For years, the world has sung the praises of coconut oil. Cook with it! Put it in your hair! Use it as makeup remover! Moisturize with it! It was the cure-all for a seemingly endless list of wellness and beauty woes. Well, the honeymoon with this so-called superfood is over: The American Heart Association is calling out coconut oil for what it is — an oil.
As a cooking fat, coconut oil used to be considered the good kind because it raised HDL, or good cholesterol levels, despite its high saturated fat content, and lowered the ratio of LDL, or bad cholesterol levels. According to a new study published in the June issue of Circulation, the sweet oil actually raises LDL enough for it to be potentially dangerous to our health. The AHA advises against eating it, saying it can put people at risk for cardiovascular disease. Nooooo!
Researchers found that when lined up against other, less trendy fats, coconut oil does not live up to its supposedly superfood reputation. It raises LDL levels more than olive oil and has more saturated fat than butter (which, frankly, is more great news for butter lovers)!
It’s not the first time the overinflated health benefit claims of coconut oil have come under fire. Last year, a survey of 672 nutritionists found that only 37 percent of them classified the oil as a health food.
The good news is that its tainted dietary influence has no bearing on its beauty wonders. Using it to keep your hair silky, remove your mascara without stinging your eyes, and keep your lips nice and soft have no effect on your cholesterol. Not all is lost; it’s just a matter of moving your trusty jar from your pantry to your medicine cabinet.
What’s your reaction to this upsetting coconut oil news? Let us know @BritandCo!
(h/t The Cut; photos via Getty)