It is a waxy, fat-like substance but has a different structure than fat. Cholesterol comes from two sources; it is synthesized in our liver and comes from foods of animal origin. The ratio of HDL/LDL and triglycerides circulating in the blood stream is an important predictor of heart disease and is affected by the amount and types of fat eaten. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) carries cholesterol to the heart walls and narrows or clogs the artery. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) removes cholesterol from the vessel walls and takes it back to the liver, where it is excreted. LDL cholesterol should be less than 130 mg/dl, and HDL cholesterol should be between 50-75 mg/dl or higher. Ideally, at least a quarter of you total cholesterol should be HDL, with a desirable total cholesterol reading of less than 200.7
Even though coconut oil is saturated, recent studies show it has a positive effect on raising HDL (good) cholesterol. It has a wonderful flavor, is a solid at room temperature, and is easy to include in cooking. The effects of coconut oil on heart disease is still inconclusive. It is suggested to use coconut oil sparingly.3
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