American Heart Association Coconut Oil Warning
The recent coconut oil warning issued by the American Heart association is creating a huge stir in the health and nutrition industries. The reason is that this food product has been celebrated as a healthy alternative to many other kinds of fats.
What the American Heart Association found in recent research was that this cooking oil is on par with beef fat or butter in terms of its saturated fat levels. This prompted the coconut oil warning for people who may have been eating this ingredient very freely under the belief that it is a healthy alternative.
That said, before you raid your cupboard and start throwing things away, it’s a good idea to understand what the coconut oil warning really meant. The media grabbed hold of the AHA’s statement of caution and has blown it into huge, shocking headlines that would make people believe that they’re shortening their lives or putting themselves at risk of disease by eating coconut oil. The truth of the matter is that this ingredient isn’t dangerous. It must merely be understood before it is used in recipes and for cooking.
AHA report lead author Dr. Frank Sacks explained that “want to set the record straight on why well-conducted scientific research overwhelmingly supports limiting saturated fat in the diet to prevent diseases of the heart and blood vessels.” He added that “Saturated fat increases LDL – bad cholesterol – which is a major cause of artery-clogging plaque and cardiovascular disease.”
However, it should also be understood that the idea of “good fat” and “bad fat” has been growing in its controversy. Nutrition isn’t necessarily as easy as labeling these foods as good or bad. Moreover, the ACA was not trying to use this report to stop everyone from eating coconut oil. Instead, they were using it to better educate consumers so they can make improved choices regarding the oils and fats they include in their diets.
Indeed, it’s not a good idea to eat tremendous amounts of coconut oil, but that can be said about pretty much any kind of fat. Fats are a macronutrient that must be consumed in moderation. This is particularly true of many animal fats, palm oil – the most common cooking oil in the world – and, likely coconut oil as well.
In order to follow a healthy diet, it’s a good idea to reduce the amount of saturated fat in our diets. Equally, Neither Dr. Sacks nor the American Heart Association as a whole has recommended that saturated fats be entirely eliminated from our diets. As such, a touch of coconut oil in your favorite recipe likely won’t do the slightest bit of harm to your health. Just don’t overdo it.