• By Ian Roth

Mayo Clinic Minute: Coconut oil – perfect, poison or somewhere in between?

October 31, 2018

If you search for information about coconut oil online, you'll see it's one of the best things you can put in your body. Or one of the worst.

"Some people say it's the best thing since sliced bread. Other people say it's poison," says Dr. Donald Hensrud, a nutrition expert and author of The Mayo Clinic Diet Book. "The truth is somewhere in between."

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

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Dr. Hensrud says coconut oil probably isn't the cure-all its supporters claim it is.

"The bottom line is that coconut oil is still a saturated fat," he says. "It still raises cholesterol a little bit and [is] probably best avoided in large quantities."

But Dr. Hensrud says it's also probably not the poison some of its detractors claim it is either.

The bottom line: Moderation is key.

"I'd say the less, the better," Dr. Hensrud says. "On the other hand, if you eat a small amount occasionally, it probably isn't going to have a big negative effect on health. But for people who are consuming it to try and improve their health, I'd say that probably isn't a good idea."

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