Posted By: CustomVite Nutrition Team Date: March 23, 2018 Comments: 0
Last month our Nutrition Team did a review on saturated fat and it’s connection to heart health. You may have noticed that the National Institutes of Health mentioned trans fat, along with saturated fat, as “unhealthy”. Now you’ve probably heard a million times that trans fat is bad for you, but how bad exactly is it? Is it equal to, or worse than saturated fat? It may not surprise you that trans fat is considered the worst type of dietary fat known to man. Trans fats can be found naturally (in animal meat and dairy products), and artificially (in margarines, vegetable shortening, pastries, cookies, fried foods, mayonnaise, potato chips etc.). According to a recent review on natural trans fat vs. artificial trans fat, there are reasons to believe that small amounts of the natural varieties are less harmful than the artificial ones. For this reason, the concern over trans fat consumption is mostly directed to artificial trans fats or large amounts of natural and artificial trans fats combined. When we consume commercially prepared foods high in trans fat, it may increase LDL (bad cholesterol) and reduce HDL (good cholesterol). Trans fats may also trigger an inflammatory response, thereby increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes.
Where does coconut oil fall into all of this? There seems to be so much conflicting evidence on whether or not coconut oil is good or bad for us. After all, according to the National Institutes of Health, coconut oil is listed as having a high amount of saturated fats, 80-90% in fact! The truth of the matter is that while coconut oil is touted to have heart healthy benefits, the research so far on its ability to lower cholesterol levels has only consisted of short-term studies. Therefore more research is required to know exactly how coconut oil truly affects heart disease long-term. With that being said, it’s best to use coconut oil sparingly, and stick to the unsaturated varieties such as cold-pressed olive oil.
(1) American Hearth Association News. (2017, June 21). Saturated Fats: Why all the hubbub over coconuts? Retrieved from https://news.heart.org/saturated-fats-why-all-the-hubbub-over-coconuts/
(2) Ask the doctor: Coconut oil and health. (2017, December 4). Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/coconut-oil
(3) Mazidi et al. (2017). The relationship of plasma trans fatty acids with dietary inflammatory index among US adults. Lipids in Health and Disease, 16, 147.
(4) Natural trans fat less harmful than artificial version. (2008, July). Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/natural-trans-fat-less-harmful-than-artificial-version
(5) The truth about fats: the good, the bad, and the in-between (2017, August 22). Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-truth-about-fats-bad-and-good