Doctors reveal coconut oil is VERY high in saturated fat
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Coconut oil sales have rocketed in recent years after claims it can boost heart health, encourage fat burning and offer antimicrobial effects. But the consumption of too much coconut oil may have an adverse effect on your health.
British Heart Foundation dietician Victoria Taylor states: “Coconut oil is about 86 percent saturated fat, about one-third more saturated fat than butter (at 52 per cent).
“We know that diets high in saturated fat are associated with increased bad (LDL) cholesterol in the blood, and high cholesterol is a risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke.”
There has been speculation some of the saturated fat present in coconut oil may be better for us than other saturated fats.
But there’s currently not enough good-quality research to provide a definitive answer.
Victoria continues: “What we do know is that replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats like vegetable oil, olive oil and sunflower oil, and their spreads, has been shown as an effective way to help reduce LDL cholesterol levels, so this would be a healthier choice.”
And she advises: “For the time being, if you like the taste of coconut oil, then, as with butter, it’s fine to use it every now and then.
“However, it’s best to restrict yourself to small amounts and use unsaturated oils as an everyday choice instead.”
Coconut is listed by the NHS as a good high in saturated fat.
- fatty cuts of meat
- meat products, including sausages and pies
- butter, ghee, and lard
- cheese, especially hard cheese like cheddar
- cream, soured cream and ice cream
- some savoury snacks, like cheese crackers and some popcorns
- chocolate confectionery
- biscuits, cakes, and pastries
- palm oil
The health body says most people in the UK eat too much saturated fats.
The government recommends:
- men should not eat more than 30g of saturated fat a day
- women should not eat more than 20g of saturated fat a day
- children should have less
If you want to reduce your overall risk of heart disease, it’s best to reduce your overall fat intake and swap unsaturated fats for unsaturated fats.
Mostly found in oils from plants and fish, unsaturated fats can be either monounsaturated or polyunsaturated.
The NHS explains monounsaturated fats help protect the heart by maintaining levels of ‘good’ HDL cholesterol while reducing levels of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol in the blood.
Monounsaturated fats are found in:
- olive oil, rapeseed oil and spreads made from these oils
- some nuts, such as almonds, brazils, and peanuts
The health body explains polyunsaturated fats can also help lower the levels of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol in the blood.
There are two main types of polyunsaturated fats: omega-3 and omega-6.
Omega-6 fats are found in vegetable oils, such as:
- some nuts
- Omega-3 fats are found in oily fish, such as:
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