We’re big fans of coconut oil, whether we’re using to cook or implementing it into our beauty routine to tackle patches of dry skin or frizzy hair.
In the past few years, coconut oil has been marketed as a healthy alternative to butter, margarine and other frying oils. It’s become a household staple for many families and we don’t know what we’d do without it.
Unfortunately, US health experts are now claiming that coconut oil is not as good for us as we may think. The American Heart Association say the saturated fat in coconut oil could raise levels of “bad” cholesterol and that there is no evidence to suggest coconut oil is any better than any other saturated fats.
Those who have a diet that is high in saturated fat are at a greater risk of having high levels of "bad" cholesterol.
“Bad” cholesterol or low-density lipoprotein (LDL) can build up in the body, blocking the arteries which can lead to heart disease or stroke.
It’s generally assumed that plant-based oils like coconut oil are better for us than animal fats but coconut actually contains more saturated fat than butter and beef fat.
According to the AHA, coconut oil contains 82 percent saturated fat. That's more than in butter (63 per cent), beef fat (50 percent) and pork lard (39 percent).
While it has been claimed that the mix of fats in coconut oil makes it a healthier choice, the AHA says there is no research to prove this.
They recommend that if you want to cut down on your intake of saturated fats, you should use unsaturated vegetable oils like sunflower oil and olive oil instead.
Apparently, this can have a similar effect on reducing “bad” cholesterol as potent cholesterol-lowering drugs.
Public health guidelines recommend that women should eat no more than 20g of saturated fat daily and men should eat no more than 30g.
Foods such as cakes, biscuits, butter, chips and fatty meat all contain high levels of saturated fats so if you want a healthier diet, it’s a good idea to cut down on these.
What do you think about these findings mums? Are you concerned about it? Let us know your thoughts on the matter.
If you are concerned about your cholesterol levels or diet, always seek your doctor’s advice.