Coconut oil: High consumption of saturated fat may increase risk of serious conditions

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Coconut oil sales have rocketed in recent years after claims it can boost heart health, encourage fat burning and offer antimicrobial effects. But the consumption of too much coconut oil may have an adverse effect on your health.

Victoria continues: “What we do know is that replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats like vegetable oil, olive oil and sunflower oil, and their spreads, has been shown as an effective way to help reduce LDL cholesterol levels, so this would be a healthier choice.”

And she advises: “For the time being, if you like the taste of coconut oil, then, as with butter, it’s fine to use it every now and then.

“However, it’s best to restrict yourself to small amounts and use unsaturated oils as an everyday choice instead.”

Coconut is listed by the NHS as a good high in saturated fat.

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Others include:

  • fatty cuts of meat
  • meat products, including sausages and pies
  • butter, ghee, and lard
  • cheese, especially hard cheese like cheddar
  • cream, soured cream and ice cream
  • some savoury snacks, like cheese crackers and some popcorns
  • chocolate confectionery
  • biscuits, cakes, and pastries
  • palm oil

The health body says most people in the UK eat too much saturated fats.

The NHS explains monounsaturated fats help protect the heart by maintaining levels of ‘good’ HDL cholesterol while reducing levels of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol in the blood.

Monounsaturated fats are found in:

  • olive oil, rapeseed oil and spreads made from these oils
  • avocados
  • some nuts, such as almonds, brazils, and peanuts

The health body explains polyunsaturated fats can also help lower the levels of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol in the blood.

There are two main types of polyunsaturated fats: omega-3 and omega-6.

Omega-6 fats are found in vegetable oils, such as:

  • rapeseed
  • corn
  • sunflower
  • some nuts
  • Omega-3 fats are found in oily fish, such as:
  • kippers
  • herring
  • trout
  • sardines
  • salmon
  • mackerel

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