By Dr. Dave Hnida

(CBS4) – If you think that coconut oil is a healthy choice, you’re not alone. About 72 percent of people look at coconut oil as actually being a “health food.” Yet, according to the American Heart Association, that’s not as true as you might think.

gettyimages 618912678 Coconut Oil: Not The Health Food You May Believe It Is

(credit: EyesWideOpen/Getty Images)

According to research published the Heart Association journal “Circulation,” coconut oil has so much saturated fat that it actually could be considered an “heart unfriendly” food.

How much saturated fat — the kind that tends to clog heart arteries? A whopping 82 percent. More than other fatty sources such what’s found in butter (63%) or beef drippings (50%).

Studies show that people who add coconut oil to their diet — and it comes in a variety of forms — can count on raising their LDL, or bad cholesterol, which is tends to form the sludge in heart arteries that lead to blockages.

coconut oil Coconut Oil: Not The Health Food You May Believe It Is

Coconut Oil (credit: CBS)

Better choices, which tend to be lower in saturated fat, included canola and olive oil — the so-called “health oils.”

Now some people think that coconut oil will speed metabolism and weight loss. That’s not the case. About the only true safe benefit isn’t putting in in your body, but putting it on your skin and hair.

And don’t forget, it’s not just saturated fats that aren’t good for your ticker. Sugar, processed foods, and trans-fat can do you in as well.


Dr. Dave Hnida is CBS4’s Medical Editor. He blogs about the latest studies and trends in the health world. Read his latest blog entries, check out his bio or follow him on Twitter @drdavehnida


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