Coconut oil 'as unhealthy as beef fat'

Posted Jun 19, 2017 by Tim Sandle
Health fads come and health fads go. One of the current 'health' interests is with coconuts, as coconut 'milk'; eating slices of the nut itself; or using coconut derived oil. Often branded as 'healthy', a new study suggests the opposite is true.
The term coconut can refer to the whole coconut palm or the seed  or the fruit  which  botanically  ...
The term coconut can refer to the whole coconut palm or the seed, or the fruit, which, botanically, is a drupe, not a nut.
Aravind Sivaraj
The new study comes from a reputable source - the American Heart Association - and the key finding is that coconut oil is as unhealthy as beef dripping and butter. This is because the oil is high with saturated fat and this can raise "bad" cholesterol. This form of cholesterol - LDL cholesterol - is associated with the risk of future heart disease.
Fact check: LDL cholesterol
One problem with eating an excess of fats is that fats are insoluble in water. This means they cannot be transported in blood independently. The body addresses this by binding cholesterol to different proteins. These proteins act as transportation vehicles. These combinations of fats and protein are called lipoproteins. One example is with low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which is a carrier of cholesterol. Lipoproteins therefore act as good markers for cholesterol and LDL-C reflects the amount of cholesterol carried by LDL; it is also a marker for the risk of developing heart disease.
Coconut oil
Coconut oil
Coconut oil, or copra oil, is an edible oil extracted from the kernel or meat of mature coconuts harvested from the coconut palm (Cocos nucifera). Traditionally coconut oil has commonly used in cooking, especially for frying. In more recent years it has been marketed as a 'health food.' Such claims include untestable notions like "mental boost" and "hormone growth."
The new research from the American Heart Association indicates that 82 percent of the fat in coconut oil is saturated. This is more than in butter (63 percent), beef fat (50 percent) and pork lard (39 percent). The Association points out the connection between saturated fats and the can increase "bad" (LDL) cholesterol. In addition, the Association found no medical evidence of any health benefits. The findings are published in the journal Circulation, in a paper titled "Dietary Fats and Cardiovascular Disease: A Presidential Advisory From the American Heart Association."
Speaking with the BBC, Dr Frank Sacks, lead author of the new advice, said: "We want to set the record straight on why well-conducted scientific research overwhelmingly supports limiting saturated fat in the diet to prevent diseases of the heart and blood vessels."
Sacks added, speaking with Fox25, regarding the best use for coconut oil “You can put it on your body, but don’t put it in your body."