Coconut oil is promoted as a healthy food. We know that it contains essential polyunsaturated fatty acids that are not synthesized by the human body. That is, they can only be obtained from outside. Unrefined coconut oil is a source of these beneficial fatty acids, including lauric, oleic, stearic, caprylic, and many more. When heated, it does not emit carcinogens, retaining all the useful vitamins and amino acids, which allows it to be widely used in cooking.
However, American scientists advise to abandon the use of coconut oil as an analogue to other vegetable oils and animal fat. It turns out that it contains almost six times more saturated fat than olive oil. Saturated fats, on the other hand, are considered unhealthy because they can raise bad cholesterol levels, increasing the risk of heart disease.
According to a published article, coconut oil contains 82% saturated fat, while lard has 39%, beef fat has 50%, and butter has 63%.
Research conducted in the 1950s showed a link between saturated fat and LDL cholesterol (the so-called “bad” cholesterol). It can lead to blood clots and lead to heart disease and stroke.
HDL-cholesterol, on the other hand, protects against heart disease. It absorbs cholesterol and transports it back to the liver, which flushes it out of the body. Having high levels of “good” cholesterol has the exact opposite effect.
The AHA recommends replacing foods high in saturated fats, including red meat, fried foods, and, alas, coconut oil, with sources of unsaturated fats such as nuts, legumes, avocados, non-tropical vegetable oils (olive, flaxseed, and others).
According to Public Health England, a middle-aged man should not consume more than 30 grams of saturated fat per day, and a woman should not exceed 20 grams. The AHA recommends reducing saturated fat to 5-6% of total calories, which is about 13 grams for a 2000 calorie daily diet.