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Julie R. ThomsonTaste Senior Editor, HuffPost
It’s time to stop turning to coconut oil to make your brownies healthier.
Coconut oil, it turns out, is not the health food people think it is. This oil might be stocked on the shelves of your health food store, but a recent report released by the American Heart Association suggests that this might be a mistake.
You’re not alone in this misconception. An AHA survey found that 72 percent of Americans considered coconut oil a health food. But coconut oil, it turns out, is shockingly high in saturated fats. And saturated fat ― even though some elements of its effects are up for debate ― isn’t good for you no matter how you slice it.
In fact, 82 percent of the fat found in coconut oil is saturated ― that’s significantly more than olive oil, which clocks in at 14 percent and canola oil, which contains a mere seven percent.
The AHA reviewed existing data on saturated fats and found that in seven out of eight studies, coconut oil actually increased LDL cholesterol ― the bad cholesterol ― which is a cause of cardiovascular disease. The findings were so clear that Frank Sacks, the report’s lead author, told USA Today, “You can put it on your body, but don’t put it in your body.” Roger that.
You’re better off sticking to oils that are lower in saturated fats such as the aforementioned olive oil. Olive oil, some studies suggest, helps good cholesterol do its job. And we can all use help with that.
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