Health Care

Is Coconut Oil Really That Bad? Let's Look At The Facts

Is Coconut Oil Really That Bad? Let's Look At The Facts

The wonder oil according to a professor at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public health, Karin Michels has been proven to be one of the worse substances to be eaten.

The saturated fat in coconut oil is what leads to LDL cholesterol, also known as the "bad" cholesterol.

Interestingly, a video of her speech which was uploaded on YouTube has now received over 900,000 views. It was, she said, "one of the worst things you can eat". How useful this oil is still under debate.

When it comes to day-to-day cooking, experts suggest using olive oil, canola oil or soybean oil instead of coconut.

Just how seriously should coconut oil devotees take Michels' critique?

And while coconut oil's rep has been well and truly damaged, it may not be all bad - there are reports that it's good for treating patients with dementia, though there isn't enough evidence yet to support these claims. "For someone eating 2,000 calories a day, that's about 11 to 13 grams of saturated fat".

It's... complicated. On the one hand, experts like those at the American Heart Association (AHA) have raised deep concerns about coconut oil's health profile, especially compared to conventional wisdom.

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Still, though the increase in HDL seen with consumption of coconut oil may offset some of the disease risk, it's still not as good as consuming unsaturated oils, which not only raise HDL but lower LDL, according to Willett. He said rigorous clinical trials and observational studies both show that replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats helps reduce heart disease and related deaths.

"Coconut oil is somewhere in the middle of the spectrum in terms of types of fats".

Despite the advice, promotions from health food shops such as Holland and Barrett, and celebrity endorsements from Gwyneth Paltrow and others, have helped United Kingdom sales of coconut oil surge in recent years.

It has proved to be hard to rank all the different types of oil.

"Coconut oil is better for your face than your body", she tells us.

Other research specifically on coconut oil has explored its effects on metabolism, appetite and cognitive function - but "you can't infer from. studies what coconut oil will and will not do".

"I like to use coconut oil in place of butter not with butter, in place of butter", said Dr. Oz.