All about coconut oil

All about coconut oil

Coconut oil is ~91% saturated fatty acids, ~7% monounsaturated fatty acids, ~2% omega-6 fatty acids and zero omega-3 fatty acids. According to McCance and Widdowson's 'The Composition of Foods', the fatty acid composition of coconut oil is as follows:-

Coconut oil is ~91% saturated fatty acids, ~7% monounsaturated fatty acids, ~2% omega-6 fatty acids and zero omega-3 fatty acids. According to McCance and Widdowson's 'The Composition of Foods', the fatty acid composition of coconut oil is as follows:-

Name (:0 = sat, :1 = mono, :2 = poly, n6 = omega-6) Quantity (%)
Caprylic Acid (C8:0) 7.5
Capric Acid (C10:0) 7.1
Lauric Acid (C12:0) 47.7
Myristic Acid (C14:0) 15.8
Palmitic Acid (C16:0) 9.0
Stearic Acid (C18:0) 2.4
Arachidic Acid (C20:0) 1.0
Palmitoleic Acid (C16:1) 0.4
Oleic Acid (C18:1) 6.6
Linoleic Acid (C18:2 n6) 1.8

Won't all that saturated fat give me coronary heart disease?

Whether or not you get coronary heart disease depends on your whole diet. According to Prior et al 1981 who studied two populations of Polynesia, Pukapukans and Tokelauans, Pukapukans were getting 26% (male) to 30% (female) of total calories from saturated fats. Tokelauans were getting 47% (male) to 49% (female) of total calories from saturated fats. Tokelauans had total serum cholesterol 35-40mg/dL (0.9-1.03mmol/L) higher than Pukapukans.

As Tokelauans were getting about seven times more energy from saturated fats than the 7% that current healthy eating guidelines recommend, they must have been dropping like flies from coronary heart disease or strokes, right? Wrong. To quote 'Vascular disease is uncommon is both populations and there is no evidence of the high saturated fat intake having a harmful effect in these populations.' How come? Well, if you look at the rest of the Tokelauans' diet, you'll see virtually no refined sugar or cereal products. They weren't eating junk

When Tokelauans migrated to New Zealand, their sat fat intake fell to ~41% of total calories but as they were eating more refined carbs & sugar, their lipid profile got worse.

What are the benefits of coconut oil?

Medium-chain fatty acids are metabolised rapidly without passing through the liver and provide a quick source of energy for muscles. There is evidence that medium-chain fatty acids stimulate the thyroid gland to secrete more T4 & T3 which can be an aid when cutting. There is also evidence that Lauric Acid has anti-bacterial & anti-viral properties. Coconut oil is also good for the skin when rubbed in.

Where can I buy coconut oil?

Don't buy cheap coconut oil. It's almost certainly Refined, Bleached & Deodorised which detracts from its health benefits. The best coconut oils are Organic Virgin Oils.

Nigel Kinbrum

Evidence-Based Diet, Nutrition & Fitness Information, and Random stuff.



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