Coconut Oil and Heart Health

You have probably seen or heard claims on social media and shows with health professionals about the health benefits of coconut oil. Claims such as “Coconut oil decreases cholesterol!” or “Coconut oil treats hypertension!” are enough to interest any consumer looking for a quick cure for these health problems. Plus, coconut oil is sold everywhere—from your local grocery store to the corner drug store and Online.

Coconut Oil  has attained superstardom in the health food world

Coconut oil is an edible oil obtained from the kernel of harvested mature coconuts of the coconut palm .In recent years this oil has attained superstardom in the health food world. Celebrities are adopting its use, nutritionists advocating it, and patients acclaiming its many virtues.

A number of health benefits have been attributed to this oil. These include benefits in skin care, hair care, stress relief, weight loss and cholesterol level maintenance, immunomodulatory effects, cardiovascular uses, and more recently in Alzheimer’s disease .However for several years, coconut oil was demonized and consumers were made to believe that coconut oil is deleterious to health as it would block the arteries and cause heart disease. The tide has turned and in recent times recognition of the positive health effects of coconut oils have emerged stronger.  The use of coconut oil, especially virgin coconut oil is in vogue, though some people still remain skeptical.

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The high amount of saturated fats in coconut oil would seem to indicate that it would have anegative impact on your health by creating more fatty tissues. However research into the chemical composition of these saturated fats has shown that they are primarily medium chain triglycerides, the least harmful, and mostbeneficial, form of saturated fats your body can use.
Worldwide cardiovascular disease causes over 12.5 million deaths a year whilstin the US over 60 million people suffer some form of cardiovascular (heart)disease. The most common form of this disease is coronary artery disease which results from the build-up of fat, plaque and scar tissue around thearteries.The most common causes of cardiovascular disease are;- High cholesterol
– Heredity
– Smoking
– Obesity
– High blood pressure
– Diabetes
This means that coconut oil would seem an unlikely candidate as a dietary supplement to decrease your risk of heart disease but it actually isn’t.This is all do with the type of saturated fats we ingest on a regular basis. SriLankan’s for example have the lowest risk of cardiovascular disease in the world and their primary cooking oil comes from coconuts. This may seem incidental but there has been a marked increase in cardiovascular disease in SriLanka and India that fits with the increased use of vegetable oils which have replaced traditional cooking aids and consumables.

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The saturated fats in most western diets are of a far worse kind. These are high chain triglycerides that the body cannot break down as efficiently as mediumchains. This means that they build up as fatty deposits around your heart and arteries increasing the risk of coronary heart disease. Replacing your oils and margarines with coconut oil therefore actually decreases your risk of heartdisease and will help you lose weight.Clearly then we can see that despite appearance coconut oil is actually a betteralternative to other oils and should definitely be used as often as possible inorder to improve your diet and reduce the risks of heart diseases