Health Experts Say Coconut Oil Health Benefits are a Myth

GETTYButter It's no less healthy than coconut oil

GETTYButter It's no less healthy than coconut oil

The American Heart Association wants you to remember that there are such things as good fats and bad fats.

Coconut oil is usually sold as a health food, and some advocates say that the fat in it may be healthier for people than other saturated fats.

So, where does this misconception about the health benefits of coconut oil come from?

A full 82% of coconut oil's fats are the saturated variety, which is linked to heart disease and stroke, the BBC notes.

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

A recent New York Times survey found that 72 percent of Americans think coconut oil is healthy but only 37 percent of nutritionists agree with them.

There is a deep division within the health community about whether saturated fat is harmful to our bodies.

This is based on new evidence showing that "bad" LDL cholesterol comes in two particle sizes: large and small, the large being good, and the small leading to heart problems.

Coconut oil
GETTYCoconut oil It is packed with saturated fat

Gizmodo reports that only a few studies in the AHA report dealt with coconut oil specifically.

Additionally, the review found that observational studies indicated that reduced intake of saturated fat, together with a higher consumption of mono- and polyunsaturated fat, correlates with lower odds of developing CVD. The coconut oil you find on your supermarket shelf typically only contains 13 to 15 percent MCT.

Those healthier fats are polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats.

Research dating to the 1950s has shown links between saturated fats and LDL cholesterol - which increases heart disease risk.

"Because coconut oil increases [bad] cholesterol, a cause of cardiovascular disease, and has no known offsetting favorable effects, we advise against the use of coconut oil", the AHA conclude. Butter is 63 percent, beef fat is 50 percent and palm oil is 49 percent.

The AHA recommends that people should not try to lower their total fat intake, but instead, they suggest replacing saturated fat with unsaturated fat, also combined with a healthier lifestyle. He says inflammation is the true cause of heart disease, and inflammation is caused by eating too much sugar and other carbohydrates, trans fats, and refined Omega-6 fats, not saturated fat. Fat is a source of essential fatty acids and helps the body absorb vitamins, such as A, D, and E.

"The American Heart Association is now coming out very strongly and very clearly with this statement saying that saturated fat increases cardiovascular risk and that you need to look at what you're replacing it with when you take it out of the diet", she said.

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