Which is healthier, olive oil or coconut oil?

Which is healthier, olive oil or coconut oil

Coconut oil is gaining prestige among people interested in healthy and natural food. Can you say that it is healthier than olive oil?

Which is healthier, olive oil or coconut oil

The extra virgin olive oil has in its favor that it is part of the healthy Mediterranean diet and hundreds of scientific studies that prove its properties. Coconut oil, on the other hand, is a recent discovery for science and there is still no consensus on its benefits. However, the popularity of coconut oil is growing among people interested in natural and healthy food.

Nutritionist Emily Gelsomin writes on the Harvard University blog that scientific studies indicate that vegetable oils are generally preferable to animal-based fats, especially for heart health.


Gelsomin believes that the goodness of olive oil is proven by studies carried out in European populations. He mentions a recent study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology that proves how replacing margarine, butter or mayonnaise with olive oil reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.

According to this work, the benefits begin to occur from the consumption of half a tablespoon of olive oil a day. And by increasing the dose, the positive effects are increased. In Europe the average consumption is three tablespoons a day.

Specifically, it is known that olive oil reduces inflammation that contributes to the progression of cardiovascular diseases thanks to its polyphenol content. These antioxidant compounds are abundantly present in extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), which is obtained by cold pressing, without resorting to chemical solvents.


Proponents of coconut oil cite the medium-chain saturated fatty acids it contains as the beneficial agents. They claim that these fats offer advantages in relation to weight loss and cholesterol control. Although these properties have been shown in scientific studies with a small sample size, there is other research that contradicts them. Many nutritionists who continue to think that these are undesirable saturated fats.

Gelsamin believes that the key may lie in the quality of the coconut oil used in the studies. Coconut is a staple in the traditional diet of Asian populations and only beneficial effects have been observed there. That is, there are not as many cholesterol problems as in European countries or the United States. But in these communities, natural coconut is consumed, unprocessed. Coconut pulp is also rich in fiber.

An essay published in BMJ Open shows that extra virgin (unrefined) coconut oil does not increase LDL cholesterol and its effect is comparable to EVOO, and always better than that of cow’s milk butter.

Gelsomin concludes that extra virgin olive oil continues to be the primary fat of choice in Western diets. However, coconut oil from the first cold pressing and, if possible, from organic production, is a food that is recommended in principle.


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