Health Food

Coconut oil verdict: good or bad?

Coconut oil is under fire as it has been dub as being potentially problematic to the human body. This message took many unawares, from those that are diet conscious and go the extra mile to get foods from places like Green Belt Microgreens to those who just like the taste coconut oil brings to their food. It even affected coconut oil sales.

More about the oil

Coconut oil is harvested from the white part of the nut and has found many uses in our homes. Many swear by it for cooking or for their beauty routines. There is two version found in the store at varying prices. There is the refined coconut oil that often has other oils and isn’t as fragrant. On the other hand, the virgin coconut comes from fresh coconut and has a stronger taste and smell. The virgin form of the oil is what scientific studies use to examine the benefits.

They state they are rich in antioxidant polyphenols and are a fatty acid that aids in the uptake of various vitamins. There are also studies showing that coconut oil can be used for medical purposes such as oil pulling to promote oral hygiene and manage another mouth, tooth, and gum related complications. Even with studies available, they are few and somewhat inconclusive. As with other plants, medical benefits are yet to be established without reasonable doubt.

The concern

What makes coconut oil infamous to some is the saturated fat levels found. It is higher than butter, standing at 80 or as high as 86 percent as compared to 53 percent. A tablespoon has more than 10 grams of saturated fat. Those using it for cooking or part of their other diets such as the ketogenic diet, they use more. The dietary recommendation for men and women stands at 20 and 30 grams respectively. It is, therefore, a source of concern for those who use more than two tablespoons in their diet. That is based on the assumption that that is their only source of saturated fats.

The middle ground

There are still debates about saturated fats, with medical practitioners advocating for replacing them with unsaturated fats in small amounts. Therefore, if you’ve been using coconut oil for cooking or smoothies consider using less of it or introducing olive oil or seeds and nuts to balance it out. The recommended intake of saturated fats should exceed more than 10 percent of the energy. It is therefore important to be mindful of the quantity you use should you choose to continue.