fbpx

Is coconut oil better than butter?

Here at Healthpath, we’re proud to offer evidence-based advice. However, we’re aware that science can seem a bit impenetrable and dry. Boring, even.

We also believe that education is the first step to regain control. We read a lot of scientific papers, so we thought it would be a good idea to create a digest (no pun intended) of some of the key research.

We hope these plain-English versions bring the science to life and—even more importantly—help you address your symptoms for good.

 

“Randomised trial of coconut oil, olive oil or butter on blood lipids and other cardiovascular risk factors in healthy men and women”

 

What’s the title in plain English?

A study looking at the effect of different fats on cholesterol.

 

What did they do?

In this randomised trial, men and women age 50–75 were assigned to either a coconut oil, butter or olive oil group. Each group ate 50g daily of their assigned fat. They didn’t change anything else about their diets. After four weeks, the participants’ blood lipid levels and weight were measured.

 

What are the take-home points from the study?

1. LDL cholesterol (‘bad’ cholesterol) significantly increased in the butter group compared to the coconut oil group, yet there was no difference between coconut oil and olive oil. Coconut oil significantly increased HDL cholesterol (‘good’ cholesterol) compared to butter or olive oil. Interestingly, C-reactive protein (a general marker of inflammation) was significantly lower in the coconut oil group compared to both the olive oil and butter groups.

2. There were no significant differences in weight loss, BMI and fasting blood glucose across any of the groups, although it’s important to remember that this was just a short-term trial. Another key point is that the study did not address cardiovascular disease directly, but rather studied blood-lipid markers based on the assumption that these are well-established risk factors for heart disease. Long-term studies following whole populations that eat different forms of fat would provide more accurate data on fat consumption and cardiovascular outcomes.

3. Self-reported compliance was high (87%) across all groups, yet as the study wasn’t conducted in a clinical ward there may be inaccuracies based on self-reporting data. As such, individuals may have also changed their normal dietary behaviours in different ways to accommodate the additional fat.

The Healthpath view

The results of this study indicate that even though coconut oil and butter are both saturated fats, they appear to have different biochemical effects. Based on the data from this study, it seems that coconut oil may be more favourable for cardiovascular health. Additional studies are needed to understand the long-term effects of dietary fat on health and disease.

 

Read the full published study here

 Ref: Khaw, K., Sharp, S.J., Finikarides, L., Afzal, I., Lentjes, M., Luben, R. and Forouhi, N.G., 2018. Randomised trial of coconut oil , olive oil or butter on blood lipids and other cardiovascular risk factors in healthy men and women. pp.1–14.

Other articles you might like

Splitit

Interest free monthly payments

The benefits of choosing Splitit

  • No credit check
  • 0% interest
  • Never any late fees
  • No application or registration
  • Instand approval
  • Works with you existing credit

How Splitit works

Splitit Choose splitit at Checkout
Splitit Select number of payments
Splitit Order Complete

Example

Pay today £100 (£200 held on card)
2nd payment £100 (£100 held on card)
Final payment £100 (£0 held on card)

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Duis aliquet accumsan quam. Duis eget leo sapien. Sed eu nibh lectus. Pellentesque a ex lacus. Etiam eu nunc eget purus pulvinar pretium. Nam suscipit cursus risus. Aenean sit amet dictum lorem. Nunc ut euismod orci. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae; Maecenas eget sapien lorem. Aenean ullamcorper libero non quam aliquam aliquam. Proin non consequat eros, in faucibus quam. Morbi eu purus fermentum, efficitur ex et, varius diam. Nunc bibendum rhoncus risus, vitae placerat orci. Nunc sagittis posuere lacus, rhoncus fringilla ex tempus id.

Phasellus condimentum orci facilisis ultricies ultrices. Proin aliquam rutrum neque. Sed vehicula diam id elit tincidunt, sed semper mauris scelerisque. Nullam nec dapibus enim, gravida egestas massa. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Pellentesque nec quam sit amet dui imperdiet scelerisque. Nam magna felis, ultrices a dui et, mollis interdum dolor.

OK