazing oil…
The “Dangers” of Coconut Oil
So, as mentioned above, food experts are warning that the high saturated fat content of coconut oil can lead to heart problems. According to the American Heart Association, it’s recommended that you lower saturated fat intake in order to reduce cardiovascular disease risk. Unsaturated fats, like those found in olive oil, are said to be far better for your health and far less likely to cause problems.
But How Dangerous is It Really?
All of these experts are pointing to old studies that linked saturated fats and heart disease. However, what you might not know is that there was never any conclusive link proven between high saturated fat intake and heart problems. In fact, a lot of scientists agree that there is no substantial connection between the two. While high fat intake has been linked to heart disease, it’s trans fats and hydrogenated oils that are directly connected. There is no scientific proof that saturated fats will raise your cholesterol or contribute to heart problems.
The Different Types of Coconut Oil
In studies that have examined the effects of coconut oil consumption on the heart, there is no distinction between the various types of coconut oil. And trust us, the types of oil can make a HUGE difference. Remember above how hydrogenated oils are the ones that cause health problems? Well, a number of studies have included hydrogenated coconut oil—so OF COURSE they’re going to find problems with it! Studies that have used virgin or extra-virgin coconut oil, however, have never found any negative links, and that is because there is no chemical processing included. All of the studies conducted until now have shown no negative effects of virgin coconut oil on cholesterol and cardiovascular health—on the contrary, many have found it beneficial!
But it’s Not All Good
Just because virgin coconut oil is not directly linked to heart problems, that doesn’t mean it’s a superfood you should be consuming in high quantities. Remember that it is still a concentrated dose of fats, which means it’s very high in calories. Excessive calorie intake, even from healthy sources, can lead to weight gain and increased body fat. All the claims that say coconut oil is excellent for diabetes, weight loss, IBS, chronic fatigue, and other serious health conditions are based on very limited scientific data. Take them with a grain of salt!
Coconut Oil: The Real Truth
Coconut oil is an excellent source of a wide range of nutrients, particularly healthy fatty acids, mostly saturated but plenty of unsaturated as well. The high fat content of coconut oil helps you to absorb fat-soluble vitamins like Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K. The fatty acids can protect your brain, decrease inflammation, and suppress hunger pangs. However, the high calorie content of coconut oil means that you’re consuming a lot more calories than you would with other foods. If you’re eating a healthy, balanced diet that contains plenty of proteins, carbs, veggies, fruits, and whole grains, a bit more coconut oil can be an amazing addition to your meals!