Is Coconut Oil Good Or Bad For You? Cholesterol Risks & Benefits Explained

It’s kind of complicated, but here’s how to use it if you decide the benefits outweigh the risks.

By Zach Peter

There has been major buzz lately over everyone’s favorite obsession: coconut oil.

The fitness community raves about its fat-burning benefits when incorporated into a healthy diet, while beauty gurus preach about its hair-nourishing properties and the positive role it can play in your skin-care regiment.

But the health concerns, risks and benefits touted by proponents in the health care industry based on multiple studies have been put into question by a statement from the American Heart Association (AHA) in which they claim “coconut oil is 82 percent saturated fat, and studies show it raises LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol as much as butter, beef fat or palm oil.”

This statement’s warning about the relationship between coconut oil and cholesterol raises has people second-guessing many previously held assumptions.

Is coconut oil good or bad for you?

Rather than offer a overly-simplistic answer, let’s take a look at the facts about coconut oil and cholesterol, other potential health benefits, and whether some uses of coconut oil are healthier than others.

How does coconut oil affect cholesterol?

According to the AHA, a diet high in saturated fat contributes to a higher risk of heart disease (think, high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, etc). This is nothing new coming from the AHA, however, their statement breaks down older studies conducted on saturated fats and their link to high-cholesterol levels, an indicator of heart health.

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