Sorry, Coconut Oil Fans—the American Heart Association Says It's Not Healthy
The American Heart Association released an advisory on Dietary Fats and Cardiovascular Disease this week and they aren't going so easy on coconut oil.
For starters, it has A LOT of saturated fat, which is kind of shocking since the report also says they found that "72 percent of the American public rated coconut oil as a 'healthy food.'" (By comparison, only 37 percent of nutritionists did.)
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"Researchers didn't see a difference between coconut oil and other oils high in saturated fat, like butter, beef fat and palm oil," USA Today reports. "In fact, 82 percent of the fat in coconut oil is saturated, according to the data—far beyond butter (63 percent), beef fat (50 percent) and pork lard (39 percent)."
Lead author, Frank Sacks, told USA Today he has "no idea why people think coconut oil is healthy."
The report also found that, in a "carefully controlled experiment that compared the effects of coconut oil, butter, and safflower oil supplying polyunsaturated linoleum acid, both butter and coconut oil raised LDL cholesterol [that's the 'bad cholesterol'] compared with safflower oil," while another "experiment found that coconut oil significantly increased LDL cholesterol compared with olive oil."
The strongest statement from the advisory: "Because coconut oil increases LDL cholesterol, a cause of CVD, and has no known offsetting favorable effects, we advise against the use of coconut oil."