Q: I am very confused about coconut oil. Should I use it or avoid it like the plague? My GP has told me it’s fantastic, but my nutritionist has told me to use it infrequently because of the high saturated fat percentage.
“Coconut oil is 85–91% saturated fat, half of which is a fat called lauric acid, which raises LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol. While there have been a few studies that show the medium chain fats in coconut oil might have some benefits, like increasing your HDL (‘good’) cholesterol and aiding weight loss, there is not enough good quality research to recommend using it. The National Heart Foundation recommends limiting your intake of saturated fat to reduce your risk of heart disease. Try to avoid coconut oil or use it only occasionally, and use oils with low levels of saturated fats, like olive and canola, most of the time.”