A recent controversy has developed around whether coconuts are heart healthy or not. Most of this is a direct result of the developing science around the role saturated fats play in our diets. Saturated fats are found in meat, cheese, milk, and coconut and palm oils.
Prior science supported limiting saturated fats. Now saturated fats are described as short, medium, or long, depending on their carbon chain length. They all have different effects on health. Saturated fats are sometimes mistakenly grouped with trans fats, a type of fat that is known to cause health issues.
Coconut is a unique fruit in that it contains a high fat content. About 89% of the fat in its meat is saturated. Most of these are medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) which are absorbed intact in your small intestines and used by your body to produce energy.
Research from around the world supports the health benefits of coconuts and the MTC fatty acids they contain. The MTC fatty acids found in coconut milk also increase physical performance, building muscles, which in turn burns body fat.
Few foods contain MTCs, so enjoying coconut oil is an excellent method for including this important heart healthy and immune supporting fatty acid into your diet.