If you’ve read the news recently, you might be wondering if coconut oil is healthy. That’s because the American Heart Association (AHA) released the June 2017 report, Dietary Fats and Cardiovascular Disease, that condemned the health food staple. The report states that coconut oil increases LDL, “bad”, cholesterol and has no offsetting favorable effects. Also the report recommends you skip the coconut oil in favor of alternatives like soy and corn oil.

Coconut oil can and should be part of a healthy diet for the following reasons: We need saturated fat, coconut oil actually improves cholesterol and protects against heart disease, this benefit comes from the Lauric acid, and coconut oil is a far superior oil to corn and soy oils.

Our bodies need saturated fat to function. It’s critical for hormone production and regulation and for keeping cells healthy.

Considering how cholesterol levels factor into overall health is just not black and white. Coconut oil can definitely raise your LDL cholesterol levels. But what the report fails to recognize is that coconut oil also increases HDL, or good cholesterol. Coconut oil has been proven to lower blood pressure and help people lose weight—two factors that are key in protecting heart health.

The problem with replacing coconut oil with the unhealthier processed sunflower, corn and soy oils is that studies have shown that eating more polyunsaturated fats, the kind found in those oils, actually increases your risk of coronary heart disease. These oils are also high in omega-6 fatty acids. And while we do need those in our diet, most of us are actually getting more omega-6 fats than we need and not enough omega-3’s. This imbalance increases inflammation in the body, which is one of the leading cause of chronic illnesses.

It’s important that you use a very good quality coconut oil. Organic Virgin oil is the minimum quality and absolutely not the cheaper “De-perfumed” type which contain added hydrogenated fats. Glass container is also important as some plastic containers could leech BPA’s or other chemicals into the oil.

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