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Saturated fatty acids: Why coconut oil should only be used in moderation
In the past, coconut oil was repeatedly touted as a true “miracle and healing agent”, but more and more experts are now pointing out that this oil is not so healthy after all. An expert from Stiftung Warentest also advises that coconut oil should only be used in moderation. Because it is bad for cholesterol.
Healthy or unhealthy?
In the past, coconut oil was almost only found in Asian grocery stores or health food stores. However, the vegetable fat from coconut has become increasingly popular and is now also available in many supermarkets. In recent years, coconut oil has repeatedly been touted as a new "superfood" that is supposed to serve health. However, more and more experts doubt that coconut oil is actually the healthier alternative and partially advise against eating it. The Stiftung Warentest also recommends using the oil only in moderation.
15 products tested
Coconut oil is trendy. The majority of the products on the German market carry the organic seal and the addition "native".
As the Stiftung Warentest explains on its website, this means that the oil is pressed out of coconut meat using mechanical processes without the addition of heat and must not be treated any further.
The consistency is creamy to firm, coconut oil only begins to melt at a temperature of around 25 degrees. In the warm climate of his home country it is liquid - hence the name “oil”.
The Stiftung Warentest examined 15 coconut oils for the December issue of its test magazine. The products come from the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. They cost between eleven and 30 euros per liter.
Well suited for roasting
According to the information, most oils have a good taste and are suitable for frying because they can be heated very high. This makes foods such as tofu or meat particularly crispy.
The testers compared the frying properties of the oils with the kitchen classic Palmin. Palmin is also based on the fat of coconut, but is refined and therefore tastes neutral.
According to a press release, five coconut oils achieve a good test quality rating, seven are satisfactory, two are sufficient and one is deficient.
Aldi Nord's product has found contaminants, including mineral oil components and plasticizers. It is also not a virgin coconut oil.
According to the information, the discounter has meanwhile taken its "GutBio Bio Natives Coconut Oil" out of the market.
Use only in moderation
"You should only use coconut oil in moderation, because it mainly contains saturated fatty acids, which increase the bad cholesterol in the blood and thus the risk of cardiovascular diseases," says Dr. Birgit Rehlender, food expert at Stiftung Warentest.
"The proportion of saturated fatty acids in coconut oil is 90 percent," said the expert.
For comparison: Saturated fats make up only 17 percent of olive oil and only eight percent of rapeseed oil.
Coconut milk can be used like cream
But even if there is criticism, according to experts, coconut oil is the only gently pressed vegetable oil that does not develop harmful trans fats under high heat.
The Stiftung Warentest also points out the difference to coconut milk on its website: While coconut oil, like any oil, consists of practically 100 percent fat and 100 grams of 900 kilocalories, coconut milk comes up with significantly less of both.
Their fat content is therefore often around 20 percent, the energy content around 180 kilocalories per 100 grams. Coconut milk can be used like cream and scores with the fact that it contains a third less fat and energy than cream. (ad)