No evidence for claims of coconut oil’s health benefits

Coconut oil has been touted as a healthy fat with an array of beneficial effects, but these claims lack evidence, according to Frank Sacks, professor of cardiovascular disease prevention at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Coconut oil—a saturated fat, like butter and beef fat—raises blood levels of artery-damaging LDL cholesterol, Sacks said in a January 4, 2021 New York Times article. Coconut oil is also known to raise blood levels of HDL cholesterol, which is thought to protect against heart disease, although no clear-cut benefit has been demonstrated. Sacks said, “It is unknown which, if any, foods or nutrients that raise HDL cholesterol do so in a way that reduces atherosclerosis and coronary events.”

Other experts quoted in the article suggested that it was okay for those who like the taste of coconut oil to use it in limited amounts.

Read the New York Times article: Does Coconut Oil Deserve Its Health Halo?

Learn more

Coconut oil may not be as healthy as many people think it is (Harvard Chan School news)

Setting the record straight: It’s best to swap out saturated fats for healthier fats (Harvard Chan School news)