Coconut oil has been removed from AHA's list of healthy oil options which include the naturally occurring vegetable oils that are unhydrogenated such as Safflower, Canola, Olive oil, or Sunflower oil.
Though often touted as a health food, there is no scientific evidence of the significant health benefits of coconut oil consumption. The video of her lecture has amassed close to a million views and counting. According to the New York Post, "The American Heart Association advised against consuming too much of it in June 2017, after a study found that all saturated fats - regardless of the source - are damaging to heart health". All these benefits are because coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs. However, a survey of 2016 showed that at least 70% of Americans believe coconut oil is useful, and some even called it one of the healthiest in the world.
Coconut oil enthusiasts use it in their shampoos, skin creams, smoothies and even to polish furniture. The oil has "no known offsetting favorable effects", the AHA said in an advisory past year, and it could actually increase LDL ("bad") cholesterol, a cause of cardiovascular disease. One role is to help take LDL cholesterol out of the bloodstream.
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"Coconut oil was the best thing possible and now it's the worse thing feasible?" In fact, it has more than 80 percent saturated fat, according to the United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service (USDA). Coconut oil could also be confused with other coconut-based products. This may be due to its high content of a fatty acid known as lauric acid.
"We know that diets high in saturated fat are associated with increased non-HDL cholesterol in the blood, and high cholesterol is a risk factor for coronary heart disease and stroke. However, it is best to restrict yourself to small amounts and use unsaturated oils as an everyday choice instead".
Klatt agreed, saying that coconut oil "is certainly fine to consume occasionally, when a recipe calls for it".
"It's not that you have to absolutely avoid coconut oil, but rather limit coconut oil to where you really need that special flavor, like for Thai food or for baking a special dessert", Willett said.