Is Coconut Oil Good for You?

Fats in Cooking Oils
 
  % Saturated Fat % Monounsaturated Fat % Polyunsaturated Fat
Coconut Oil 92 6 2
Butter 66 30 4
Olive Oil 14 77 9
 

Changing Ideas About Saturated Fat

For the past 30 years, eating saturated fats has been discouraged because they raise the levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or "bad," cholesterol. High levels of LDL cholesterol increase the risk of clogged arteries and heart disease. Americans consume more solid fats and less liquid fats than they should. Replacing saturated fat with liquid mono- and/or polyunsaturated fats lowers blood cholesterol levels and decreases the risk of heart disease.
 
Recently, the idea that a high intake of saturated fat is responsible for the high rates of heart disease in the United States has been challenged. The Nurses' Health Study has collected lifestyle and disease data on approximately 100,000 women since 1980. An analysis of 20 years of data found that eating saturated fat did not cause any increase in heart disease when compared calorie for calorie with eating carbohydrates.
 
Several other large studies found that there was a greater risk of clogged arteries from eating carbohydrates than from eating saturated fat. The carbohydrate content was mostly sugar and refined starch found in junk food, rather than whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. These new findings about saturated fat have been used to promote coconut oil as a safe food. However, there are no large studies that focus on the effect of coconut oil on heart disease.
 
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