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What are coconut oil's side effects?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner
Speaking about theories, the theory of effortless weight loss sounds marvelous. But is coconut oil the means to that end?

Many researchers not only doubt it, they say that relying on coconut oil -- a fat -- to reduce weight is not only counterproductive, but potentially quite dangerous.

Forget about the health issues for the moment. Vomiting and nausea have been reported as a common side effect to people taking daily tablespoons of coconut oil. Now back to health.

A single tablespoon of coconut oil contains more than 13 grams of fat. Multiply that by four and you have consumed nearly all the fat recommended for a day by the U.S. government. Not only that, but coconut oil has more saturated fat -- 10 times the amount in olive oil, for instance -- than any other oil. So is it shocking that proof that coconut oil can reduce weight is about as elusive as proof that little green men have flown to earth in space ships powered by coconut oil?

Coconut oil proponents say humbug. Coconut oil, they say, contains medium-chain triglycerides, easier for the body to process than long-chain triglycerides. And, they say, evidence bashing coconut oil comes from a decade-old study that used a partially hydrogenated version of coconut oil, which contains trans fat.

The bottom line, according to the Mayo Clinic and others is this: People on coconut oil diets showed higher arterial fat after just one meal, it can increase cholesterol and, if it is not reducing your caloric intake, coconut oil can actually lead to weight gain.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.