Radiation after prostate cancer surgery may not be necessary, "Awe" walks inspire more joy, less distress, Hormone therapy and radiation may help with certain prostate cancer, Unlocking the mystery of chronic pelvic pain syndrome, Irregular and long menstrual cycles linked to shorter life, Women with DCIS at increased risk for breast cancer death, A silent condition may be taking a toll on your health, Smokers may have higher risk of brain aneurysm. Some experts have linked saturated fats with cardiovascular and other diseases. Coconut oil contains over 80% saturated fat. More research is needed, but all saturated fats may not be created equally. But despite that saturated fat is known to raise cholesterol levels, linked with heart disease risk, proponents believe that some saturated fats in coconut oil (called medium-chain triglycerides) are less harmful and may actually raise levels of beneficial HDL cholesterol. It’s still touted as a natural source of MCTs. So what’s behind the school-of-thought reversal? The argument: Coconut oil is extremely high in saturated fat — about 50 percent more than butter, even. Your email address will not be published. Saturated fats are most often found in animal products such as beef, pork, and chicken. Copyright © 2019 Baptist Health South Florida. Priya Tew, spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association, says: “Coconut oil is a high saturated fat. It ends up clogging our arteries.”. Coconut oil is a plant fat, but it's more than 90 percent saturated fat. Here’s... Roundup: Prediabetes Rising in Young People;... Roundup: Poor Diets vs. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Curious About COVID-19 Vaccines? Also present in trace amounts are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Can adopting a healthier diet help fight prostate cancer? “However, based on these studies and what they’re looking at now, it seems that coconut oil is not as high in MCTs as was originally believed.”. The initial school of thought with coconut oil was that it contained a high quantity of MCT, or medium-chain triglycerides. How Much Saturated Fat in Coconut Oil? MCTs offer health benefits, such as helping with digestion and providing a clean fuel for the body. Help is available and it makes a difference. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. Please note the date each article was posted or last reviewed. Too much saturated fat in the diet is unhealthy because it raises "bad" LDL cholesterol levels, which increases the risk of heart disease. Coconut oil can contain up to 40 percent saturated fat, yet interestingly, countries with the highest intakes of coconut oil have the lowest rates of heart disease. Is Coconut Oil Healthy to Eat? Coconut oil is about 90% saturated fat, which is a higher percentage than butter (about 64% saturated fat), beef fat (40%), or even lard (also 40%). The Harvard Medical School 6-Week Plan for Healthy Eating, Improving Memory: Understanding Age-Related Memory Loss. “That also applies to coconut oil.”. An unexpected benefit of better blood pressure control? Enter search terms and tap the Search button. By the end of 2013, Google's data reflected the trend was official—search demand for coconut oil more than doubled, and food manufacturers rushed to make coconut oil-infused products, according to the Washington Post. 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). Don't endure uncomfortable or unbearable levels of anxiety. Fat in the diet, whether it's saturated or unsaturated, tends to nudge HDL levels up, but coconut oil seems to be especially potent at doing so. Coconut oil has been touted as a healthy fat with an array of beneficial effects, but these claims lack evidence, according to Frank Sacks, professor of cardiovascular disease prevention at Harvard T.H. One scientific review, published in 2018, stated "that even though coconut oil has a relatively high MCT concentration, it should still be considered a … Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, so cooks are experimenting with using it instead of butter or vegetable shortening to make pie crust and other baked goods that require a solid source of fat. Coconut oil is about 90% saturated fat, which is a higher percentage than butter (about 64% saturated fat), beef fat (40%), or even lard (also 40%). © 2010 - 2021 Harvard University. “When it comes to what you’re eating and drinking, pay attention to quantity and moderation,” says Ms. Kimberlain. You only need to activate your account once. It actually can stick because it’s a solid. Breathing Innovation: South Miami Hospital Patient... A Prostate Cancer Diagnosis Needn’t Be... Groundbreaking Robotic Tools Enhance Cancer Treatment, Baptist Health Fosters High-Tech Innovation (Video). By activating your account, you will create a login and password. Compare that to butter, which is only 64 percent saturated fat. 5  Palm oil is 50 percent saturated fat. What are the long-lasting effects of COVID-19? Tags: cholesterol, heart disease, Nutritional tips, Updated U.S. Dietary Guidelines Omit Recommendations to Further Restrict Sugar, Alcohol Intake, Whole vs. The … Get health information and advice from the experts at Harvard Medical School. “This one plant-based food has the proponents and components of saturated fat,” explains Amy Kimberlain, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator with Baptist Health South Florida. Required fields are marked *. 16 grams of saturated fat. Monitoring Your Health: Benefits and Limits... How Does a Telemedicine Appointment Work? General anesthesia does not appear to increase dementia risk, Harvard study: Unapproved drugs in brain-boosting supplements, Blood pressure medications may affect your mood, Use topical painkillers for strains and sprains, Harder workout intensity may not increase your longevity, It’s not too late to get in better shape, Vitamins A, E, and D tied to fewer colds, lung disorders, What to look for in an online exercise video for older adults, Certain foods and drugs may lower risk of colon cancer, Gum disease linked to an increased risk for cancer, More daily movement may lower cancer deaths, Oral health problems may raise cancer risk. And I don't think coconut oil is as healthful as vegetable oils like olive oil and soybean oil, which are mainly unsaturated fat and therefore both lower LDL and increase HDL. However, even though coconut oil is a saturated fat, it is not unhealthy. “It was thought originally that coconut oil had a higher component of MCT,” says Ms. Kimberlain. The predominant type is lauric acid (47%), with myristic and palmitic acids present in smaller amounts, which have been shown in research to raise harmful LDL levels. But plant-based oils are more than just fats. And if you're preparing a Thai dish, cooking with coconut oil may be essential. There have been some attacks on coconut oil in recent years due to its saturated fat content, but the research shows that all saturated fats are not equal. So it would seem that coconut oil would be bad news for our hearts. What can we help you find? Most of the research so far has consisted of short-term studies to examine its effect on cholesterol levels. Myths about Saturated Fat-All saturated fats are bad. For starters, it happens to be the only plant-based food that contains saturated fat, a potential contributor to heart disease which is found in many popular foods of the American diet. They contain many antioxidants and other substances, so their overall effects on health can't be predicted just by the changes in LDL and HDL. 