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Busting The Coconut Oil Myth
August 17, 2013

I’ve been asked “how much cholesterol does coconut oil contain?” countless times.  And I repeat here – there is no cholesterol in coconut oil.  There’s no cholesterol in fresh coconut, dry coconut, tender coconut or any other coconut product!  However, coconut oil has been maligned in the coronary circles because of its saturated fat content.

The latest thinking is that trans fats do more damage to the heart and blood vessels than saturated fat.  Also, nutrition science has always allowed small amounts of saturated fat in the diet and perhaps this is one of the reasons why the usage of coconut oil has not completely died down in India.

On the positive side, coconut oil contains a type of fat that is found to be beneficial, particularly for those who cannot digest fats easily.  Blenderised feeds given to patients in hospitals often use coconut oil because it can be digested and assimilated easily without causing any damage to health.  Also for those who require high calories, coconut oil is a good source.  Coconut oil oxidises slowly compared to the high PUFA oils.  This results in lesser amount of free radicals. 

Despite its positive effects, if you decide to switch to coconut oil for cooking, restrict the quantity.  Remember that all oils must be taken in limited quantities.

Virgin coconut oil is now available in the market.  A young Bangalorean, Kaavya Nag, has started to make 100% virgin coconut oil without using any enzymes, chemicals or heat.  Completely natural, Coconess (that’s the brand name) coconut oil is extracted from fresh coconut milk in the traditional manner.  Check it out if you wish.

Try to use coconut oil in your cooking once in a while……you might end up loving it!

One thought on “Busting The Coconut Oil Myth

  1. Its all about dosage! By stating a fact that Coconut has no cholesterol is a bit misleading. LDL cholesterol is affected by diet. Knowing which fats raise LDL cholesterol and which ones don’t is the first step in lowering your risk of heart disease. In addition to the LDL produced naturally by your body, saturated fat, trans-fatty acids and dietary cholesterol can also raise blood cholesterol. Replacement of saturated fat and trans fat with monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat might help lower LDL cholesterol when eaten as part of a healthy diet.Limit total fat intake to less than 25–35 percent of your total calories each day;
    Limit saturated fat intake to less than 7 percent of total daily calories;
    Limit trans fat intake to less than 1 percent of total daily calories;
    The remaining fat should come from sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as unsalted nuts and seeds, fish (especially oily fish, such as salmon, trout and herring, at least twice per week) and vegetable oils; and
    Limit cholesterol intake to less than 300 mg per day, for most people. If you have coronary heart disease or your LDL cholesterol level is 100 mg/dL or greater, limit your cholesterol intake to less than 200 milligrams a day. Limit total fat intake to less than 25–35 percent of your total calories each day;
    Limit saturated fat intake to less than 7 percent of total daily calories;
    Limit trans fat intake to less than 1 percent of total daily calories;
    The remaining fat should come from sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as unsalted nuts and seeds, fish (especially oily fish, such as salmon, trout and herring, at least twice per week) and vegetable oils; and
    Limit cholesterol intake to less than 300 mg per day, for most people. If you have coronary heart disease or your LDL cholesterol level is 100 mg/dL or greater, limit your cholesterol intake to less than 200 milligrams a day.

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