Coconut oil worse for you than butter and beef dripping, say experts

You should watch your saturated fat intake

Rachel Hosie
Friday 16 June 2017 16:26
Comments

For years coconut oil has been lauded as the answer to all your health woes.

Dry skin? Coconut oil! Lacklustre hair? Coconut oil! Overweight? Coconut oil!

It became the cooking oil of choice for healthy foodies, with bloggers extolling the virtues of the oil across the internet.

Now, however, the tide is turning. And US heart experts have spoken out to say that coconut oil is as unhealthy as beef dripping.

Although the general consensus nowadays is that fat isn’t bad for you, it’s crucial to pick the right sources.

Whilst avocados and nuts are good fats, coconut oil is a saturated fat and thus no better for us that butter, the American Heart Association says in its updated advice.

They say it can raise “bad” cholesterol, even though it is often marketed as a health food.

The jury is still largely out as to whether saturated fat is wholly bad for you, but the AHA says too much of it in the diet can result in clogged arteries and an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.

82 per cent of the fat in coconut oil is saturated, which is more than butter (63 per cent), beef fat (50 per cent) and pork lard (39 per cent).

The AHA also say there’s no solid evidence that backs up people’s claims that coconut oil has health benefits.

They recommend people limit their saturated fat consumption and replace it with unsaturated vegetable oils and spreads.

Likewise, Public Health England says men should eat no more than 30g of saturated fat per day, and women no more than 20g.

Make sure you don’t cut out all fat though as it is still an important part of a healthy diet, containing essential fatty acids.

“To eat well for your heart health it is not just about reducing fat but reducing specific types of fat and taking care over what these are replaced with - unsaturated fats and wholegrains, rather than sugars and refined carbohydrates,” Victoria Taylor from the British Heart Foundation told BBC News.

“Any change should be viewed in the context of a whole diet approach. The traditional Mediterranean diet has benefits for a range of risk factors for heart disease, not just cholesterol levels.

“We recommend replacing the saturated fats in the diet with unsaturated fats - using oils instead of butter and choosing foods like avocado, oily fish, nuts and seeds instead of foods high in saturated fats like cakes, biscuits, chocolate and fatty meat.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in