Co­conut oil – yay or nay?

Women's Health (UK) - - CONTENTS -

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?

Oiled up

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