Why You Should Skip Using Coconut Oil When Cooking. Coconut oil is high in saturated fat, which can be a bad thing if you’re trying to keep your heart healthy. Fortunately, there are several healthy cooking oils you can use in place of coconut oil for different dishes.
Grapeseed oil, for example, has a neutral flavor and has a smoking point of 420 degrees F, making it ideal for sauteing and stir-frying.
It’s high in saturated fat
Saturated fats are a type of fat that’s primarily solid at room temperature. Unlike unsaturated fats, which are liquid at room temperature, saturated fats increase your cholesterol levels and raise your risk of heart disease.
Saturated fatty acids are made up of three sub-groups: short-chain (C2-C6), medium-chain (C6-C12), and long-chain (C12-C24). Coconut oil is a mixture of saturated fats, but it differs from animal saturated fats in that it has predominantly medium-chain saturated fatty acids.
Saturated fats are a big no-no when it comes to healthy eating because they raise LDL cholesterol, which increases your risk of developing heart disease. The United States Dietary Guidelines and the American Heart Association recommend limiting your intake of saturated fat to less than 10% of your calories per day.
It’s high in calories
Coconut oil is high in saturated fat, making it a bad choice for anyone who is trying to lose weight. It contains about 120 calories and 13.5 grams of fat per tablespoon.
The saturated fat in coconut oil may raise your LD (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides levels, which increase your risk of heart disease. It also raises HDL (good) cholesterol, but more research is needed to determine its impact on your health.
It is important to note that coconut oil is a healthy cooking oil when used in moderation and in the context of a healthy diet. It’s rich in antioxidants, which neutralize free radicals in the body and can help protect against inflammation, cellular damage, and cancer.
Coconut oil is also high in medium-chain triglycerides, which provide energy to the body. They are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and can give a boost of energy to working muscles.
It’s high in sodium
Coconut oil is a good source of saturated fat, but it’s also high in sodium. This is especially bad news for those who are on a low-sodium diet or trying to avoid sodium entirely.
Saturated fat is one of the most dangerous fatty acids because it can raise your levels of bad cholesterol, also called LDL, and increase your risk of heart disease. In general, you should limit your saturated fat intake to 10 percent of your daily calories.
However, you can still get some benefits from coconut oil without consuming too much of it. It contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are easier to digest than long-chain fatty acids and can provide a quick energy boost.
It’s high in triglycerides
Despite its health claims, coconut oil is mostly saturated fat, and the American Heart Association recommends replacing saturated fats with unsaturated ones to reduce your risk of heart disease. Saturated fats raise bad cholesterol and increase your risk of clogged arteries, so it’s best to stick with oils that are rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
Another concern with coconut oil is that it contains a high amount of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are harder for your body to break down and convert into stored fat. Although it’s not clear whether these triglycerides boost good cholesterol levels or increase your risk of heart disease, they aren’t as healthy for you as other types of fat.
In fact, a small study found that dietary MCT increased bad cholesterol levels in 17 healthy young men. If you want to lower your cholesterol, avoid coconut oil and switch to olive oil, which is a healthier choice for many people.