Dear Ask Alison, Is coconut oil good for you?~ Evelyn T., O'Fallon
Defenders of coconut oil claim that the medium-chain triglycerides (MCT’s) behave differently in the body than animal fat and when consumed in moderation have nutritional benefits, such as anti-viral properties, which outweigh the heart risks.
So is it friend or foe? Just like with coffee, dark chocolate, and myriad others, research can contradict, evolve, or be limited in scope. For instance, a study showing the effects of caffeine on digestion may not investigate the effects on the heart. In short, what’s right for some may not be right for others.
My suggestion is to talk to your doctor about what’s best for you based on your history, lifestyle, and health goals. Also, read, read, read, and not just on social media! Here are 3 places to get started:
1. Find news and latest research in the Library’s Total Search bar:
2. Look for books in the Library catalog:
3. Try these keyword searches in Medline Plus:
- Coconut Oil
- Dietary Fats
- Cholesterol and Lifestyle
Liu, A. G., Ford, N. A., Hu, F. B., Zelman, K. M., Mozaffarian, D., & Kris-Etherton, P. M. (2017). A healthy approach to dietary fats: understanding the science and taking action to reduce consumer confusion. Nutrition Journal, 16, 53. http://doi.org/10.1186/s12937-017-0271-4