Coconut oil increases low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, says AHA


The American Heart Association (AHA) has found that coconut oil is as unhealthy as butter, beef fat and palm oil.

The organisation that promotes cardiac care said that despite claims that it is healthy, coconut oil contains saturated fat which increases low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.

Saturated fats are found in meat, full-fat dairy products and tropical oils such as coconut, palm and others.

AHA stated that other types of fats include poly-unsaturated fats, found in corn, soybean, peanut and other oils, as well as mono-unsaturated fats found in olive, canola, safflower, avocado and other oils.

“We want to set the record straight on why well-conducted scientific research overwhelmingly supports limiting saturated fat in the diet to prevent diseases of the heart and blood vessels."

It recommends the consumption of poly-unsaturated and mono-unsaturated vegetable oil instead of saturated fats to help prevent heart disease.

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health cardiovascular disease prevention professor and lead report authorFrank Sacks said: “We want to set the record straight on why well-conducted scientific research overwhelmingly supports limiting saturated fat in the diet to prevent diseases of the heart and blood vessels.

“Saturated fat increases LDL, bad cholesterol, which is a major cause of artery-clogging plaque and cardiovascular disease.”

According to the AHA's advisory, randomised controlled trials were undertaken that lowered intake of dietary saturated fat and replaced it with polyunsaturated vegetable oil. This reduced cardiovascular disease by approximately 30%.

Prospective observational studies found that lower intake of saturated fat, along with higher intake of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat, is associated with lower rates of cardiovascular disease.

The advisory also highlighted that replacement of saturated fat with mostly refined carbohydrate and sugars is not associated with lower rates of cardiovascular disease.