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The truth about coconut oil

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

Emma Stone uses coconut oil as makeup remover. Mindy Kaling applies it to her hair as a mask. And Mandy Moore loves how it hydrates her skin. All appealing ways to use the oil that's loaded with sat fat and medium-chain fatty acids. But when it comes to eating coconut oil, that's another story. Despite claims that it's good for your heart and other organs, it's important to do some fact -- and fat -- checking.

Pros or cons? When it comes to the claim that coconut oil can be heart healthy, a recent study in Circulation found that compared with other plant-based oils, it doesn't help reduce waist circumference or body fat, and consumption increases lousy LDL cholesterol levels, upping your risk for heart disease.

Another recent trial, published in BMJ Open, examined the potential benefits of EVCO -- yup, that's extra-virgin coconut oil -- and found that over a four-week period, neither EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil) nor EVCO increased LDL levels. But there's not enough research to say if EVCO is comparatively healthier than regular coconut oil in the long run. We're betting it's not, and may be downright less healthy than omega-3's 7's and 9's in fish oil, avocado oil, walnuts and extra virgin olive oil.

As for the claim that coconut oil is used in traditional cuisines where people have lower rates of heart disease than the U.S. -- those societies also eat heart-healthy, plant-based diets and more fish. Coconut oil is not the likely cause of their heart health.

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Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit www.sharecare.com.

(c)2020 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2020 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.
 

 

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