Coconut oil is surrounded by a lot of hype. Some people use it to clean their teeth, while others use it as an all-day moisturizer for their skin. It’s true that coconut oil has several different uses, but is it safe? Rather, is it a healthy oil to consume if you’re concerned about your heart?
Generally, coconut oil is safe for consumption, but when it comes to maintaining a healthy heart, you may want to opt for a different oil. This is because coconut oil is high in saturated fat. Saturated fat is linked with high cholesterol, and as you know, cholesterol is your heart’s enemy. It can thicken your arteries, causing them to narrow and make your heart work harder than it needs to.
The American Heart Association noted that 72 percent of Americans consider coconut oil to be healthy. But upon review of 100 different studies, researchers found no difference between the saturated fat in coconut oil and the fat in butter, palm oil, and fatty meat. Furthermore, the AHA advises against coconut oil because of its ability to raise LDL cholesterol.
Some people consume coconut oil as a weight loss aid because it contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which cause you to expend energy for longer.
For this reason, coconut oil is a healthy option for you, but you should still be mindful of it if you have heart problems.
Alternative oils to cook with
If you’re looking for the best oils to cook with and consume to keep your heart healthy, stick with oils that contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat. These types of oils include extra virgin olive oil, peanut oil, sunflower, soybean, safflower, and corn oil. Because oils can change during the cooking process, it’s important that you use the right type of oil for the method of cooking. For example, olive oil isn’t good at high temperatures—you’ll need to use a more refined oil instead.
Choosing the right type of oil for your diet may be the difference between maintaining a healthy heart versus an unhealthy one. If you’re finding you are eating well, but your cholesterol levels aren’t budging, you may want to examine the type of oil you’re using. Although coconut oil has many uses and is generally safe to consume, be mindful of your usage and enjoy it in moderation.
Also read: Are These “Heart Healthy” Cooking Oils Just Hype?