Coconut Oil: Bringing History, Common Sense and Science Together

  • Fabian M. Dayrit Department of Chemistry, School of Science and Engineering, Loyola Schools, Ateneo de Manila University, Katipunan Ave., Loyola Heights, Quezon City


The modern Western diet has suffered the damaging effects of trans fats, much of it from soybean oil. It is suffering another blow, this time from the damaging effects of an excess of omega-6 fats, again from soybean oil.

The vast majority of epidemiological studies do not distinguish between coconut oil and animal fat, and simply refer to them collectively as “saturated fat.” This is a fatal mistake for two reasons: first, the fatty acid profiles of coconut oil and animal fat are very different, and second, coconut oil hardly has any cholesterol while animal fats contain a lot of cholesterol. This means that the results based on animal fat cannot be applied to coconut oil.

Contrary to the claim of the AHA, there is abundant evidence to show that coconut oil and a coconut diet do not raise the incidence of heart disease and are, in fact, part of many healthy traditional diets. Many populations who shifted from a traditional coconut diet to a Western diet have suffered worse health outcomes. However, the historical and scientific evidence in support of coconut oil may not be enough to convince the AHA which favors a high omega-6 diet.


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How to Cite
Dayrit, F. M. (2017). Coconut Oil: Bringing History, Common Sense and Science Together. KIMIKA, 28(2), 55-61.