Coconut oil is extracted from the meat of mature coconuts using heat. It is preferred by many people because it can last for six months at room temperature without spoiling. While experts argue about the health benefits of coconut oil, recent studies suggest that this particular type of oil is as unhealthy as butter, lard and beef drippings.
Why Is Coconut Oil Unhealthy?
What makes coconut oil unhealthy? The American Heart Association noted that coconut oil contains high amounts of saturated fat. Saturated fat is the type of fatty acid that is linked to the rise of low-density lipoproteins (LDL) cholesterol in the blood. LDL is also dubbed as bad cholesterol that can clog arteries thereby increasing the risk of stroke and heart disease.
The fat in coconut oil is 82% saturated fat, which makes it larger than that found in butter (63%), pork lard (39%), and beef fat (50%). This is the reason why it is so important for people to limit the amount of coconut oil that they should take and replace it with vegetable oils such as sunflower oil, canola oil, or olive oil.
How to Cut Down on Saturated Fats
People should steer clear from any sources of saturated fat. According to the UK Public Health agency, an average man should consume no more than 30 grams of saturated fat daily while women should eat a lesser amount.
But the responsibility should not only fall in the hands of consumers. Food manufacturers should also be responsible for improving packaged foods with high amounts of saturated fat.
Opting for healthier cooking alternatives is also an excellent way to cut back on your consumption of saturated fats. So instead of frying your potatoes, you can boil, grill, or bake them instead. Before cooking meats, it is also recommended to trim all the meat from fats so that the fat does not render and become oil. You can also make conscious efforts of omitting ingredients containing saturated fats when cooking.
But Is Fat Healthy?
Many health and nutrition experts believe that fat still plays a vital role in our health. Fats are essential so that the body can absorb fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, and E. It is important not to cut out fat completely from your diet.
But instead of stocking up on saturated fats, it is important that you consume healthier fats such as Omega-3 fatty acids. This type of fat increases your good cholesterol numbers so that the LDL cholesterol is pushed to the liver where they are disposed.
Inspired by www.bbc.com