What to know about coconut oil ,then read this
Coconut oil has grown in popularity in recent years, amid claims that it can do everything from supporting weight loss to slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
Many manufacturers have begun to use coconut oil in packaged products, and many people use it for cooking. Many products, such as fried foods, sweets, shampoos, coffee, smoothies, contain coconut oil.
In July 2016, results of a survey in the United States showed that 72% of people believed that coconut oil was healthful, but only 37% of nutritionists agreed.
Coconut oil contains over 80% saturated fat. Some experts have linked saturated fats with cardiovascular and other diseases.
The 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting consumption of saturated fats to less than 10% of a day’s calories. This means that someone following a 2000-calorie per day diet should eat no more than 20 grams (g) of saturated fat each day.
Find out more about the controversy, and if you should make coconut oil a staple in your diet.
Supporters claim coconut oil provides various health benefits.
Increasing good cholesterol
The MCTs in coconut oil may help preserve insulin sensitivity.
There are two types of cholesterol: high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or good cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or bad cholesterol. HDL appears to help reduce levels of LDL, and high levels of HDL may help boost cardiovascular health.
Some researchers have argued that medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), a component in coconut oil, may help boost levels of good cholesterol. Participants took 1 tablespoon of coconut oil twice daily for 8 weeks.
However, results have varied. One small study in 2004 found the opposite. In research, dietary MCT increased bad cholesterol in 17 healthy young men. The scientists did not study any other indicators of heart health.
A 2016 study found no clear evidence that coconut oil either benefits or harms cholesterol levels.
However, findings published in 2018 suggested that extra virgin coconut oil’s impact on cholesterol may be similar to that of olive oil. So far, the results remain inconclusive, and more studies are needed.