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Is coconut oil “healthy”?

Coconut oil in a jar

It is with dismay, that I recently read yet another sensationalist and confusing article, about the so called  dangers of coconut oil. I am sure I am not the only one to feel this way. So, I decided to strip this arguments back to its basics and bring some common sense in this debate.

Here are a few thoughts.

  • The body needs saturated fats. Saturated fats, area necessary for many body functions, but most people need them in small quantities only.
  • Coconut oil has medium chain fatty acids which are considered more digestible than animal derived ones which are made by longer chains.
  • Animal derived fats like butter, bacon or meat, are often grown in conditions that are not particularly healthy for the animals, which means that a lot of toxins will be present in its meats and derivates like butter or bacon. Coconut oil is a vegetable oil, so it has none of the various hormones and anti-biotics.

Before you get scared by yet another sensationalist article, I  urge you to consider a few things.

  • Quantity. As always with food, quantity is important. One thing is if you use  just a teaspoon of coconut oil once in a while, another is if you add dollops of it on everything you eat.
  • Balance. The body needs a variety of nutrients, that work in synergy with each other, so you need to consider the amount of coconut oil and fats, in the bigger economy of other important nutrients, like carbs, vegetables, and sugar, because that will affect how the body process them.
  • Bio-individuality. Everybody is unique, and what may be good for one person, may a be very detrimental for another.



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