Well, it looks like the coconut oil bubble has finally burst. According to new research from the American Heart Association, the trendy health and beauty product is, as it turns out, not all that great for you. Why is this? Apparently, the levels of saturated fat in coconut oil–which have always been known to be high, but, in recent years, have been marketed as a “good” fat –are at 82 percent, which means that it has more fat than butter, beef oil, and pork lard. This means that consuming coconut oil can raise one’s “bad” cholesterol to a dangerous level, potentially leading to heart disease. This is bound to come as a blow to your friend who uses coconut oil as a catch-all cooking and beauty and boyfriend training item, but vindicating for pretty much everyone else , I think.
I myself happen to be a fan of coconut oil (a “coconut head,” if you will). So I must say that, while this news is not exactly surprising to me–trendy “miracle” foods are almost always eventually found to have some sort of negative effect, so it was bound to happen to coconut oil sooner or later–I am still quite saddened by it. There is something so comforting about that jar, filled with unnervingly solid white goop, that melts and becomes unusable once the weather reaches a certain temperature, is there not?
Still, it should be noted that coconut oil is still useful when it comes to many of its body and beauty applications, like DIY moisturizer, shaving cream, and makeup remover. And I will also say that, based on my own anecdotal experience, oil pulling (a Gwyneth Paltrow-endorsed health ritual that involves taking a spoonful of coconut oil, swishing it around in your mouth, and spitting it out “expel toxins” from the system) works. It does not work to rid your body of toxins, obviously, mostly because “toxins” aren’t real, but it does work to make your teeth whiter. So, uh, there’s that.
So. I highly doubt that you are eating coconut oil by the spoonful (though one time, this stranger at a beauty convention forced me to eat some of her coconut oil-based body scrub to prove that, in addition to being able to slough off dead skin cells, it was edible, which, in retrospect, was a little weird), but, in the event that you are, you should probably stop. And if you’ve been cooking with coconut oil rather than olive or other vegetable oils, you can switch back to the one you prefer, since coconut oil isn’t really doing you any favors. But if you only use coconut oil for beauty-related purposes? Well, it won’t do everything for you. But, health-wise, you’ll be just fine.
Are you, too, shocked and saddened by this tragic coconut oil news? Let us know in the comments!