Coconut oil, butter, and other saturated-fat foods exonerated by emerging evidence 02/12/2016
For decades, health officials and the news media demonized fat.
- Replacing saturated fats with omega-6-laden vegetable oils raises the risk of death from cardiovascular disease, even though these oils lower blood cholesterol levels.
- Health authorities should reconsider the claim that omega-6 fats reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Macadamia nut oil is very low in omega-6s, and very high in heart-neutral monounsaturated fat.
- Extra virgin olive oil is low in omega-6s, and rich in both heart-neutral monounsaturated fat and potent antioxidants that enhance artery health.
- Coconut oil is very low in omega-6s, and high in particularly healthful saturated fats (see "Coconut oil: A rising nutritional star", below).
- Sunflower oils labeled "high-oleic" are very low in omega-6s, and very high in heart-neutral monounsaturated fat (oleic acid).
- Canola oil contains substantially less omega-6 fat than the "bad" oils, small but significant amounts of omega-3s, and lots of heart-neutral monounsaturated fat. To avoid GMO canola oil, look for organic brands.
- Compared with other saturated fat sources, coconut oil lowers LDL ("bad”) cholesterol levels slightly, and raises HDL ("good") cholesterol levels slightly.
- Compared with monounsaturated fats (abundant in olive oil) and omega-6 fats (abundant in cheap vegetable oils), it raises LDL levels slightly and lowers HDL levels slightly.
- Don't replace calories from fat with calories from refined carbs.
- Balance your intake of polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and saturated fats.
- Avoid the vegetable oils highest in omega-6 fats: corn, soy, cottonseed, and regular, (low-oleic) versions of sunflower and safflower oil.
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