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Coconut Oil

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From Glenn: "Just started reading the new book and I'm interested on your take regarding coconut oil. There seems to be many different opinions about whether it is good for you."

Here is the quick skinny on coconut oil. First, it is predominantly a saturated fat (90% vs. butter that is 65% saturated). Saturated fat increases your LDL, or your bad cholesterol. However, some fats in your diet can also increase your HDL, your good cholesterol. Some early studies have shown that coconut oil may have an especially positive effect on your HDL. Furthermore, plant oils, even coconut oil, have other substances that benefit health, many of which we are still discovering. However, I would not go overboard on coconut oil. There have been NO long term studies on its health effects, such as heart disease risk. It has great flavor, but use it sparingly. It still has 9 whopping calories per gram and the benefits of other plant-based oils, which are much lower in saturated fats and high in unsaturated fats (such as olive oil) may far outweigh those from consuming coconut oil -- unsaturated fats will both increase your HDL and decrease your LDL, a far better physiological outcome.