Olive oil has been well studied and proven to bring heart-healthy benefits. The Mediterranean diet’s frequent use of olive oil has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease. So we know all about olive oil- but what about coconut oil? The long demonized coconut oil was banished from our pantries due to its high levels of saturated fat. Saturated fat is linked to a higher risk of heart disease which is why we failed to give it a chance.
Our question this week is whether coconut oil is our friend or our foe? Current science suggests that not every kind of saturated fat is bad. Medium-chain fatty acids metabolize faster than long-chain ones. And they’re more easily absorbed in the small intestine, which means that they skip out on the lymphatic system and are less likely to be deposited in the stomach as fat. It just so happens that coconut oil is made up of lauric acid, which is a medium-chain fatty acid.
It may be surprising to learn that the naturally occurring saturated fat is actually good for us. Coconut oil can improve heart health, boost thyroid, increase metabolism, and even support the immune system. It may be hard to shy away from traditional olive oil- after all, we’ve been using it since forever. The truth is that coconut oil is actually better for cooking under high temperatures. Due to its chemical structure, olive oil is more susceptible to oxidative damage when heated. So it’s time to embrace this new health food and you won’t regret it!