Is coconut oil really good for you?

Is coconut oil really good for you ?

Recently, there are some claims that coconut oil has many benefits for our body, such as helping to lose weight, preventing cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis, and even delaying the progression of Alzheimer's disease, etc. To find out the truth, we interviewed some professionals. Many professionals have pointed out that at this stage there are not enough clinical studies to prove that coconut oil has the above-mentioned effects. A safer approach is to understand the ingredients of coconut oil and objectively analyze whether it is suitable to use coconut oil as daily cooking oil. .

The fatty acid structure of common edible oils can generally be divided into three types: saturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids. The following is the proportion of fatty acids contained in our commonly used cooking oils :

Fat content of coconut oil

( List data source: Hexin Cancer Center Hospital website )

edible oil

Fatty acid composition (%)

saturated fatty acid

Monounsaturated fatty acids (ω-9)

Polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω-6) and (ω-3)

coconut oil








palm oil




chicken fat




olive oil




High quality sunflower oil




Tea oil




canola oil




Rapeseed oil




pure peanut oil




Pure sesame oil




Corn oil




Soy Salad Oil




sunflower oil




Safflower seed oil




As can be seen from the picture above, coconut oil is a vegetable oil containing about 90% saturated fatty acids, which is twice as high as lard and chicken fat. The lauric acid contained in coconut oil is a saturated fatty acid, and studies have found that lauric acid has a stronger ability to increase good cholesterol than other saturated fatty acids. However, you should also pay attention to the relationship between dietary saturated fat and heart disease. The American Heart Association has issued a recommendation report on dietary fat and heart disease, which explains the close relationship between the two. Excessive dietary intake of saturated fatty acids will increase blood cholesterol levels, thereby increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease. According to the World Health Organization's standards, the average adult's saturated fat intake should be less than 10% of their caloric intake . Therefore, long-term excessive consumption of coconut oil may also increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

According to a June 2017 research report by the American Heart Association , it is recommended that people control their intake of saturated fat and should limit it to no more than 5 % of total calorie intake. Compared with coconut oil, nutritionists recommend that you choose some vegetable oils rich in unsaturated fats to replace coconut oil in your daily diet. These vegetable oils are also rich in vitamin E , which helps maintain good health. For example:

  • canola oil
  • olive oil
  • grape seed oil
  • Sunflower seed oil
  • corn oil
  • Rapeseed oil
  • Safflower seed oil
  • Soybean oil

Can coconut oil help control weight?
As for the claim that coconut oil can help control weight, American registered dietitian Zhu Huijun pointed out: "There is currently no reliable scientific evidence to prove that coconut oil can reduce weight. In fact, like other edible oils, coconut is very high in calories. Coconut oil contains 115 calories per tablespoon , so it is unlikely to help with weight loss. On the contrary, excessive consumption may increase the risk of obesity."

Delaying Alzheimer's Disease?
Furthermore, there are also some claims that eating coconut oil can help delay dementia. Since the first choice nutrient for human brain cells is glucose , when the blood does not have enough glucose, the brain will use ketones as the second choice nutrient. In early stages of Alzheimer's disease, brain cells are less able to use glucose, and later their ability to function is reduced because the brain is deprived of nutrients. The medium-key fatty acids in coconut oil enable the body to produce keto acids for use by brain cells. Therefore, there is a theory that coconut oil can be used as an alternative energy source for the brain and help improve symptoms of brain degeneration.

However, returning to the basis of evidence, in June 2013 , the United States conducted a clinical trial on the potential effects of coconut oil on the human body. However, because the number of people participating in the trial was insufficient to provide strong results, according to the Alzheimer's Society of Canada and the United Kingdom , there are currently no research results to support this statement.

In addition, according to the Alzheimer's Society , fats like coconut oil may indirectly increase levels of a protein called acetylcholinesterase. The increase in its protein level is closely related to Alzheimer's disease, and reducing the level of this protein is currently used as one of the methods to treat Alzheimer's disease.

Therefore, before any food can be successfully proven to be effective in treating disease and can be widely used, it is very important to ensure that the food is safe for patients to consume. If you want to maintain a healthy body, you still need to follow a balanced diet and do moderate exercise regularly to effectively reduce the chance of common health problems .

Special thanks to : American registered dietitian Zhu Huijun for providing professional opinions on this article and Natalie Wong of WE60

Related websites:

  • Alzheimer's Society- Coconut oil and dementia ( English version only )
  • Tianxia Culture - When you get older, you become a third-class citizen
  • American Heart Association-Healthy Cooking Oils ( English version only )
  • Healthy at Work Plan Miracle Coconut Oil?
  • Nutrition and Health Notebook -Coconut oil prevents all diseases?