Saturated and Unsaturated Fats and The Great Coconut Oil

Saturated and unsaturated fats, as God had created them, are both good for humankind. Like all other foods, they get bad when eaten in excess.

Saturated fats enhance the immune system, protect the liver from the toxic effects of alcohol and certain drugs and, give cells needed firmness and integrity, just to name a few.

Unsaturated fats are good, too, because they help lower blood cholesterol. Omega-3 fatty acids, a type of unsaturated fat, are important for brain development and function.

But while all fats are good to take in moderation, there are some that stand out and deserve to be consumed at least a little more. I believe coconut oil falls in that category.

Almost all of the fats you eat, especially if you adhere to the typical Western diet, are composed of long chain fatty acids (LCFA). Coconut oil is unique because it is mostly medium chain fatty acids (MCFA).

In a nutshell, MCFAs do not circulate in your bloodstream to the degree that LCFA-oils such as soybean oil and corn oil do. As a result, MCFA-rich coconut oil does not get packed away inside fat cells or clog artery walls. Coconut oil generates energy, not body fat and not arterial plaque.

MCFAs are also antimicrobial, capable of killing the dreaded AIDS virus (HIV). The countless health benefits of coconut oil are unparalleled.

So go ahead. Eat a little more of saturated fat coconut oil. It’s all good.


Kiyasu, G. Y., et al. The portal transport of absorbed fatty acids. Journal of Biological Chemistry 1952;199:415.

Greenberger, N. J. and Skillman, T. G. Medium-chain triglycerides: physiologic considerations and clinical implications. N Engl J Med 1969;280:1045.

Geliebter, A. Overfeeding with medium-chain triglycerides diet results in diminished deposition of fat. Am J of Clin Nutr 1983;37:104.


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