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You might think coconut oil is a little bit magic if you don’t have the full story. Where diabetes is concerned, the full story is always something we should want to know.
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Is Coconut Oil Really Healthy?
Have you joined the coconut oil craze? It’s a hot item… included in many of the trending diets and appears more and more in packaged foods of all sorts. A couple of years ago, a survey found that nearly ¾ of Americans viewed coconut oil as a healthy food. But… is it healthy as the coconut is cracked up to be?
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Here Are Some Facts About This Tropical Oil
Which by the way, will not be found as a liquid-like other cooking oil.
Coconut oil is a saturated fat with a higher content of saturated fat than butter. I know this can be confusing since coconut is a fruit, but it’s important to realize that one tablespoon of coconut oil equals 14 grams of fat. Sixty-three percent of the fat is saturated fat and offers no other nutrition benefits-no extra vitamins or minerals. A review of 16 studies showed that coconut oil raises LDL (the low-density lipoprotein), increasing cardiovascular disease risk much more so than polyunsaturated fats.
One tablespoon of coconut oil provides approximately 117 calories which are equivalent to one tablespoon of olive oil.
There are two types of coconut oil; virgin and refined. Virgin is taken from the fruit of fresh coconut without any processing. Refined uses dried coconut meat that is typically bleached and deodorized.
A study showed that coconut oil had a type of fat called medium-chain triglyceride that boosts metabolism and weight loss, but the coconut oil in the study was a special 100 percent medium-chain coconut oil, not the kind that you purchase at the store. Most coconut oils on the market contain only 13-14 percent of this medium-chain coconut oil, so that’s a big difference, and you would need to eat large quantities like 10 T per day, which is not recommended to anyone. And again, think about the higher risk for cardiovascular disease that comes along with consumption of this oil.
Hydrogenated coconut oil can be found in baked goods but take caution because this further processing through hydrogenation may alter the coconut oil into trans fats. And according to the American Heart Association, we want to keep our intake of trans fat as low as possible.
Coconut is saturated fat, and the American Heart Association and American Diabetes Association recommend limiting saturated fat to 5-6 percent of your total calories. Consumption of saturated fats has been associated with increased total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which is lousy cholesterol. The inclusion of saturated fat can lead to an increased risk of coronary artery disease, and people with diabetes are already at a higher risk for heart disease before consuming a high saturated fat diet.
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I know coconut oil may have a healthy halo, the feeling that it should be a “good for you food” since it reminds of a tropical vacation, the smell and taste is very inviting, but we must look to the science on what is a healthy choice for us.
Until next time, cheers to your health.
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