Wednesday, May 2, 2012

What About: Coconut Oil?

My first reaction is: I wouldn't use it.  Here's some information I've gathered on it.  Also see my comment in the Reply area of this post regarding the use of it.

A good website as a reference on educating yourself on fats:
Fats 101 Education

With all the PR and people saying coconut oil is so good for us, I decided to take a look at some of the facts.  I'm not buying into what I feel is hype about coconut oil being better for you. The bottom line for me is that it has six times the amount of bad fats than the closest one (in bad fats) to it and no good fats.  That speaks volumes to me.

Good fats are:
* Monounsaturated (best)
* Polyunsaturated (next best: Omega-3s are polyunsaturated)

Bad fats are:
* Saturated

Let's take a look at coconut oil in comparison with some of the other oils regarding good and bad fats.

BAD FATS (Saturated) per Tbsp: (less is best)
Flaxseed Oil: 1 gram
Canola oil: 1 gram
Olive oil: 2 grams
Corn oil: 2 grams
Coconut oil: 12 grams

GOOD FATS (more is best)
Monounsaturated per Tbsp:
Olive Oil: 10 grams
Corn oil: 4 grams monounsaturated
Canola Oil: 3 grams monounsaturated
Flaxseed Oil: 2 grams
Coconut oil: 0 grams

Polyunsaturated per Tbsp:
Flaxseed Oil: 8 grams
Corn oil: 8 grams
Olive Oil: 1 grams
Canola Oil: 1 grams
Coconut oil: 0 grams

Some of the benefits being proclaimed about coconut oil are hair care, skin care, stress relief, maintaining cholesterol levels, weight loss, increased immunity, proper digestion and metabolism, relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV and cancer, dental care, and bone strength. These benefits of coconut oil can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, and its properties such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, soothing, etc.

I'm not so sure about the health benefits regarding heart disease, blood pressure, maintaining cholesterol levels, weight loss.  The presence of the very high levels of the bad fats indicate otherwise to me and I am waiting until there is scientific proof from a reputable source regarding the lauric, capric, and caprylic acid over-riding all the bad fat content.  Also, time will tell whether this is a fad or not (I tend to think it might be).

Take a look at the pie chart on the following website. While it is not a scientific website, the blue area is the bad fat content.  That speaks volumes to me.  I'm sticking with olive oil which I know is good for me.


  1. FYI, I studied "alternative" nutrition 16 years ago, and even back then we were told that all palm tree oils were unhealthy. Rule of thumb is that any oil that is solid at room temperature is unhealthy.
    Consider also that fast food restaurants have switched to palm oil because of the allergens in peanut oil.
    IMHO, canola oil is also over-rated. It has one of the lowest "smoke points" of all oils, meaning that it goes from "good" to "bad" at a very low temperature.
    Off of my soap box(es)...

  2. Thank you so much for this information!!!

    The information on the solid at room temperature is good to know, and also the smoke point info (something I really was not very informed on before reading this response).

  3. Dr. Mike has now authorized use of coconut oil as a friendly fat in all cycles. It may be better than olive oil, but there's still that "solid that has to be heated to be consumed that resembles lard" in the visual for me. But yes, it is permitted.

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