Five facts about coconut oil

Five Facts About Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is one of the latest food crazes, with some people "dosing" several times a day. But, is coconut all it's cracked up to be? Here are some facts about this luxurious oil, which by the way, will not be found as a liquid-like other cooking oils.

What is coconut oil?

  • Coconut oil is saturated fat, with a higher content of saturated fat even than butter. One tablespoon of coconut oil equals 14 grams of fat. Sixty-three percent of the fat is saturated fat.
  • There are two types of coconut oil; virgin and refined. Virgin is taken from the fruit of fresh coconut without any processing. Refined uses dried coconut meat that is typically bleached and deodorized.

Is coconut oil okay for a type 2 diabetes diet?

  • One tablespoon of coconut oil provides approximately 117 calories, which is equivalent to one tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Specifically, virgin coconut oil is high in lauric acid, which is a medium-chain fatty acid, and the main subject of health claims. But, most experts agree there are not enough studies with conclusive evidence showing health benefits from coconut oil.
  • Hydrogenated coconut oil can be found in baked goods, but be cautious because this further processing may alter the coconut oil into trans fats.

Coconut oil and saturated fat

The bottom line – coconut oil is saturated fat, and the American Heart Association and American Diabetes Association recommend limiting saturated fat to less than 7 percent of your total calories. Consumption of saturated fats has been associated with increased total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the "lousy" cholesterol. Including too much saturated fat in your diet can lead to an increased risk of coronary artery disease, and people with diabetes are already at a higher risk for heart disease before consuming a high saturated fat diet.
Watch for conclusive evidence from further studies to see how the virgin coconut oil claims eventually play out. Meanwhile, the beneficial evidence to diabetes for other eating plans might be a better bet.

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