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ask: What are the benefits of coconut oil?

By Shana O'Connor
 
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I hear coconut oil is good for you. What are the benefits of cooking with it? What about oil pulling? Are there other oils that are just as good for you as coconut oil? Any tips on buying the right coconut oil in the store?

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Maryann Gromisch RN Guide

Hello Shana,
Coconut oil appears to be the latest food cure all. Claims are more testimonials than clinical evidence.

According to Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, DrPH, of Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health. "All that has been studied well is the impact of coconut oil on cholesterol levels and the findings are intriguing but we still don't know if it is harmful or beneficial."

Be aware, pure virgin coconut oil, containing no hydrogenation (the process of adding hydrogen to make a liquid fat hard), contains 92% saturated fat -- the highest amount of saturated fat of any fat.

Coconut oil, like all saturated fats, should be limited to 7%-10% of calories because it can increase risk for heart disease.

Coconut oil is better than butter and trans fats but liquid vegetable oils are better for your health. Coconut oil is cholesterol free, but remember that it is a saturated fat and should be limited in your diet.
Soybean, canola, corn, or olive oil are better choices.

Oil pulling works with any type of oil. Some people prefer the fairly pleasant taste of coconut oil.

Purchase extra virgin coconut oil.

I hope this was helpful.
Regards,
Maryann

July 17, 2014 - 4:02pm
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