First, let me say a few words about coconut. This super healthy fruit belongs to the Arecaceae family and the Cocoideae subfamily. Coconut’s flesh contains high amounts of healthy fatty acids and the composition of fat is different depending on the type and processing of the oil. Did you know that almost 90% of the coconut oil is actually the medium-chain saturated fatty acids? Well, there is also a small amount of mono-unsaturated fatty acids and poly-unsaturated fatty acids.
Many people around the world think that coconut oil is one of the most effective and beneficial ingredients, when it comes to your health and beauty. And, to be honest with you, it’s hard to tell where it all began. Was it with Miranda Kerr? Oprah? Goop. Well, in the past few years, coconut oil has seemingly weaseled its way into so many celebrities’ beauty routines. Shailene Woodley and Gwyneth Paltrow use it to gargle and spit for whiter, brighter teeth. Angelina Jolie starts her day with Brad Pitt and cereal and coconut oil. Channing Tatum smeared it over his wife’s pregnant belly.
The Million-Dollar Question – is coconut oil good for you?
Here’s what you need to know – a recent survey, conducted by the Morning Consult, involves a survey of 2,000 voters (including 672 nutritionists and the general public) and examines which food both groups consider “healthy.” Coconut oil came out on top as one of the most divisive: only 37% of nutritionists considered coconut oil “healthy” while 72% of the public did. While coconut oil shouldn’t necessarily be classified as unhealthy, it doesn’t quite live up to the healthy hype either.
Alissa Rumsey, MS, RD, a Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:
“It’s fine to add small amounts to your diet as a fat source but you should also focus on eating polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats found in plant-based oils like olive oil, nuts, and seeds.”
The famous nutritionist and dietitian, Carly Lauraine, RD, specifies that coconut oil has 14g of total fat per tablespoon, 12 of which are saturated. The American Heart Association recommends only 13g per day for a heart-healthy lifestyle.
Note: you should also know that the coconut oil can raise HDL or ‘good’ cholesterol levels, but it also raises LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol levels. While coconut oil does contain antioxidants, you’ll get more antioxidant bang for your buck from vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. There is not much research to back any of the coconut oil health claims; most of these claims come from word-of-mouth. We really hope you find this article helpful and don’t forget to share it with your friends and family. Thank you and take care!