Have you given into the coconut oil hype?
Coconut oil has certainly gained a lot of popularity and hype in the last few years, but the humble olive oil (in particular extra virgin olive oil) has solid research to display it’s beneficial health effects.
Olive oil is most known for its beneficial unsaturated fat and polyphenol content.
Polyphenols are bioactive compounds which have been proven to provide positive health effects through their protective properties.
However, these are usually present in highest amounts in Extra Virgin Olive Oil and then the levels will depend on freshness, the olive cultivator, the environment and technological factors.
Regardless of whether olive oil is Extra Virgin Olive Oil or just conventional olive oil, it will still be a rich source of the heart-healthy unsaturated fatty acids.
Olive oil is typically a large part of the Mediterranean diet, which has been long linked to lower levels of chronic disease and is conducive of a long, healthy life expectancy.
Coconut oil has gained a lot of hype in recent years with many claiming very beneficial health outcomes.
While there are some good nutritional aspects of coconut oil, most of the research does not align with the claims that have come to light.
The main point of contention for coconut oil is that it contains a special kind of saturated fat called lauric acid, which is thought to mimic unsaturated fat in the body providing positive health effects.
However, coconut oil is 92% saturated fat (unhealthy fat linked with high blood cholesterol) and current literature states that regardless of the potential lauric acid benefits, consumption of coconut oil leads to a rise in cholesterol and unfavourable LDL cholesterol in the blood.
If you choose to include coconut oil in your diet, make sure it is part of a wide varied diet which includes adequate amounts of fruit, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds.
I would certainly recommend making Extra Virgin Olive Oil your main oil of use.