Drop the Coconut Oil!

Bagan, Myanmar - February 28, 2010: Man scales a palm tree with vessels for the collection of sugar syrup. Toddy palm is an important source of income for some of the rural populace in Myanmar. The toddy juice and fruit can be consumed in various ways. The juice or milk can be consumed as sweet drink, fermented toddy drink or made into jaggery.

The health world cherishes coconut oil, but the American Heart Association (AHA) just released a report that may make you want to put it down.

Because coconut oil increases LDL cholesterol, a cause of CVD [cardiovascular disease], and has no known offsetting favorable effects, we advise against the use of coconut oil. — USA Today

According to the American Heart Association, a whopping 82% of the fat in coconut oil is saturated fat.

That’s more than in butter (63%,), beef fat (50%), and pork lard (39%). — BBC News

The American Heart Association recommends eating no more than 13 grams of saturated fat a day. One tablespoon of coconut oil has 14 grams of saturated fat and 120 calories. That’s a full day’s allowance.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
By contrast, 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) contains only 2 grams of saturated fat. It’s safe to cook with, and unlike coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil contains the healthy kind of fat that protects brain and heart health.

Don’t Throw It Out
Wait! Don’t throw it out. Coconut oil is a great natural moisturizer for skin and hair. As Frank Sacks, the lead author of the AHA report, says:

You can put it ON your body, but don’t put it IN your body.

USA Today – “Coconut oil isn’t healthy. It’s never been healthy”
BBC News – “Coconut oil ‘as unhealthy as beef fat and butter”

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