The Health Benefits of Coconut: Coconut Oil, Coconut Milk, Coconut Water, Coconut Flour & More
Health Benefits of Coconut Oil and Cooking Uses for Coconut Oil
Coconut oil was once a heart-health “don’t” thanks to its 87 percent saturated-fat content. Solid at room temperature, it’s making a comeback in some packaged foods and for cooking and baking. While it may be marketed as helpful for cholesterol levels, some nutrition experts disagree about the health benefits of coconut oil. “Coconut oil contains a mixture of saturated fatty acids, some of which don’t adversely affect cholesterol levels,” says Joy Dubost, Ph.D., R.D., a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “But while its predominant saturated fat —lauric acid—does raise beneficial HDL cholesterol, it also raises harmful LDL cholesterol, which can increase the risk of heart disease.” Look for coconut oil, in jars or tubs, near other cooking oils in large supermarkets, in the natural-foods section, or in natural-foods stores. Wondering how to cook with coconut oil? In our healthy coconut-oil recipe for Coconut-Carrot Morning Glory Muffins, we use coconut oil sparingly, in place of butter or other oils.
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