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Is coconut oil healthy?

  1. I recently bought coconut oil and used it daily. Now I found out that coconut oil is a saturated fat. I thought all vegetable oil was made up of the beneficial unsaturated fat. I just quit the coconut oil. How is it exactly? And how do I know which oil is saturated and which is not?

  1. Patricia Schutte, nutritionist It is not the case that all vegetable fats are automatically unsaturated. For example, coconut oil contains the most saturated fat of all types of fat and therefore has an unfavorable effect on the cholesterol level in the blood. That is why it is better not to eat coconut fat too often.

Insufficient proof

  1. You read a lot on the internet about positive effects, and also that coconut contains a form of saturated fat that is actually healthy. But this has not been sufficiently proven. The European Food Safety Organization (EFSA) has therefore not approved any health claims about coconut fat. The Nutrition Center therefore recommends using coconut oil or fat only in exceptional cases. And that also applies to the fruit and coconut milk. How do you recognize unsaturated fat? These beneficial fats can occur in both vegetable and animal products. Vegetable products (such as oils) do contain relatively more unsaturated fat than animal products, such as dairy and meat. Fat that is soft or liquid at room temperature contains a relatively large amount of unsaturated fat, especially polyunsaturated. Think of liquid baking and roasting products and margarine in a tub.

Cardiovascular disease It is impossible not to get saturated fat. But those who choose less fatty varieties of dairy, meat and meat products and do not eat too much chocolate, biscuits, pastry, snacks and pretzels, will not consume too much. If you exchange 5 percent of the calories from saturated fat for calories from unsaturated fat, that reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease by about 20 percent. Replacing with carbohydrates has no effect, or possibly even an unfavorable effect on the risk of cardiovascular disease. Do you prefer products with less saturated fat? Then compare products using the label. Or look up the product in the Nutrition Centre's calorie checker. Do you also have a question? Then ask one of our experts. Always go to your doctor with urgent questions, the experts are not the right person for that. They also don't make diagnoses. You can find the other conditions here. Patricia Schutte has worked for more than 25 years as an information officer at the Netherlands Nutrition Center in The Hague. She answers questions about healthy, sustainable and safe food. A Don't miss anything anymore?

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