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Researchers: Coconut oil may not be as healthy as you think

Coconut oil, often lauded to ease digestion, boost  metabolism and promote weight loss overall, has been unveiled by a June 15 American Heart Association report to be anything but heart-conscious. [Times files]

Coconut oil, often lauded to ease digestion, boost metabolism and promote weight loss overall, has been unveiled by a June 15 American Heart Association report to be anything but heart-conscious. [Times files]

Sorry world, but coconut oil may not be so healthy after all.

The substance, often lauded to ease digestion, boost metabolism and promote weight loss overall, has been unveiled by a June 15 American Heart Association report to be anything but heart healthy.

In the report, the AHA says that coconut oil is almost made entirely of saturated fat — 82 percent, to be exact.

"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.

Increased levels of LDL cholesterol, considered "bad" cholesterol, was found in coconut oil in seven out of seven trials, according to the report. Researchers compared the oil to others high in saturated fat, like beef and butter.

Widely popular in a slew of diets, coconut oil is often used as a substitute for other oils, particularly in paleo diets.

That's why coconut oil received a lot of attention in the report, which is an overall review of the role dietary fats take on in reducing heart disease.

"A recent survey reported that 72 percent of the American public rated coconut oil as a 'healthy food' compared with 37 percent of nutritionists," the AHA report stated.

But Frank Sacks, the lead author in the review, said that while people shouldn't ingest coconut oil, the substance is still beneficial for the skin.

"You can put it on your body, but don't put it in your body," Sacks wrote.

Researchers: Coconut oil may not be as healthy as you think 06/19/17 [Last modified: Monday, June 19, 2017 3:00pm]
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