Ask the doctor: Is coconut good or bad for the heart?

Ask the doctor

Is coconut good or bad for the heart?

Q. I have heard that coconut is bad for the heart and that it is good for the heart. Which is right?

A. Viewed in isolation, coconut and coconut oil can't be considered heart-healthy foods. A 2-ounce piece of fresh coconut contains more than 13 grams of saturated fat — nearly two-thirds of the recommended daily limit for the average person. Ounce for ounce, coconut oil delivers more saturated fat than butter, lard, or margarine. Feeding studies in humans, monkeys, and rabbits show that coconut oil substantially elevates LDL (bad) cholesterol.

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