Coconut oil – yay or nay?
In a word, no. It’s easy to get sucked into nutrition fads when every day brings a new superfood, but it’s time to knock coconut oil off its pedestal once and for all. ‘Coconut oil is made up of a type of fat called medium-chain triglycerides (MCTS),’ explains Harley Street nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert. ‘These MCTS have a relatively simpler digestion and absorption process than their longer-chain counterparts, which is why it has been suggested that the body burns more fat when you include them in your diet – but it’s not that simple.’ Well, what of its much-lauded bacteria-busting lauric acid content? ‘There is no strong scientific evidence to support health benefits from cooking with coconut oil,’ says the British Nutrition Foundation. What we do know for sure is that coconut oil is high in saturated fats, meaning it shouldn’t be consumed in excessive amounts. ‘Remember that there is no such thing as a superfood,’ says Lambert. ‘Nothing can provide more health benefits than a wellbalanced diet. So if you like the taste of food cooked in coconut oil, enjoy it in moderation by sticking to a teaspoon per serving.’ EVOO, anyone?