I’ve had a few questions recently about the relative benefits of coconut oil.
A: We-ell… yes, yes, and yes, but not in this case.
Coconut oil is indeed rich in saturated fat, with a much higher percentage than the common culprits: meat, butter and other dairy products. However, the type of saturated fat is what sets this oil apart. Take a look at the breakdown:
Lauric acid (49%) | Myristic acid (18%) | Caprylic acid (8%) |Palmitic acid (8%) | Capric acid (7%) | Oleic acid (6%) | Stearic acid (2%) | Linoleic acid (2%)
These fatty acids, particularly with the high level of lauric acid, have a curiously advantageous effect on blood lipids and cholesterol. While we usually think of saturated fats as increasing ‘bad’ (LDL) cholesterol and reducing ‘good’ (HDL) cholesterol, the combination in coconut oil does quite the opposite.