The debate regarding how healthy coconut oil is for you has sparked many nutritionists attention. Coconut oil is extremely high in saturated fat which is the type of fat that increases our cholesterol levels and heart disease risks. This is a very stable oil which does not produce harmful chemicals when heated. Researchers have wondered if coconut oil is healthy for our bodies for a long time now.
Coconut oil can be seen as unhealthy because it is mostly made up of saturated fats, which is why it is solid at room temperature. Solid fats raise LDL cholesterol, bad cholesterol, which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Benefits of Coconut Oil
The benefits of this kind of oil is that it is plant-based. It is best to stay away from animal-based food that can easily raise our cholesterol levels. Coconuts can raise HDL levels, or good cholesterol, but they are not enough to offset the increase of LDL levels. This kind of oil does not necessarily lower your cholesterol levels since it is still a saturated fat, but it also does not harm you very much.
Cooking Oil Labels
Here is what you should look for on cooking labels when you are working with oils:
- Look for monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These are shown to reduce your risk of heart disease risk when used in replace of saturated fats.
- Avoid products with hydrogenated oils or trans-fat (processed foods)
- Limit products that are high in saturated fats
Healthiest Cooking Oils
If you are going to use oils in your cooking you should consider using extra virgin olive oil. It has loads of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Extra virgin olive oil is also high in monounsaturated fats. The following oils should be considered as they obtain both monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats:
- Avocado Oil
- Sunflower Oil
- Almond Oil
- Peanut Oil
- Sesame Oil
- Vegetable/Corn Oil