Unearthed Benefits and Healthier Alternatives


  • The only proven benefit of coconut oil is that it can stay fuller for longer.
  • However, the other benefits of coconut oil, such as improving heart health, lack scientific evidence.
  • Rather, coconut oil increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and weight gain.
  • Visit the Insider Health Reference Library for more tips.

Coconut oil is often thought of as a healthy alternative to butter or other oils used in cooking and cooking. However, nutritionists say it may be best to limit coconut oil.

No, coconut oil is not good for you

Coconut oil contains surrounding 90% saturated fat, which is much more than the 64% saturated fat content found in butter.

Eating too much saturated fat can raise it cholesterol levels, which increases your risk of heart disease and blow. Coconut oil is too known to raise cholesterol levels more than other vegetable oils like olive oil o sesame oil.

Saturated fats are solid at room temperature and become liquid when they dissolve. “Think of that which enters your body as a liquid and then returns to that solid in your arteries,” he says. Colleen Christenson, a registered dietitian and nutritionist. “This is essentially the basis why it’s recommended to avoid excessive intake of saturated fat.”

Coconut oil is also a high-calorie food, meaning that if you do not consume it in moderation it could cause weight gain. Fats contain nine calories per gram, which is much higher than the report found in carbohydrates or protein, which both contain four calories per gram.

Because people think that coconut oil improves heart health

Despite its high content of saturated fat, there are a few reasons why people think that coconut oil is a healthy fat.

The main reason is the coconut oil it contains medium chain triglycerides (MCT), a type of fat found in coconut oil. MCTs have another chemical trick than other fats, meaning that your body processes them differently. MCTs have six to 12 carbon atoms, which is less than most commonly found from 12 to 18 long-chain triglyceride (LCT) carbon atoms.

“MCTs can be digested and absorbed faster than other fats, and can therefore be used as a more immediate source of energy,” he says. Melissa Rifkin, MS, RD, CDN, New York-based dietitian.

“Because they are less likely to be stored as fat because of how they are digested and absorbed, MCTs are less likely to influence LDL levels. [bad cholesterol] in the blood, ”Rifkin says.

However, despite their advantages, coconut oils purchased in stores contain only about 54% MCT, says Rifkin. In addition, the chemical makeup of the MCTs used in research tends to be different from those found in coconut oil.

“Most of the MCT oils used in clinical studies have eight or 10 carbon chains, whereas those of coconut oil generally have 12. This composition makes the coconut oil we use in cooking quite different from those studies that they use MCT oil, ”says Christensen.


Even if you have coconut oil certain MCT, does not have enough to reap its health benefits and offset the negative consequences associated with its high content of saturated fats.

Coconut oil helps you feel fuller for longer

Although coconut oil may not be healthy for a food as most people think, it has some health benefits, namely its ability to keep you full for longer, which could help with

weight loss

Fats are higher in calories than most foods, so eating them during meals can help you feel full compared to eating a low-carb meal. Increasing your MCT ingestion can also help curb hunger.

However, you should definitely “add it all in thinking it’s the magic fat for weight loss and health,” he says. Lisa DeFazio, a registered California-based dietitian nutritionist.

Healthier alternatives to coconut oil

Consuming moderate amounts of healthy oils is good for you because they contain it essential fatty acids that your body can’t do on its own. There are three types of fats in vegetable oils:

  • Monounsaturated fats, which are the “good” types of fat they can be reduce LDL cholesterol levels.
  • Polyunsaturated fats, which also help lower LDL cholesterol levels. These fats include omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that are essential for the functioning of your body.
  • Saturated fats, which are the worst for your health. For this reason, and 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends consuming less than 10% of your daily calories from saturated fats.

To choose the healthiest cooking oil, choose those that have a high amount of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and low amounts of saturated fats. Some examples of vegetable alternatives to coconut oil include:

Canola oil: This oil contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which can help lower cholesterol and relieve inflammation. Canola oil has 62% monounsaturated fat, 32% polyunsaturated fat and 6% saturated fat.

Extra virgin olive oil: This fat has a high concentration of polyphenols. Polyphenols are natural antioxidants known to reduce and slow the progression of certain chronic health conditions such as cardiovascular or neurodegenerative diseases. Olive oil contains 77% monounsaturated fat, 9% polyunsaturated fat, and 14% saturated fat.

Sesame oil: This oil is high in lignani, which are plant nutrients with antioxidant properties, perhaps reducing the risk of

heart disease
and some cancers. Sesame oil has 40% monounsaturated fat, 46% polyunsaturated fat and 14% saturated fat.

Take away the Insider

While many people think that coconut oil is a healthy fat, it can actually increase cholesterol levels and lead to weight gain. Even if they contain beneficial MCTs, they don’t contain them at the same percentage used in research, meaning they won’t have the same benefits for your health.

Therefore, it is better to exchange your coconut oil for other vegetable oils such as olive or canola oil.

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