DETROIT (WWJ) – There’s been a lot of buzz about the health benefits of coconut oil — but should you believe it?

While claims of promoting weight loss by curbing your appetite, to improving your brain function and boosting your immune system abound, one organization is questioning the link between coconut oil and a healthy heart.

The American Heart Association recently released a report advising against the use of coconut oil in your diet. Researchers reviewed data and found no difference between coconut oil and other oils high in saturated fat like butter, beef fat and palm oil.

In fact, 82 percent of the fat in coconut oil is saturated, according to the data — far beyond butter (63 percent), beef fat (50 percent) and pork lard (39 percent).

“Coconut oil can actually make your cholesterol levels worse by increasing your LDL, which is the levels os bad cholesterol,” said Grace DeRocha is a registered dietitian with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

The AHA recommends eating no more than 6 percent of saturated fat as part of total daily calories for those who need lower cholesterol.

DeRocha told WWJ’s Dr. Deanna Lites that misinformation about coconut oil may come from previous weight loss studies.

Researchers say when it comes to coconut oil, it’s better to use it on your body as opposed to in your body. Coconut oil has gained fame as an effective body moisturizer or hair conditioner.

The AHA says olive oil and vegetable oil may be better options when in cooking.


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