Originally Posted by Will Moore
What do you think about Coconut. I know it is the most saturated of all fats yet this is its natural state....it wasn't genetically altered or manufactured to be that way. This tells me that it must be a healthy thing....unlike industrial meat with marbled fat that is the result of human intervention. You see all the studies showing people from island nations who are free of heart disease that consume coconut on a daily basis. Yet, I still worry about eating them. Could it be that these people do well on Coconut because they and their ancestors have been eating these things for thousands of years. However, people like me, of Northern European ancestry would have never seen or been exposed to a Coconut. Does this mean I may not respond well to them and they would be potentially detrimental to my health?
As you say cocount oil has been part of the diet of some South-East Asian countries eg. Sri Lanka (link
) for many years with little evidence that it increases the risk of CVD but this may be because they tend eat largely plant based diets and favour seafood over red meat. In clinical trials coconut oil has been shown to increase levels of both total and LDL cholesterol as you'd expect with any saturated fat but to a lesser degree than butter (link
) so it may be preferable to use it in place of butter for frying at high temperatures.
As there is no dietary requirement for saturated fat though I would tend to err on the side of caution and aim to get most of my fat from nuts, seeds, fish and olive oil rather than increase my saturated fat intake because as it says in The Macronutrient Report
saturated fats "have not been associated with any beneficial role in preventing chronic disease"
) and "there is a positive linear trend between total saturated fatty acid intake and total and low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol concentration and increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD)"