Is Coconut Oil Bad For You?

is-coconut-oil-bad-for-youLong a cornerstone to ayurvedic medicine and revered by tropical civilizations, coconut oil has a surprisingly long history in food and medicine throughout the world.

In folk medicine, coconut oil is said to have antibacterial properties, help cleanse the urinary tract, help heal wounds, prevent scars, aid a healthy complexion, and even enable an increased metabolism. However, in various health circles, the oil has been somewhat controversial when it comes to recent health and medical studies.

Coconut oil is pressed from the meat of a mature coconut and gets a bad rap because it is high in saturated fat, but the composition of its fat is unlike any other fat. Coconut oil is comprised primarily of medium-length-chain fatty acids and triglycerides, whereas the vast majority of fats that humans consume contain long-chain fatty acids. While the medium-length triglycerides are primarily saturated fats, due to the size of the molecules, the human body digests them differently than your typical saturated fats. This is why coconut oil is not considered to be a “bad fat” by some of its ardent supporters.

However, most medical doctors and nutritionists still say that coconut oil can raise blood cholesterol. Remember that when it comes to calories, coconut oil is still a fat — it has almost twice the number of calories than a carbohydrate or protein. Up-to-date health studies still maintain that people should limit all fats, especially saturated kinds like coconut oil, in order to prevent type 2 diabetes.


  1. Jennifer-

    I believe you are mistaken when it comes to your beliefs regarding coconut oil. The New York Times States -“Most of the studies involving coconut oil were done with partially hydrogenated coconut oil, which researchers used because they needed to raise the cholesterol levels of their rabbits in order to collect certain data,” Dr. Brenna said. “Virgin coconut oil, which has not been chemically treated, is a different thing in terms of a health risk perspective.”

    Virgin Coconut oil does not raise Cholesterol or cause Diabetes. Virgin Coconut oil actually helps to reverse the effects of diabetes and lower Cholesterol while preventing heart disease. Please take the time to research more studies about coconut oil before making false statements, and read the book “The Miracle of Coconut Oil”.

    Thank you

    • Skinny Chef says:

      Hi Laurie,

      Thanks for writing in, I think coconut oil is ok in moderation but there still isn’t a ton of research out their on the saturated fats in the virgin type. I defer to Joy Bauer on this one who still recommends oils live olive over virgin coconut.

      • Hello again-

        While Joy Bauer seems to have a website and a personal opinion regarding coconut oil, that does not mean she knowledgable about all of the studies and proven benefits of coconut oil. In the end she is not a doctor so I wouldn’t take her as seriously as someone who is medically trained. Dr. Oz states: “Conventional thought used to consider fats like coconut oil to be unhealthy and contribute to heart disease. We now know that this isn’t true. In fact, coconut oil is actually a heart healthy food that can keep your body running smoother in a few different ways.”

        Dr. OZ goes on to elaborate ..

        How does coconut oil help keep weight balanced?

        “Coconut fats have special fats called medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). It has been shown that breaking down these types of healthy fats in the liver leads to efficient burning of energy. One 2009 study found that women who consumed 30 milliliters (about 2 tablespoons) of coconut oil daily for 12 weeks not only did not gain more weight, but actually had lowered amounts of abdominal fat, a type of fat that is difficult to lose, and contributes to more heart problems.”

        The proof is in the coconut…

        • Hi Laurie.. Just what I was looking for.. I just started putting coconut oil in my morning coffee.. does it have to be virgin coconut oil though or is any coconut oil ok?

          • The coconut oil you use should be virgin. If you use anything else then it is probably hydrogenated and a trans fat which is no good. Trader Joe’s has a good brand, about $8 for a jar.

        • Dr. Oz says so so it must be true!!!

          Haha, what a joke, Dr. Oz has pretty much lost any credibility among his peers with all his holistic nonsense. Most of what he recommends isn’t proven at all, or he reefers to some poorly done study with no conclusive results. Where he should be warning people not to take these things because there’s no proof they do anything, he does the exact opposite. I guess you can’t blame him since he gets paid to promote all this stuff. Today Coconut Oil is the miracle, yesterday it was Red Palm Oil, before it was Green Coffee Bean extract, and so on. I can’t believe people blindly follow what he’s selling, he’s a modern day snake oil salesman.

  2. I am sure my forfathers were not from the tropics so it might work differently for them.I think meat and poultry is not the most healthy food.It reminds me of butter which i do not use that is why I love cheese, sourmilk, and ordinary milk because you have calcium left and maybee that is what you need with saturated fats maybee also with coconut oil.For coffee i think kokonut milk is OK and also to mix cream 40 % fat.canola oil,milk, coconut milk and quality sugar containing minerals and whip it and then use it for a fruit salad.Maybee to use a little flakes sometimes but to use the oil no thanks.I think you will get the same problems as with butter , a fatty substance deprived of minerals,full of saturated fats but no minerals.I prefer olive or canola oil it is the best.This I learned in spain.Instead of butter spread some oil on the bread.Butter,Margarine,Coconut oil, no thanks.

    • sorry Bo, you couldn’t be more wrong.

      The health benefits of coconut oil include hair care, skin care, stress relief, maintaining cholesterol levels, weight loss, increased immunity, proper digestion and metabolism, relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV and cancer, dental care, and bone strength. These benefits of oil can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, and its properties such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial and soothing properties.

      Coconut oil is used extensively in tropical countries especially India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Phillipines etc, which have a good production of coconut oil. The oil was also once popular in western countries such as United States and Canada; however, there was a strong propoganda in 1970s spread by the corn oil and soy oil industry against coconut oil. Coconut oil was considered harmful for the human body due to its high saturated fat content till the last decade (2000s) when people started questioning this propoganda. Let us get into some details of how coconut oil works for our body.

      Butter is natural and a million times better for you than margarine, which has the same properties as plastic. Please do not lump these together – and do some research. Maybe take some Nutrition classes to become less ignorant about health food, knowledge is power. Clearly you are lacking knowledge in this area.

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