Coconut oil is basically made up of saturated fat. And saturated fats are often linked to increased bad cholesterol—that is LDL. So how true that coconut oil has health benefits?
In this article we discuss the role of coconut oil in our body and how it differs from other foods that contain the saturated fats.
Saturated vs. Unsaturated Fats:
In Biochemistry, these refer to the fatty acids. These molecules make up chains of structures to produce the cholesterol molecules, which can be chylomicron, VLDL (Very Low Density Lipoprotein), IDL (Intermediate Density Lipoprotein), LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein), HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) or triglycerides. bundaberg personal trainers
In simple terms, only the HDL or the High-Density Lipoprotein is the “good cholesterol” and the rest are the bad guys. The reason for this is because of the scavenging ability of the HDL against the rest of the bad cholesterol. That means, HDL can destroy and scavenge Lower Density types of lipoprotein (chylomicrons, VLDL, IDL, LDL and triglyceride). This renders the bad cholesterols not to get deposited as cholesterol plaques in the arteries, including the arteries that supply the heart.
The fatty acids are responsible for the formation of the cholesterol molecules mentioned above. These fatty acids can be assimilated from the food we eat and can either be saturated or unsaturated.
Saturated fatty acids make up most of the oils that we get from palm trees, such as dates and coconut. Molecularly, saturated fatty acids have no double bonds between their individual carbon atoms. The term “saturated” is because the chain of carbon atoms in their structure is full of hydrogen atoms. Other sources of saturated fats are butter, meat, kernel oil, cow’s milk, cocoa butter and other dairy products.
Unsaturated fatty acids, on the other hand, are usually found in fish and plants. The presence of the double bonds in their fatty acid chains make them different from the saturated forms. Moreover, the hydrogen atoms in their molecular structures are eliminated. The term poly- or monounsaturated fat depends on the number of double bonds formed within their fatty acid chains.
Supported by medical textbooks and researches, saturated fatty acids are often linked with cardiovascular disease. The idea that these researches raise is that saturated fats can increase the formation of bad cholesterol in the blood when not taken in moderation.
However, a meta-analysis done by Tarino et al in 2010, concluded that “there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with and increased risk of CHD or CVD.”1