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Is coconut oil good or bad?

Answered by: Dr Ramzdhan

Last Updated: June 24, 2019 9:24 AM
haneez 2 years

Is coconut oil good or bad. Read a lot of reviews about it. I have high cholesterol

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Dr Ramzdhan 3 years
General Practitioner

Hi, thank you for your question.

Coconut oil contains about 90% saturated fat, which is a higher percentage than that in butter (about 64%), or olive oil (13.8%). Too much saturated fat in the diet is unhealthy because it raises LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels, which is responsible for the increased risk of heart disease. However, coconut oil also increases HDL (“good”) cholesterol.
Both saturated or unsaturated fat in the diet tends to increase HDL levels, but coconut oil seems to raise HDL levels more than its counterparts.

Saturated fat is classified into a few types depending on the number of carbon atoms they have in each molecule. Coconut oil contains mostly the 12-carbon saturated fat, known as lauric acid. Lauric acid is probably responsible for the surprisingly high HDL-boosting effects of coconut oil.

But just because coconut oil can increase HDL cholesterol does not mean that it is good for the heart. We do not know if the effect of increased HDL cholesterol can outweigh the effect of increased LDL cholesterol. Therefore, it is better that we use coconut oil sparingly for now. Most of the research so far are short-term studies that look at effects of coconut oil on cholesterol levels.

We do not know what coconut oil can do to our health in the long run.
Also, vegetable oils such as olive oil and sunflower oil, are mainly made up of unsaturated fat. They increase HDL level and decrease LDL level, and hence were said to be more effective in lowering cholesterol levels. Coconut oil is potent at raising HDL level, but it is still probably not the best choice among the many available oils to reduce cholesterol.

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Last Updated: Mon Jun 24 2019 09:24:44 GMT+0800 (Malaysia Time)
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