Coconut oil not as healthy as thought? US experts say it's 'as unhealthy as beef fat and butter'!
The mixture of fats in coconut oil has led many to believe that it still provides a healthier option, but the AHA has stated a lack of 'good-quality evidence' in support of the fact.
New Delhi: Once tainted by the fact that it contains 90 percent saturated fat, coconut oil made a comeback in recent years as one of the most healthiest things known to mankind.
However, looks like the American Heart Association (AHA) is far from convinced. According to reports, the AHA has rubbished studies saying that there is 'no good research' to support this statement. In fact, the US heart experts have gone as far as terming coconut oil 'as unhealthy as beef dripping and butter'.
It is packed with saturated fat which can raise "bad" cholesterol, says the American Heart Association in updated advice.
Not too long ago coconuts had a bad reputation as being an artery clogging, cholesterol packed food that contributed to heart disease. Seems as though the AHA is back at square one.
So, have we all been living under make-believe? According to the AHA, 82% of the fat in coconut oil is saturated. That's more than in butter (63%), beef fat (50%) and pork lard (39%). And, like other saturated fats, studies show it can increase "bad" cholesterol, BBC reported.
The mixture of fats in coconut oil has led many to believe that it still provides a healthier option, but the AHA has stated a lack of 'good-quality evidence' for this.
It says people should limit how much saturated fat they eat, replacing some of it with unsaturated vegetable oils – olive oil and sunflower oil, and their spreads. These alternatives, as per the AHA, determine a reduced cholesterol percentage by the same magnitude as cholesterol-lowering drugs.
Dr Frank Sacks, 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," the BBC report said.
In the UK, Public Health England advises people to cut down on saturated fat:
the average man should eat no more than 30g of saturated fat a day
the average woman should eat no more than 20g of saturated fat a day
The recently published Dietary Fats Cardiovascular Disease: A Presidential Advisory From the American Heart Association has also noted that, saturated fat consumption has long been tied to the rising incident of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). "Clinical trials that used polyunsaturated fat to replace saturated fat reduced the incidence of CVD. The main sources of saturated fat to be decreased are dairy fat (butter), lard (pork), palm oil, palm kernel oil, and coconut oil.”
"A recent systematic review found 7 controlled trials, including the 2 just mentioned, that compared coconut oil with monounsaturated or polyunsaturated oils. Coconut oil raised LDL cholesterol in all 7 of these trials, significantly in 6 of them. Clinical trials that compared direct effects on CVD of coconut oil and other dietary oils have not been reported. However, because coconut oil increases LDL cholesterol, a cause of CVD, and has no known offsetting favorable effects, we advise against the use of coconut oil," noted the AHA research, as per a report in NDTV.