• Cardiovascular

    Mayo Clinic Minute: Why coconut oil is bad for your heart

You may have heard the claims that coconut oil is good for your health. A quick internet search reveals articles that recommend coconut oil for everything from boosting memory to improving heart health. Mayo Clinic experts say buyer beware, especially when it comes to coconut oil and your heart.

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

Journalists: A broadcast-quality video package (0:56) is available in the download. Read the script.

Is coconut oil healthy?

“Good for your skin, not good in your body.”

Cardiologist Dr. Stephen Kopecky says coconut oil is not good for your heart health, because it raises bad cholesterol.

“Forty years ago, a study was done looking at butter, lard, beef suet or coconut oil. Which one raised your bad cholesterol the most? And guess what? It was the coconut oil.”

How can a plant be worse for you than animal fat?

“We know that the coconut oil is a very saturated fat. Even though it does grow from the ground, and nothing that grows from the ground has cholesterol in it. It is a saturated fat that turns into cholesterol.”

Dr. Kopecky says coconut water is OK, and so are occasional flakes on salads or treats. But avoid coconut oil.

“Don’t eat it. It really does raise your bad cholesterol.”