Sales of coconut oil have increased all around the world!
This is owing to celebrity endorsements and claims that drinking the stuff will cure everything from bad breath to digestive disorders.
Actress Angelina Jolie-Pitt is said to have a tablespoon or so with her breakfast most mornings, while model Miranda Kerr says she not only adds it to salads and smoothies, but she cooks with it and splashes it on her skin as well.
According to the BBC, the health claims that swirl around coconut oil are treated with a great deal of scepticism by scientists.
If anything coconut oil is seen, in the scientific community, as an unhealthy fat. It is very high in saturated fat (86%), even more so than butter (51%) or lard (39%).
The reason that foods rich in saturated fats are frowned on is because eating them causes a rise in blood levels of LDL (low density lipoprotein).
LDL is known as “bad cholesterol” because high levels are linked with increased risk of heart disease.
On the other hand, saturated fats – which are particularly bad for you – also tend to raise HDL, “good” cholesterol, which has the opposite effect. It is possible that a particular food can raise overall cholesterol levels, yet still be heart-friendly.