Coconut Oil May Not Be As Healthy As You Thought

Henrietta Strickland
June 19, 2017

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, people should chose unsaturated fats over saturated fat, which can increase the risk of heart disease.

One of today's most popular health foods, coconut oil, sits in the cross-hairs of the American Heart Association.

The Dietary Fats and Cardiovascular Disease advisory studied the existing information on saturated fats and said that coconut oil contains 82 percent saturated fat, which is much higher than butter, 63 percent, beef fat, 50 percent and pork lard, 39 percent.

The American Heart Association (AHA) released a report this week aimed at setting the record straight in the long-running debate over the healthiest fats.

Before you trash your coconut oil, know that saturated fat is a loaded term.

These fats can be found in sources such as skinless poultry and oily fish, nuts and legumes, avocados, non-tropical vegetable oils such as olive oil and low-fat dairy products.

Ashley May is now engaged in a coconut oil debate with her mom.

How handsome it is, how good it is, the coconut oil! But as opposed to a tablespoon of olive oil, which has just one gram of saturated fat, the same amount of coconut oil has 12 grams. They are especially beneficial to infants and toddlers because children up to 2 years of age are the ones with the highest energy needs per body weight compared with other age groups. It's pretty hard for everyone to agree that saturated fat is not good for health. Gizmodo reported that replacing "saturated fat with unsaturated fat, combined with a healthier lifestyle" will go further than just cutting out fat completely. You don't have to get rid of that coconut oil just yet though.

The mixture of fats in coconut oil has led many to believe that it still provides a healthier option, but the AHA has stated a lack of "good-quality evidence" for this.

The trail couldn't establish a difference between using coconut oil and other commonly used oils such as butter and palm oil. They noted that the main confusion came from the fact that the studies in which saturated fats were replaced with carbohydrates saw fewer benefits.

Studies consistently show that replacing any form of saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat will reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Many have said butter has gotten a bad reputation.

"The finding doesn't mean that people prescribed statins to lower heart disease risk should give up medication", Dr Frank Sacks from the Harvard School of Public Health told the AHA. Fat is an important part of a healthy diet; however, the AHA recommends lowering saturated fat to no more than 5 to 6 percent of your daily caloric intake.

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