Harvard Health Letter

Ask the doctor: Is coconut oil good for you?

Q. Would you please comment on the current craze for coconut oil? I now have friends who, based on ads and popular books, are taking coconut oil several times a day.

A. Coconut oil has lots of saturated fats. Coconut oil, like all types of saturated fat, raises LDL cholesterol, which is not healthy. On the other hand, unlike most saturated fats, the type in coconut oil also raises HDL cholesterol, which is healthy. So it has some bad and some good effects on cholesterol.

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