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). Decorating for the Holidays? All Rights Reserved. Is that true? One tablespoon adds up to more than 11 grams of saturated fats, according to the federal National Nutrient Database. The standard American diet is high in saturated fat from meat, cheese, dairy-based desserts (such as ice cream), butter, and baked goods made … It is said that coconut oil is good for the heart. Watch Ms. Kimberlain’s video about the value of coconut oil on Facebook. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician. Androgens, the family of male sex hormones that includes testosterone, function as a fuel for growth in normal development. Why do my legs swell at the end of the day? Nonetheless, even the AHA’s advisory hasn’t dampened the appeal of coconut oil for many dieters. written by So what does that end up doing? Enjoy coconut oil—in moderation. ARCHIVED CONTENT: As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician. But what's interesting about coconut oil is that it also gives "good" HDL cholesterol a boost. “What does saturated fat do in our bodies? In fact, it contains numerous health benefits! Why is it happening? "To say that saturated fat or coconut oil is healthy, and we should be eating more coconut oil and foods that contain saturated fat, such as butter and red meat for health reasons, is not correct,” says Dr. Hensrud. Coconut oil’s saturated fat is made up mostly of medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs. Please note: If you have a promotional code you'll be prompted to enter it prior to confirming your order. Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children, Salt shakedown: A boon for lowering blood pressure, Meat-free diet linked to benefits for people with type 2 diabetes, Healthy Diet Eradicates Need for Trendy Supplements in Elderly, Get trusted advice from the doctors at Harvard Medical School, Learn tips for living a healthy lifestyle, Stay up-to-date on the latest developments in health, Receive special offers on health books and reports. Coconut oil is 100% fat, 80-90% of which is saturated fat. Coconut Oil and Cholesterol. A. I've also noticed that coconut oil seems to be catching on these days. Baptist Health has created this page as a resource to help you find your healthy plate. Approximately 60% of all coconut oils are comprised of the above three fatty acids, while 90% of coconut oil fats is comprised of heart-healthy saturated fats. Coconut oil's special HDL-boosting effect may make it "less bad" than the high saturated fat content would indicate, but it's still probably not the best choice among the many available oils to reduce the risk of heart disease. Coconut oil, extracted from the meat of what can loosely be called a seed, a fruit or a nut, is mostly saturated fat, about 82 percent. — Walter C. Willett, M.D.Harvard School of Public HealthDepartment of NutritionHarvard Health Letter Editorial Board. However, the saturated fat found in unrefined coconut is completely different than the saturated fat found in animal foods. Doctors Share... #BaptistHealthy Easy Eats: Ceviche Ecuadorian-Style. And there is no evidence-based research yet that indicates oils with heavy concentrations of MCT prevent obesity, diabetes or other chronic conditions. As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Coconut Oil Is Safe (Unlike Red Meat), and Saturated Fat Doesn’t Cause Heart Disease Coconut oil is a rich source of saturated fat. All rights reserved. Artificially sweetened drinks: No heart health advantage? What we eat, when we eat, and how we eat relate to our overall health. Coconut is a wonderful flavor and there's no problem using coconut oil occasionally. Before issuing its cautionary warning last year, the AHA reviewed existing data on saturated fat, showing coconut oil increased LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol in all seven controlled trials examined. Most melanomas come in the form of a new spot on the skin, not changes to an existing mole. Coconut oil contains no chole… Saturated fat raises total blood cholesterol levels and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels, which can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. Quarantine 15: What is it? But, for now, I'd use coconut oil sparingly. Saturated fat is divided into various types, based on the number of carbon atoms in the molecule, and about half of the saturated fat in coconut oil is the 12-carbon variety, called lauric acid. If you subscribe to any of our print newsletters and have never activated your online account, please activate your account below for online access. We don't really know how coconut oil affects heart disease. Coconut oil does contain a large amount ( 80-90% contains saturated fats) of saturated fat. Your email address will not be published. Half of the saturated fat content of coconut oil is lauric acid (41.8 grams per 100 grams of total composition), while other significant saturated fats are myristic acid (16.7 grams), palmitic acid (8.6 grams), and caprylic acid (6.8 grams). “There is relatively little overlap between the types of saturated fatty acids found in the animal fat lard and the vegetable oils coconut, soybean, olive, corn and peanut,” said Mary Newport, M.D., Spring Hill Neonatology, Inc. “Virgin … Monounsaturated fats are 6% of total composition, and polyunsaturated fats are 2% (table). Should I worry about grandkids’ sports? Q. I have started noticing more coconut oil at the grocery store and have heard it is better for you than a lot of other oils. Controlling Your Blood Pressure in Times... World Diabetes Day 2020: COVID-19 Adds... Diabetes and Hispanics: Understanding Risks and... Don’t Ignore Lung Cancer Symptoms. Since coconut oil is high in saturated fat, it is low in unsaturated fat. 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