JUN 21, 2017 2:57 PM PDT

Coconut Oil is as Unhealthy as Beef Fat and Butter

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

In the past few years, coconut oil emerged as a source of natural and healthy fat. It smells good, it tastes good, and it has a high melting temperature, which means it doesn't burn as easily. In addition, a study in 2003 found that coconut oil has medium chain fatty acids that can help adults burn fat. Thus, it's not surprising to see the coconut oil trend take off.

But, a recent study by the American Heart Association found that coconut oil isn't so healthy after all. In fact, they found that coconut oil contains 82 percent saturated fat, which is above the saturated fat content found in butter (63 percent), beef fat (50 percent), and pork lard (39 percent). Saturated fat is the kind that raises LDL cholesterol, which can build up in your arteries like oil sludge in a car engine.

"Because coconut oil increases LDL cholesterol, a cause of CVD [cardiovascular disease], and has no known offsetting favorable effects, we advise against the use of coconut oil," the American Heart Association said in the Dietary Fats and Cardiovascular Disease advisory.

It's not all for naught, though. Coconut oil may still offer good moisturizing benefits for the hair and body; just don't over-consume this stuff thinking you're being healthy.
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
SEP 10, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Could There Be Life on Venus?
SEP 10, 2020
Could There Be Life on Venus?
Venus is the hottest planet in our solar system, reaching 465 degrees Celcius- a temperature hot enough to melt lead. Wh ...
SEP 25, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Colossal Study for the Missing (Anti)Matter
SEP 25, 2020
Colossal Study for the Missing (Anti)Matter
Physicists believe that our observable universe exists in a mirrored configuration: any fundamental particle such as pro ...
NOV 07, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Scientists Discover Planet with Atmosphere of Vaporized Rock
NOV 07, 2020
Scientists Discover Planet with Atmosphere of Vaporized Rock
Researchers have identified an exoplanet that appears to have an atmosphere composed of vaporized rock and oceans runnin ...
NOV 24, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Want to Keep Calm? Tap Water Might Help
NOV 24, 2020
Want to Keep Calm? Tap Water Might Help
The ongoing worldwide pandemic places the mental health of many communities on red alert. But there may be a remedy to e ...
MAR 03, 2021
Plants & Animals
Can Arctic Bearded Seals Compete with Human Noise?
MAR 03, 2021
Can Arctic Bearded Seals Compete with Human Noise?
Vocal communication is a primary key to survival for many species, including the Arctic Ocean's bearded seals. Accor ...
MAR 18, 2021
Space & Astronomy
There May Be More Water-Rich Planets than Previously Thought
MAR 18, 2021
There May Be More Water-Rich Planets than Previously Thought
Researchers have hypothesized that a certain mechanism may mean there are many more water-rich planets with atmospheres ...
Loading Comments...