Heart experts in the United States compare coconut oil, beef dipping and butter as all of them are unhealthy.
The American Heart Association found out that coconut oil is generally packed with saturated fats which can increase bad cholesterol.
Coconut oil has long been perceived as healthy food as plant oils, such as olive and sunflower, which are better than animal fats.
Food being healthy depends on how much saturated fat or “sat fat” such products contain.
Experts and researchers have proven that sat fat damages people’s health.
Eating food that contains much saturated fat can increase the level of “bad” (LDL) cholesterol in the blood, which can clog the arteries and raise potential risks of heart disease and stroke.
According to the American Heart Association, 82% of the fat in coconut oil is saturated, which is more that the saturated fat in butter (63%), beef fat (50%) and pork lard (39%).
There are claims that the fact the coconut oil contains a mixture of fats renders it healthy but the American Heart Association does not agree.
AHA states that people should reduce the use of the saturated fat they eat, replacing it with unsaturated vegetable oils, including olive oil and sunflower oil.
Reducing and replacing sat fats
Experts believe that replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats lower cholesterol as much as cholesterol-lowering drugs do.
Dr Frank Sacks, the lead author of the AHA advice, said: “We want to set the record straight on why well-conducted scientific research overwhelmingly supports limiting saturated fat in the diet to prevent diseases of the heart and blood vessels.”
Victoria Taylor from the British Heart Foundation said: “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 whole grains, rather than sugars and refined carbohydrates.”
“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.”