Does eating coconut increase cholesterol?

Do we get higher cholesterol levels by eating coconut in our regular diet? It is a frequently asked question by many of us. Research has proved that the animal based food in our day to day diet can affect our cholesterol level. Coconut is the most common cooking ingredient in our Indian food recipes.

There are very less food recipes without coconut in our Indian cuisine. Coconut pulp, milk, water and coconut oil are the products we get from coconut. There is no issue regarding tender coconut water but coconut pulp is loaded with saturated fats with can affect the cholesterol level in the blood. Actually this discussion is based on the use of coconut milk or coconut oil in the food. It has been proved that the coconut oil contains very high amount saturated fats that are not so good for heart health. Some of the ayurvedic studies say that the pulp and coconut oil or other products are very good for health and many give the opinion about coconut in a very positive way. The regular consumption of coconut can reduce bad cholesterol and improve the good cholesterol level. Allopathic research studies say that coconut can increase the level of bad cholesterol. Which is true? Does eating coconut increase cholesterol? Here are the information which I gathered for your knowledge.

How is saturated fat harmful to heart?

We have seen that the coconut products do not increase the cholesterol level directly but it provides a high amount of saturated fats to our body. The food items which are rich in saturated fats are not good for our heart health. They increase the risk of heart diseases. Saturated fats can cause the increase in bad cholesterol level that can cause blocking of arteries and disturb the functioning of heart. It can cause damage to heart muscles and increases the risk of heart attack. It is advisable to consume very less amount of saturated fats in your daily diet as it can prove harmful for your body. Therefore many experts have advised to limit the consumption of coconut flesh or coconut oil in daily diet.

Is consumption of coconut harmful?

There is a big discussion about this topic whether coconut is beneficial or harmful. Any type of coconut product contains saturated fats. The coconut meat and coconut oil are very rich in saturated fats. Coconut milk contains higher amount of saturated fats that can prove harmful to increase cholesterol level and lead to heart problems. Instead you can prefer taking coconut water as the amount of saturated fats in coconut water is very less. Many researchers have proved that the coconut oil is beneficial for body and coconut can deal and prevent many types of health problems. But some studies have proved that the excessive consumption of coconut oil can prove harmful.

Advantages of coconut

The saturated fats in coconut contain lauric acid that can improve the level of good cholesterol that is lipoprotein in your blood and diminish the risk of heart attack. Also the studies have proved that along with Lauric acid, the coconut oil and other products are rich in fatty acids and capric acid too. Generally it is seen that the HDL cholesterol can destroy LDL cholesterol by transferring them to liver but the lauric acid in coconut can increase the level of LDL cholesterol in the blood. This is surely a major advantage of coconut products but remember to limit the consumption of saturated fats. Further studies have proved that the properties of coconut give positive results on liver functioning and turn into the source of energy for our body instead of supporting the improvement in the cholesterol level. Also it is proved that the regular consumption of coconut products can prevent and heal many health problems effectively. The coconut can provide the benefits of carbohydrates more than fats.

High fiber content

Much research has been done on the advantages and disadvantages of coconut and it has been proved that the fiber present in coconut can reduce blood serum cholesterol. The coconut powder is rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber which can control the overall cholesterol level and reduce the level of LDL cholesterol beneficially. Some studies have also proved that the consumption of coconut can also reduce the waist circumference or abdominal obesity effectively which can cause many related health problems.

Healthy coconut products

Coconut products like coconut water, coconut meat, coconut milk and even coconut oil provides us a very good amount of proteins, fibers, vitamin C, calcium, minerals, iron and phosphorous. These nutritious values are very beneficial for your healthy life. Overall we can say that the saturated fats in coconut oil certainly brings a increase in the cholesterol level but it is also true that consumption of coconut can develop the cholesterol ratio by increasing the level of good cholesterol in the body and reducing the level of bad cholesterol eventually. So we can doubtlessly say that the coconut or coconut products are beneficial for heart health and weight reduction along with other health benefits!

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Author: K Mohan08 Jan 2017 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 4

As far as I know using of coconut related products once in a while does not harm the health nor any risk for us. In fact coconut rice prepared for the children as their lunch to school is much liked by them and they wont bring the residue. In our Brahmin family we use the coconut regularly as we prepare Avial, a vegetable based gravy item which goes well with rice, we use coconut oil for the hair and body massage, we use coconut pulp for preparing chutney which goes well with Idly and dosa. But care must be taken that after breaking the coconut, if we get bad smell from the shell, better to avoid the same. Please do not throw the shells with coconut as they are purchased by the vendors in exchange of coconut oil.

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