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Is coconut oil good for health?

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Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 2413 Questions
Hi. I want to ask about coconut oil, and other coconut products. It gets a lot of good press these days as a superfood, and is also saturated and pretty high in fat. But also high in protein and fibre which has to be good. But do we need saturated oils, as the pro-coconut advocates claim, or is it best to stick with unsaturated oils like olive, hempseed, flaxseed, macadamia etc?
Posted Thu, 6 Mar 2014 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Saumya Mittal 1 hour later
Brief Answer: Explaining new study details Detailed Answer: Hi, welcome to our site. I am Dr Saumya Mittal. Read your query. That is a very significant question and i appreciate your problem. I will try my best to answer your query There has been some new research which has started causing a lot of confusion. I will try to explain the things to you. Traditionally saturated fatty acids were supposed to be the bad fats. They were supposed to increase the cholesterol and thereby the cardiac events. They were therefore not recommended. However, now the new studies have indicated that the body indeed needs cholesterol for healing processes in some parts of the bodies, like the nerves. Besides, it has been found that saturated fats are better in the diabetics cause insulin is not required to break them. And there are reports filtering in that say that saturated fatty acids may actually lower the body weight. Besides there are the advantages of coconut oil per se- It contains natural antioxidants. There is a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids and there latter are supposed to be good for the heart. Besides it is lighter than the other sources of saturated fatty acids. However I would suggest a restriction of fats to moderation in general. And before you plan a major switch and make changes in diet, I would suggest testing lipid profile. If the cholesterols and fats are high anyways, the restriction of fats and oils need to be restricted in diet, irrespective whether they are saturated or unsaturated. I hope this helps you. Inform the reports mentioned above so i can be of help further. Best of luck. I have given you the answer to the maximum considering the information provided. The results of the tests could further enhance my answer to you. Looking forward to your return query with the details asked so that I can help you further. (If the answer has helped you, please indicate this) Dr Saumya Mittal
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Is coconut oil good for health? 5 hours later
Great explanation thanks Doctor Mittal. I'm very interested in what you say about saturated fats like coconut being better for diabetics due to not needing insulin to break them. Would that mean in general that coconut oil is less likely to elevate blood sugar than unsaturated? I'm not diagnosed diabetic but am very concerned about managing blood sugar with food choices. My cholesterol is normal at recent blood tests, but I have been conscientiously avoiding saturates. I do use coconut milk sometimes as an alternative to dairy, but generally prefer soy. The negative and positive effects of using Soy beans as a food will probably be my next question. Thank you again Dr Mittal. XXXXXXX
Answered by Dr. Saumya Mittal 23 minutes later
Brief Answer: About coconut. Soya in brief Detailed Answer: Hi XXXXXXX Thanks for your confidence in me. Let me initiate by saying that yes cocnut oil will mean calory intake. It just means an alternate means of digestion. About Soya, I must say its a great food- good in protein and fibre and good for the heart in every way. Its in fact good for prevention of some cancers as well. It should however be avoided in hypothyroididsm. Also the allergies are possible, being a protein substance. So patients of asthma, hay fever and allergic rhinitis should be careful. Being high protein food, of course the patients of kidney disease should be careful too. But of course, as you rightly mentioned, that is another long discussion of course Hope this has helped you. Best of luck Dr Saumya Mittal
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Is coconut oil good for health? 33 minutes later
Hi Doctor XXXXXXX Thanks for your comments on soy. Regarding your last sentence, 'Being high protein food, of course the patients of kidney disease should be careful too.' Are you saying people with kidney disease should be careful not to have much protein? Or are you saying they should be careful which proteins they consume?Why? Though not diagnosed with kidney disease I have some adrenal fatigue symptoms and kidney is not strong. Also have some bladder problems. I dont have much protein, have always been wary of it, regardless of what the health authorities claim, and I am predominantly vegan. But I do need more protein now as I am deficient in it. I use seaweed sources like nori, spirulina, chlorella, legumes like soy, and potentially coconut. My question to you is: 'Under what health circumstances should one limit one's protein intake?' Thanks. XXXXXXX
Answered by Dr. Saumya Mittal 7 minutes later
Brief Answer: About CKD and proteins Detailed Answer: Its still Dr Mittal, not Dr XXXXXXX XXXXXXX :) The subject of protein intake in patients of kidney disease has always been controversial with positives and negatives of both. You see the kidney filters get blocked by these proteins. And of course proiien is important for the functions of the body. However I have seen patients worsen with high protein diets. And so I tell my patients to have the normal protein food, and not target the high protein food. If you are deficient, and don't have kidney trouble, I don't think you need to worry. With adrenal issues, I think you should watch your blood pressure. Best of luck. Dr Saumya Mittal
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Is coconut oil good for health? 2 hours later
Thank you dear Doctor Mittal. Your response gives me clear understanding. I am so sorry, I have also asked a question to Dr XXXXXXX today as he happened to respond to my enquiry regarding a fractured patella. Am still awaiting further response from him, he's not as fast as you. All the best to you. XXXXXXX
Answered by Dr. Saumya Mittal 2 minutes later
Brief Answer: All the best Detailed Answer: All the best to you too XXXXXXX In case of any further information you need, do feel free to put up a question. Dr Saumya Mittal
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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