We’re Crazy for Coconut Oil

It’s impossible to visit a supermarket or health food store without seeing some display or specialty section devoted to coconut oil.

Consumers are crazy for the plant-based product, a trend fueled by the belief that coconut oil can greatly reduce cholesterol levels and heart disease risks.

Is coconut oil a super food? Short-term studies make it impossible to evaluate its long-term heart benefits, but here are some facts: Coconut oil is about 90 percent saturated fat (butter is 64 percent). Saturated fat raises “bad” LDL cholesterol levels, which can lead to heart disease.

On the other hand, coconut oil seems to nudge the “good” HDL cholesterol up—the result of a higher lauric acid percentage than other oils, according to the Harvard Health Letter.

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