Topeka dietitians explain why coconut oil isn’t good nutritionally


TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – It can be used on your skin, hair, and in your food. Lately, people just can’t get enough of coconut oil. But a local dietitian, reports it may not be so good for you nutritionally.

“Typically from a nutrition standpoint, I don’t recommend coconut oil. Obviously, if someone is using it, I recommend other options like olive oil or canola oil.  Something that has a really good heart healthy fats. So we’re looking at unsaturated fats,” said Lacee Pinkerton, a dietitian at the Cotton O’Neil Health Center.

And that’s what it all comes down to, saturated fats and it’s extremely high in coconut oil.

“Ninety-one percent of the fat in coconut oil is saturated fat, which is what we want to limit as much as possible. If you have a diet high in saturated fat it can raise your bad cholesterol, which is the LDL,” said Pinkerton.

Although the saturated fat can contribute to high cholesterol, there isn’t actually any cholesterol in it.

Pinkerton said cholesterol only comes from any type of animal source out there.

“So anything that comes from the ground does not have cholesterol in it.  I think that’s where people get confused. If there’s no cholesterol then it’s a good food for me.”

But it’s not, with saturated fats to blame, and the health concerns are real.

“If you’re getting too much of it in your diet it’s going to raise your cholesterol levels, it’s going to build up in your arteries, cause plaque buildup. So that’s where we get into trouble and it leads to heart disease,” said Pinkerton.

Even though coconut oil may not be good for your nutrition, dietitians say you may think about using it for your skin and hair instead. It’s a big hit in the cosmetic industry!

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