Coconut water is not bad for your cholesterol. It has about 60 calories per cup, so just like any fruit juice if you drink too much you will gain weight. Extra weight gain is bad for your cholesterol. The cocowater itself does not have fat. It is a different story for the coconut oil..
Both the American Heart Association and the National Heart Foundation recommend avoiding the use of coconut oil for cooking, but both their websites include recipes that contain coconut milk, albeit a reduced-fat version.
Despite the fuzzy perception that all things plant must be better for us, oil made from coconuts actually contains a whopping 85 to 90 per cent saturated fat. Saturated fats, usually the dominant type in animal foods, are generally regarded as the baddies when it comes to heart disease.
Even reduced-fat coconut milk contains about 10 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, compared to about 2.3 grams per 100 ml in reduced-fat cow's milk.
There are a number of websites claiming that the saturated fats in coconut oil are different to the saturated fats we're told to avoid in animal products. They also claim that coconut will help you lose weight, prevent wrinkles, treat serious illness, and, well, change your life.
All saturated fats are not equal
It's true that saturated fats differ from each other chemically – depending on the number of carbon atoms they carry – and different foods have varying concentrations of the different saturated fatty acids. The saturated fat in coconut oil consists mainly of the lauric acid and myristic acid, with lesser amounts of palmitic acid, whereas chocolate and beef are dominated by palmitic acid.
There's no doubt that all the fatty acids in coconut oil raise cholesterol, but the more important question is what kind of cholesterol do they raise – is it the bad LDL cholesterol, or the good HDL cholesterol?
The research isn't entirely clear on this point, but it seems the fatty acids found in coconut oil do raise LDL – bad cholesterol – as do other saturated fats, like butter.
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