Coconut oil may help lower the risk of heart disease and the chances of a stroke, according to a study by researchers from the University of Cambridge.
There has been much debate on whether coconut oil provides advantages or disadvantages to a person's well-being. However, the latest study shows that the substance, which comes with more saturated fat compared to lard and butter, has a significant health benefit.
Coconut Oil Is Good For You, Says New Study
In June 2017, the American Heart Association said that coconut oil is unhealthy, claiming that it is filled with saturated fat which increases bad cholesterol. The statement was a controversial one, as coconut oil was being touted for supposed health benefits.
However, there have been studies that support coconut oil health benefits. The latest one, authored by Kay-Tee Khaw and Nita Forouhi for the BBC2 series of Trust Me I'm A Doctor, claims that regular consumption of coconut oil for just one month will lower the chances of heart disease and stroke.
The study involved 94 volunteers with ages of 50 years old to 75 years old. The subjects, all of which had no history of diabetes or heart disease, were separated into three groups, with each group consuming 50 grams of a certain food item daily. The first group was for extra virgin coconut oil, the second group was for extra virgin olive oil, and the third group for unsalted butter.
After four weeks, the third group eating unsalted butter saw a 10 percent increase in their LDL cholesterol, or "bad cholesterol." The second group saw a slight decrease in LDL cholesterol and a 5 percent increase in HDL cholesterol, or "good cholesterol."
However, for the first group, HDL cholesterol increased by 15 percent. This means that, in just one month, regular consumption of coconut oil already resulted in lower risk of developing heart diseases or suffering a stroke, as these are the benefits of HDL cholesterol.
Food For The Heart
The study provides evidence that coconut oil is good for a person's heart. However, there are other kinds of food that provide the same health benefits.
The World Health Organization recommended an increase in potassium intake for reduced blood pressure, which would lower the odds of heart disease and stroke. Examples of such food include bananas, avocados, raisins, sweet potatoes, spinach, and coconut water.
Researchers also recently made the surprising discovery that consuming small amounts of cheese daily decreases the risk of coronary heart disease by 14 percent and reduces the chance of a stroke by 10 percent.