Last week, a Harvard professor went viral in a video calling coconut oil, “pure poison”. But before you decide to give it up completely, clinical dietitian at The Cancer Institute at CHS’s St. Francis Hospital, Stefani Pappas provides further insight.
Pappas says, “Not all oils are created equal. When we break down the composition of each oil, we get a ratio of fatty acids that include polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, and saturated fats. Over 90 percent of coconut oil is composed of saturated fat! A diet rich in saturated fat has been shown to increase cholesterol levels, especially our LDL or “bad” cholesterol. Just to put things into perspective, olive oil contains less than 15 percent saturated fat, with over 70 percent of its composition containing healthy monounsaturated fats.
If you enjoy the taste of coconut oil, then using a small amount on occasion will likely not be harmful.
There currently is not enough evidence to support the proposed health benefits of using large amount of coconut oil on a daily basis. Stick to primarily unsaturated oils such as olive oil and avocado oil, and don’t neglect other heart-healthy habits such as following a plant-based diet and physical activity.”
A high cholesterol can lead to an increased risk of heart disease and as Pappas pointed out, there are healthier alternatives. If you choose to continue using coconut oil speak with your physician/dietitian to see what works best for your diet.
*The original video was delivered in German and can be found here.
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