Remember that coconut oil fad that started a couple of years ago? I thought it was over until I saw two blog posts about it yesterday! Coconut oil is SO healthy they said! Always use coconut oil! Rub it in your hair, scrub it on your body, or my personal favorite- use it as mouthwash! (Yes…this is actually a promoted use of coconut oil called oil pulling)
Let’s get the facts.
According to Sonya Angelone, a registered dietician and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Coconut oil’s health benefits are most commonly accredited to their medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). However, only 10-15% of all of its fat are these MCTs. The majority of saturated fat in coconut oil is lauric acid, which has little scientific evidence published towards any meaningful health benefits.
Ultimately, yes, MCTs are healthier than a highly saturated fat option such as butter but if you are swapping out your olive oil for coconut oil you’re not moving in the right direction.
One benefit of coconut oil is it’s high heat/smoke point. If you are frying something, you shouldn’t use an oil with a low smoke point, such as olive oil, because it converts to carcinogens at comparatively low temperatures and will leave you with that burnt flavor in your food.
There are so many benefits and uses of coconut oil, but if you’re starting to replace monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats with saturated fats you may want to think twice!
Interested in hearing more about oil pulling and other uses of coconut oil? Let me know and I’ll write something up!