Saturday, June 17, 2017

Coconut Oil is Unhealthy - American Heart Association

American Heart Association, health, coconut oil unhealthy, bad coconut oil

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The American Heart Association released a warning about the use of coconut oil. Coconut oil is ussually sold as a health food and some claim the fat in it may be better for us than other saturated fats.

The Dietary Fats and Cardiovascular Disease advisory reviewed existing data on saturated fat, showing coconut oil increased LDL ("bad") cholesterol in 7 out of 7 controlled trials. Researchers didn't see a difference between coconut oil and other oils high in saturated fat, like butter, beef fat and palm oil. In fact, 82% of the fat in coconut oil is saturated, according to the data which is higher than butter (63%), beef fat (50%) and pork lard (39%).

"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.

Dr Frank Sacks the lead author of the AHA report, said he has no idea why people think coconut oil is healthy. It's almost 100% fat. Past weight loss studies might be responsible.

"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."

“The reason coconut oil is so popular for weight loss is partly due to my research on medium chain triglycerides," Marie-Pierre St-Onge, associate professor of nutritional medicine at Cornell University Medical School, told TIME in April. "Coconut oil has a higher proportion of medium-chain triglycerides than most other fats or oils, and my research showed eating medium-chain triglycerides may increase the rate of metabolism more than eating long-chain triglycerides.”

The problem is St-Onge's research used a "designer oil" packed with 100% MCTs. Traditional coconut oil only contains about 13 to 15%. Another study she published showed smaller doses of MCTs doesn't help with weight loss in overweight adolescents.

The AHA recommends eating no more than 6% of saturated fat as part of total daily calories for those who need lower cholesterol.

Before you trash your coconut oil, know that saturated fat is a loaded term. While the AHA warns against it, people who cut saturated fat out of their diet might not necessarily lower their heart disease risk, a 2015 BMJ review suggested. That's because some people fill the void with sugar, white flour and empty calories. Also, some fat is important to help bodies absorb nutrients from other foods. Many have said butter has gotten a bad reputation.

Things to Remember:

  - Cholesterol is a fatty substance that can be found in some foods
  - Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is said to be 'bad' because it can be deposited in the walls of arteries and cause hard plaques to build up that can cause blockages, resulting in heart attacks and stroke.
  - High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is 'good' because it carries LDL cholesterol to your liver where it is disposed of. A high ratio of good to bad cholesterol is healthiest.
  - the average man should eat no more than 30g of saturated fat a day
  - the average woman should eat no more than 20g of saturated fat a day

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