March 5, 2011

016 Coconut Oil – the Good Saturated Fat [15 June 2009]

Everyone knows that saturated fats are bad guys, right? Not quite. Coconut oil is a saturated fat that is actually good for you.

Coconut oil is made of medium-chain fatty acids which remain stable at high temperatures. This makes it a useful oil for cooking and frying, but also led to its undeserved bad reputation.

Early research linked saturated animal fats and heart disease. Unfortunately the advice to avoid saturated fats was extended to naturally saturated vegetable oils including coconut oil. A study of animals fed hydrogenated coconut oil was used to “prove” that coconut oil raised cholesterol. But the hydrogenation process destroys the beneficial EFAs, and an EFA deficiency always produces an increase in cholesterol.

Medium-chain fatty acids like those in coconut oil are rapidly and easily converted into energy, not stored like long-chain fatty acids found in animal fats. This is why coconut oil does not cause heart disease – it does not block your arteries tends to lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise the HDL (good) cholesterol. And substituting coconut oil into your diet can even help you lose weight.

Coconut oil is free of the harmful trans fatty acids found in artificially saturated fats like most margarines.

In choosing coconut oil, quality is essential. Choose extra virgin raw coconut oil that is unrefined. Not only is it the healthiest, but also the best tasting.

This article is intended for educational purposes only; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.

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