Coconut Oil, you continue to elude us on whether you are right or wrong for our health. We’ve written about coconut oil once before, specifically about how it’s high in saturated fats. We also wrote about how a lot of people thought it could cure Alzheimer’s or other diseases. While that last one is still seemingly untrue, there are things that remain about how Coconut Oil can affect us.
All of this comes courtesy of Dr Mark Hyman from this site, where he wrote about some of the misunderstandings of Coconut Oil. We’ll be talking about those benefits and how they add up to what we have said before right here.
In our last article, we talked about how the saturated fats found in coconut oil are medium-chain triglycerides or MCT. MCTs make sure to protect and support your immune system while also helping with your metabolism. There is also proof that MCT can reduce fat and triglycerides much more so than other types of vegetable oils claim to do. A study (because we like to have scientific back us up) was done to check on the benefits between MCT from Coconut Oil and the omega-6 that vegetable oils contain, and interestingly enough, the study found that the group fed with more MCT oil had lost weight, body fat and had a 15% drop in triglycerides and LDL (the “bad” cholesterol).
But at the same time, there have also been claims that MCT increases cholesterol levels, which influence into causing heart disease. So then what’s true?
Well, to answer that question we have to look at cholesterol a bit differently than how we usually do. There are two types of cholesterol to consider, the first one being HDL, or good cholesterol; and the second one LDL which is treated as bad cholesterol. Different foods and substances affect our cholesterol levels differently, and some might raise one or the other.
Saturated fats like the ones that come from MCT do raise our LDL, but they also increase our HDL just as much, which makes them beneficial in fighting against heart disease. There are even studies that show that people who live in countries that consume more coconut have a lower risk of heart disease. There are even some that think coconut oil does more to raise HDL than LDL.
But then what about people who still have high LDL cholesterol? Well, it turns out that that might not be the fault of coconut oil. Instead, a diet high in red meats and sugar have been found to increase LDL levels instead of the amounts of fats. Which is why, we mentioned in our “Foods Rich In Fat That You Should Eat” article, not all fats are made equal nor are they to be blamed for cholesterol levels.
At the end of the day, what we’ve learnt is that not everything is quite as simple. Coconut Oil might not be some miracle superfood as some market it to be, but it’s also not as bad as it might seem, it’s just a manner of how much you consume and how it affects you. A well balanced diet with regular exercise is definitely more important.
Photo Credits: Authority Nutrition, Medical News Today, ProSource