This past week, Coconut Oil was smeared on the news like a scandal in a small town. You may have seen articles on your newsfeed like USA Today’s “Coconut Oil isn’t healthy. It’s never been healthy,” Shape Magazine’s “Coconut Oil Might Not Be as Healthy as You Think,” or you’ve seen it discussed on ABC, Fox News, CNN, and the Today Show. We’ve been asked multiple times how Simply Sunflower Oil compares with Coconut Oil. Below is some research to help you make an educated and healthy choice for your family’s cooking!
Pinterest and health blogs previously presented coconut oil to be one of the best options for your health. The New York Times shared 72% of Americans have considered coconut oil a healthy food as opposed to only 37% of nutritionists(1). So is coconut oil a good choice for your health?
Last week, the American Heart Association published a presidential advisory about the harmful effects of saturated fats and they urged Americans to eat less of them(2). The biggest shock to the public was that coconut oil was included on the list of unhealthy fats. The advisory highlights the 82% of saturated fat in coconut oil, which is even higher than butter. Their study also documented that coconut oil increased bad cholesterol in 7 of 10 trials. The American Heart Association published, “Because coconut oil increases LDL cholesterol, a cause of CVD [Cardiovascular Diseases], and has no known offsetting favorable effects, we advise against the use of coconut oil.”
Why did I previously think Coconut Oil was healthy?
Two articles published in 2003 stated that coconut oil can help burn fat because of medium chain fatty acids(3, 4). This sounds great to the general public! However, the participants in that study received a custom-made concoction of 100% medium chain fatty acids. Coconut Oil is made up of only 14% medium chain fatty acids, which is not usually emphasized in marketing.
It’s been thought that coconut oil may raise your good cholesterol(5). However, consuming ANY fat in the diet whether it is saturated or unsaturated will tend to raise HDL, shares Harvard nutrition professor Dr. Walter C. Willett. “Coconut oil's special HDL-boosting effect may make it "less bad" than the high saturated fat content would indicate, but it's still probably not the best choice among the many available oils to reduce the risk of heart disease"(6).
Coconut Oil has also been advertised to have a high smoke point. The smoke point for coconut oil is 350ºF. Most people heat their oil above 400ºF. for sautéing and frying. In addition to imparting a burnt flavor to your food, heating oil past it’s smoke point will destroy beneficial nutrients and phytochemicals and create harmful free radicals. It’s better to use an oil with a higher smoke point.
Looking at the facts:
So, is coconut oil bad for you? The American Heart Association strongly advises against it. With so many healthy options, why not make a wise choice instead? Here is a side-by-side comparison of coconut oil and Simply Sunflower Oil.
As the above table shows, Simply Sunflower Oil contains less saturated (bad) fat and greater unsaturated (good) fat than coconut oil. Simply Sunflower Oil also contains significantly more Vitamin E, has a higher smoke point, and is sourced right here in the United States. The healthier option is clear!
We want to enable customers daily to make a wise choice for their health! Please feel free to comment or contact us directly with any questions you have about our product. Purchase Simply Sunflower Oil today at one of these locations or online!
The Simply Sunflower Team
(1) The New York Times, "Is Sushi Healthy? What about Granola? Where Americans and Nutritionists Disagree."
(2) American Heart Association, “Dietary Fats and Cardiovascular Disease: A Presidential Advisory from the American Heart Association”
(3) National Center for Biotechnology Information, "Medium-versus long chain triglycerides for 27 days increases fat oxidation and energy expenditure without resulting in changes in body composition in overweight women."
(4) National Center for Biotechnology Information, “Medium-Chain Triglycerides Increase Energy Expenditure and Decrease Adiposity in Overweight Men”
(5) National Center for Biotechnology Information, “Coconut oil consumption and cardiovascular risk factors in humans
(6) Harvard Health Publications, “Ask the Doctor: Coconut Oil”