Coconut oil: what if it's not so beneficial to health?

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Elia Tabuenca García
@eliatabuencagarcia

Is coconut oil beneficial or harmful to health? Coconut oil is not part of our food culture, we do not routinely use it for cooking as it does in other countries. However, we can find coconut oil as an ingredient in some packaged foods, a bit like palm oil.



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THEcoconut oil è beneficial o harmful to health? Coconut oil is not part of our food culture, we do not routinely use it for cooking as it does in other countries. However, we can find coconut oil as an ingredient in some packaged foods, a bit like in the case ofPalm oil.

We already told you about coconut oil as a multipurpose natural remedy for the care of skin and hair and yours alternative uses to food ones. Now, however, after having praised its virtues, we are wondering about the real effects on the health of consumption of coconut oil in food.

Generally thecoconut oil it is regarded as a rich source of saturated fats, therefore to be avoided as much as possible. Regarding the consumption of lipids, the WHO believes that we should prefer i unsaturated fats compared to saturated fat. The "good" fats are in fact important for our body, for the maintenance of homeostasis.

Here because Alona Pulde e Matthew Lederman, nutrition experts of the Fork Over Knives project (for the dissemination of a correct plant-based diet), they advise against its use in food.

Both follow the guidelines of the dottor McDougall, which proposes a vegetable diet based on fresh and whole foods, where the caloric intake from fat does not exceed 15% of the total, as an optimal solution to maintain good health thanks to nutrition.

The two experts speak of a real one disinformation about coconut oil which has been circulating in recent years promoting it as a panacea for all food-related ills: reduction of heart disease, antimicrobial properties, support of the immune system and aid in weight loss, just to name a few.



One of the biggest benefits attributed to coconut oil in recent years would be its ability di reduce LDL cholesterol. Coconut oil contains some medium-chain fatty acids called MCFAs. The same fatty acids, by themselves, would also help in weight loss as well as in reducing cholesterol, at least theoretically. However, it is a single component of coconut oil that would be enhanced according to one reductionist view nutrition and health.

According to experts, in fact, we should not consider a single nutrient to consider a beneficial food, but consider its effects on our health within the type of diet we follow.

In their opinion, while assuming that MCFAs may have beneficial effects, coconut oil as regards the saturated fat content it would be worse even than lard and lard. Incidentally, in many cases these believed beneficial fatty acids would be removed from coconut oil for other uses, such as medicine and beauty.

Even the much exalted ones antimicrobial properties of coconut oil do not convince the two experts from the point of view of nutrition, since we do not normally eat foods because of their antimicrobial properties but to provide healthy energy to our body and to strengthen the immune system, which in turn will take care of fighting bacteria , microbes and infections.

Alcohol, for example, also has antimicrobial properties, yet it is not recommended as a health food. Finally, experts point out that coconut oil does not contain omega 3, that is, those essential fatty acids that our body needs to take from external sources to keep itself in balance and health.

Coconut oil, added to our diet, would do nothing but increase your intake of unhealthy fats, with the consequence of exposing our body toinflammation. Some of us have probably never thought of using coconut oil for cooking or for dressing, others will have used it occasionally, perhaps to experiment with some exotic recipes or with slightly different ingredients than usual.



As for the condiments, we can probably continue to rely on our extra virgin olive oil without looking for very different alternatives from the point of view of taste. And, if we want and if we have it available, we can cContinue to use coconut oil as a natural skin remedy, for hair and beauty care, given that from this point of view it is a beneficial product with no contraindications.

Marta Albè

Read also:

12 DO-IT-YOURSELF BEAUTY TREATMENTS WITH COCONUT OIL

COCONUT OIL: 10 EXTRAORDINARY ALTERNATIVE USES

PALM OIL: BECAUSE IT IS HARMFUL FOR HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT

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