Is coconut good for you?

Updated: May 11, 2019


Coconut is one of the rare plant sources of saturated fat among palm oil and cocoa butter.

Are you using coconut oil when cooking?


Whereas coconut and all its byproducts might have gained a popularity recently as healthy, think twice next time before consuming the giant tropical drupe (not a nut, fruit or seed fyi).


"Coconut is one of the rare plant sources of saturated fat among palm oil and cocoa butter."

Saturated fat, normally only found in animals is the kind of fat that raises LDL or the "bad" cholesterol which can lead to artery clogging and increase the risk of our number one killer, heart disease.


Other plant sources that are rich in saturated fat are palm oil, palm kernel oil and cocoa butter.



The "safe" coconut products that you can consume are the ones that have had the fat removed or used a small part of it. Such as coconut water, coconut milk and coconut flour (shown in the image).


Pure coconut flesh, cream, flakes, shredded coconut etc are very high in fat and should be kept to a minimum.


Although, consuming coconut has been proven to be safer than butter, meaning it raises your LDL cholesterol at a lesser degree.



During a clinical trial a sample of people were given 2 tbsp of coconut oil a day for 3 months and their LDL cholesterol went up just slightly but not significantly. That was because of the fact that they were also losing weight at the same time by being on a calorie restrictive diet.


Being overweight will increase your LDL cholesterol and consequently your risk of heart disease but that doesn't mean that if you're not overweight you should consume coconut oil, cream etc.


If you can't leave without it or can't wrap your head around the fact that it may be harming your health then decrease the use of high-fat coconut byproducts to twice a week as a starting point.

2020. Copyright by Miguel Caçador Yiallourides
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