Dr. Walter C. Willett of the Harvard School of Public Health, Department of Nutrition:
“I’d use coconut oil sparingly. Most of the research so far has consisted of short-term studies to examine its effect on cholesterol levels. We don’t really know how coconut oil affects heart disease. And I don’t think coconut oil is as healthful as vegetable oils like olive oil and soybean oil, which are mainly unsaturated fat and therefore both lower LDL [low-density lipoprotein, or the “bad” cholesterol] and increase HDL [high-density lipoprotein, the “good” cholesterol]. Coconut oil’s special HDL-boosting effect may make it “less bad” than the high saturated fat content would indicate, but it’s still probably not the best choice among the many available oils to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Dr. Thomas Brenna, professor of nutritional sciences at Cornell University, has done a thorough review of the literature on coconut oil. He explains why coconut oil was given a bad name.
“Most of the studies involving coconut oil were done with partially hydrogenated coconut oil, which researchers used because they needed to raise the cholesterol levels of their rabbits in order to collect certain data. Virgin coconut oil, which has not been chemically treated, is a different thing in terms of a health risk perspective. And maybe it isn’t so bad for you after all.”
Saturated fat is found mostly in foods from animals and some plants. Foods from animals include meats and dairy products. Plant foods that contain saturated fat include coconut oil, palm oil and cocoa butter. Saturated fat raises both the bad cholesterol and the goodcholesterol.
Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are the two unsaturated fats. They’re found mainly in many fish, nuts, seeds and oils from plants. Some examples of foods that contain these fats are salmon, trout, avocados, olives, walnuts and liquid vegetable oils such as soybean, corn, safflower, olive and sunflower. Studies show that eating foods rich in unsaturated fats lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol and raises HDL (good) cholesterol.
Why is coconut oil getting internet attention and a lot of buyers in health food stores?
As Dr. Willett says that coconut oil seems especially effective in giving HDL a boost.
Many vegans use coconut oil as a butter substitute. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature.You should always use Virgin coconut oil