Coconut oil has become a common holistic cooking addition in this country. Experts say it’s good for whatever ails you, but how can this be possible? How can one oil provide so many benefits to the human body? Perhaps, this is just another fad like we’ve seen before.
These days social media is blowing up with articles and posts because people are cuckoo for coconut oil. Not so long ago, in the 1980’s, coconut was considered horrible and could increase your cholesterol. In 2002, the News Statesmen published that people who chose coconut oil in place of other vegetable oils can have a healthier BMI, be free of degenerative diseases, and live longer. Let’s not forget the rumor that it can even cure Alzheimer’s disease.
A Coconut Isn’t A Nut At All
Thankfully, scientists have spent some time considering all these claims. Coconut isn’t a nut at all. It belongs to the drupe family, which means it has a large seed inside. Coconut oil is derived when the endosperm, or interior, is processed. The significant difference between the oil of today and that of the 1980’s is that this oil has got a lot better. Processing methods are enhanced, and the product today is more filtered. The real question is whether our product now is any better than it was 30 years ago.
The Saturated Fat In Coconut Oil Is Excessively High
Well, things aren’t always as they seem. Coconut oil that has been processed contains an astounding 92 percent of saturated fat. Shockingly, butter only provides 64 percent of fat. Pure lard and beef are just 40 percent. True, coconut oil doesn’t contain cholesterol-like animal fats, but it’s cause for alarm. The liver is what controls the production of cholesterol in the body, and having too much coconut oil can influence this production. The blood vessels become inflamed when there is too much fat in the body. Another downside is that this oil is rich in lauric acid, which will increase the HDL cholesterol levels in the blood.
More Time Is Needed For In-Depth Studies
There are drawbacks or long-term advantages to frequent coconut oil use because there haven’t been sufficient studies to prove or disprove its efficiency. There is no scientific evidence yet that can support the health benefits of coconut oil. So far, it’s safe to say that this new trend is driven more by hype than help. People see articles and hear television rave about the benefits of this oil, and then they throw it on their food. Moderation is the key when using this oil. Chances are, too much is going to cause more harm than good, just like with anything in life.
Other Oils Provide Healthier Alternatives
Sure, it’s nice to get a little HDL boost, but you can get that same boost from soybean and olive oils. Using alternative oils provide many health benefits with no saturated fats. Because information is scarce, there is no way to know the long-term problems from using this oil. What we do know is that coconut oils work great for baking, but it’s not the only option. Moderation is vital until more can be discovered.