While coconut oil is popular for cooking many dishes, is it really healthy for you? According to research from the American Heart Association last year, absolutely not.
Why is that? Well, the reasons that make it such a great oil for cooking (functionally), are the primary reasons why it is not good for you. Coconut oil is made up of more than 80% saturated fat, which far exceeds the amount that you’ll find in other cooking options like butter (63%), beef fat (53%) or pork lard (39%), as told by the AHA.
Beyond just being so full of fat, it doesn’t really have any favorable attributes (besides taste) that offset these negative health attributes.
Why is Coconut Oil So Bad?
The funny thing about this research from the AHA is because it comes in stark contrast to how this oil has been perceived in recent years. It has widely been publicized as a health food and has become popular in many weight loss circles. While you shouldn’t avoid it altogether, don’t make it your primary cooking oil and you don’t need to go adding it to everything you consume like smoothies or coffee. While it may make it taste a little better, you’re adding so much saturated fat to your diet.
This oil is so concentrated in saturated fat that just one tablespoon of it is equal to your recommended daily maximum you should have in one day. Yeah, that doesn’t really leave any wiggle room to have any saturated fat anywhere else in your diet.
So what should you be reaching for instead? There are so many alternative oils that are so much better for your health.
Yes, I know that they may not have the flavoring that you are craving, but your health will thank you for it. Instead of coconut oil and its high saturated fat content, go with options that contain monounsaturated fats like avocado oil or olive oil, or those with polyunsaturated fats like canola oil.
Research has been conducted on the effects of saturated fats, particularly in coconut oil, in connection with many health issues.
While further research is recommended, evidence points to a link between coconut oil and weight gain, cardiovascular disease, bone loss, and blood sugar levels. Additionally, there are indications that it can also lead to eczema, cavities, and even hair loss.
To put it simply, one Harvard professor, when giving a talk on nutrition, referred to coconut oil as “pure poison.” I think that just about puts an end to it for me, and I’ll be going another route in my coking going forward.