Coconut Oil: Not the Miracle Fat it is Touted to be…

Coconut Oil:  Not the Miracle Fat it is Touted to be…

Background: Coconut oil has been touted as a miracle fat benefiting many aspects of human health. Unfortunately, there is little evidence to support these health benefits. Herein, we review two recent additional studies on coconut oil.

Results: In a recent review of 8 clinical trials and 13 observational studies15, it was concluded that despite lay (non-technical) media claims, relative to unsaturated fats, coconut oil raises total and LDL (bad) cholesterol (but less than butter, which contains saturated fats and cholesterol). Consumption of coconut flesh or squeezed coconut in the context of traditional dietary patterns does not lead to these adverse cardiovascular outcomes. Enjoy fresh coconuts!

In another recent study, it was concluded that lauric acid-rich oils such as coconut oil may be better for moderate-temperature frying than C6-C10 MCTs24. Our experience has been that frying and baking with C8 MCT is quite feasible below the smoke point of 315 degrees Fahrenheit, and low temperature heating is probably healthier as there is less thermal degradation products formed.

Conclusions: This study supports and adds to our earlier conclusions, that coconut oil is a poorly ketogenic fat diluting the ketogenic effects of C8/10 MCTs; in higher amounts it can be deleterious to cardiovascular health; and there is little evidence that triglycerides in coconut oil are actually “anti-microbial” in vivo (in living humans). Moreover, low temperature frying is quite feasible with true C8 MCTs; no need to use coconut oil for frying purposes.

If you use coconut oil, please limit daily amount to two tablespoons. We care about your health. As always, if you have any questions, please write to us and we'll be more than happy to address all you questions.

15. Eyres, L., et al., Coconut oil consumption and cardiovascular risk factors in humans. Nutr Rev, 2016. 74(4): p. 267-280.
24. McCarty, M.F. and J.J. DiNicolantonio, Lauric acid-rich medium-chain triglycerides can substitute for other oils in cooking applications and may have limited pathogenicity. Open Heart, 2016. 3(2): p. e000467.

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