Is Coconut Oil Good for High Cholesterol? (Expert Answer)

Short Answer: Coconut oil is bad for high cholesterol. Because it has a high amount of saturated fat and it can raise your LDL and triglyceride levels.

High cholesterol is a condition that affects your blood vessels and heart.

In high cholesterol, your body produces too much of a waxy substance called cholesterol, which can stick to the walls of your arteries and form plaques.

This can lead to various health problems, such as heart attack, stroke, angina, and peripheral artery disease.

One of the key factors in managing high cholesterol is diet.

What you consume can affect your blood lipid levels, which can impact your high cholesterol symptoms and overall health.

To effectively manage high cholesterol, you should consume unsaturated fat rich foods like olive oil, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish and avoid saturated fat and trans fat rich foods like butter, cheese, red meat, and baked goods.

Now, coconut oil is a tropical oil derived from the dried nut of the coconut palm tree.

People usually use it for cooking, baking, or as a moisturizer for skin and hair.

Coconut oil is bad for high cholesterol because it contains a high amount of saturated fat, which can raise your LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Coconut oil has been shown to raise cholesterol levels — the good and the bad kinds — more than other plant-based oils like olive or canola1.

Even though coconut oil has some medium chain triglycerides, which are less likely to be stored as fat, they still make up only a small portion of the fatty acids in coconut oil.

One tablespoon of coconut oil can give you about 13.5 grams of total fat (11.2 grams of which are saturated fat), 0.8 grams of monounsaturated fat, and 3.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat.

It also contains no cholesterol, but about 0.1 mg of vitamin E and 0.6 mg of polyphenols.

Saturated fat can negatively affect high cholesterol by increasing your LDL and triglyceride levels, which can clog your arteries and increase your risk of heart disease.

Monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat can positively affect high cholesterol by lowering your LDL and triglyceride levels and raising your HDL (good) cholesterol levels, which can protect your arteries and lower your risk of heart disease.

Vitamin E and polyphenols are antioxidants that can help prevent oxidative damage to your cells and blood vessels.

Furthermore, coconut oil is a solid fat and solid fats are bad for high cholesterol.

Because, they tend to have more saturated fat and less unsaturated fat than liquid oils.

Solid fats also tend to increase your calorie intake and weight, which can worsen your high cholesterol.

That’s why I suggest you limit your coconut oil intake to avoid raising your cholesterol levels and increasing your risk of heart disease.

Stick to no more than 10% of your total calories from saturated fat per day, which is about 22 grams for a 2,000-calorie diet.

To minimize the negative effects of coconut oil, choose virgin or unrefined coconut oil, which has more antioxidants and less processing than refined coconut oil.

Also, you shouldn’t use coconut oil if you have very high cholesterol or a history of heart disease to prevent worsening your condition.

Because, coconut oil can raise your cholesterol levels more than other oils and may interfere with your medication or treatment.

You can buy fresh coconut oil in your local market or can order it from online.

Always choose organic, virgin, or unrefined coconut oil, which has more nutrients and less chemicals.

Because, refined coconut oil may have added ingredients or undergo bleaching, deodorizing, or hydrogenation, which can reduce its quality and health benefits.

You can store coconut oil in a cool, dry, and dark place for up to two years.

Finally, remember, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management and essential medical care is key to managing high cholesterol effectively.

I always recommend my high cholesterol patients to follow a heart-healthy diet to improve their blood lipid levels and lower their risk of heart disease.

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About the Author

Abdur Rahman Choudhury

Abdur Rahman Choudhury is a nutritionist in West Bengal, India, with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Biochemistry.

He has done his diploma in nutrition from Fabulous Body Inc (US), and completed various certification courses from several universities. He also has considerable research experience in PCOS.

Abdur currently lives in India and keeps fit by weight training and eating mainly home-cooked meals.

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