If consumed in moderation and accompanied by a healthy diet and plenty of exercise, coconut oil is great for the body, skin and hair, say experts.
Mahesh Jayaraman, medical researcher, therapist, health advisor and co-founder of health platform Sepalika.com, and Ishika Sachdev, holistic nutritionist, bust myths around the oil.
Myth: Coconut oil causes heart disease
Fact: Coconut oil is as far as possible from being harmful to your heart health. The reason this myth was perpetuated was because of its large percentage of saturated fat. Advanced research has proved that naturally occurring fats aren’t what damage your heart. Instead processed foods and those containing large quantities of refined sugars and high fructose corn syrup are what are making heart troubles widespread.
Myth: It tastes coconuty
Fact: Coconut oil comes in two variants: Refined and virgin/cold pressed — and not all varieties have a coconuty flavour. Refined coconut oil has literally no taste or odour, these are often refined, bleached, and deodorised so that they can be consumed easily.
However, hydrogenated coconut oil should be avoided at all costs as the process can create synthetic trans-fats. Go for coconut oil that has been refined using a natural and chemical-free process. And if a slight coconut flavour in your food doesn’t make it unpalatable for you then opt for the virgin variety.
Myth: Coconut oil has high cholesterol
Fact: Coconut oil is made up of medium-chain triglycerides which are a super fuel that are used up by our bodies very efficiently. In fact, they contribute towards a better cholesterol profile. This means that either your overall cholesterol levels go down or your good cholesterol levels go up on substantial consumption of coconut oil. And ultimately it’s the ratio of your total cholesterol to your good cholesterol that determines how healthy you really are.