Coconut oil alarmingly high in saturated fat, American Heart Association warns

A recent report issued by the American Heart Association advised against the use of coconut oil in cooking. Other types of fat include poly-unsaturated fats (found in nuts, seeds, fatty fish, and corn and soybean oils) and mono-unsaturated fats (also found in nuts and seeds, as well as avocado and olive and canola oils).

But Dr. Sacks points out that all fats raise HDL cholesterol, especially saturated fats.

According to the AHA, 82 per cent of the fat in coconut oil is saturated, which is more than in butter (63 per cent), beef fat (50 per cent) and pork lard (39 per cent).

"A healthy diet doesn't just limit certain unfavorable nutrients", says Dr. Sacks. He makes the same warning for any oil with high saturated fat content.

If you dig deeper into St-Onge's research, you'll find the study was done using "designer oil" containing 100 percent medium-chain triglycerides (or, MCT oil), while coconut oil contains just 13 percent to 15 percent. That's what increases your cardiovascular risk.

Olive oil may be your best alternative.

EDITORS NOTE: Our Verify team tackled this story today after seeing it on USA TODAY. But a recent report from American Heart Association (AHA) says that's not true. Previous studies have confirmed that saturated fats can increase the level of LDL cholesterol in the blood, which can clog arteries and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Researchers didn't see a difference between coconut oil and other oils high in saturated fat, like butter, beef fat and palm oil.

The dream that coconut oil is a healthier oil has been shattered and a new study advises against using the oil altogether.

  • Joanne Flowers