Will coconut oil give me heart disease? I’ve used coconut oil for years. In fact, after adding more to my diet five years ago, I lost 22 pounds! But when I recently shared this with my doctor, he said coconut oil is packed with saturated fats that can cause a heart attack. Is that true?

While your doctor is correct about coconut oil containing saturated fats, the type it contains is medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). These fats are quickly used by the body as a source of ready energy, plus they rev a sluggish thyroid for more efficient calorie burning and help the liver burn more body fat. Most importantly, MCTs do not raise levels of heart-harming LDL cholesterol, nor do they reduce levels of helpful HDL cholesterol. The key, though, is to make sure that what you’re using is unrefined coco- nut oil, a version that’s not rendered unhealthy by processing and hydrogenation. A brand to try: Spectrum Organic Unrefined Virgin Coconut Oil ($13 for 14 oz., at health-food stores and Whole Foods Market stores). Consuming 1 to 2 Tbs. daily will keep you slim and healthy.

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