(Photo: Noel Hendrickson, Getty Images)
(Photo: Noel Hendrickson, Getty Images)

Last week, the American Heart Association said coconut oil is unhealthy, reigniting a conversation about saturated fat and leaving some confused about what is healthy. 

“There’s a disconnect between people’s general beliefs and what the data actually show,” said Donald Hensrud, medical director of the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program. 

Like a gluten-free lifestyle, Hensrud said benefits of coconut oil aren’t supported by good data. Coconut oil is high in saturated fat. Current data shows saturated and trans fats raise bad (LDL) cholesterol levels.

When shopping for a healthy oil, Hensrud said go for one with high levels of monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats. Both are considered healthy fats that lower cholesterol.

Also, avoid partially hydrogenated oils — that’s the source of trans fat, which raises bad cholesterol.

For a list of the healthiest oils, as recommended by doctors and researchers, view the entire article at USAToday.com/News/NationNow.


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