Coconut oil is 100% fat, 80-90% of which is saturated fat. This gives it a firm texture at cold or room temperatures. Fat is made up of smaller molecules called fatty acids, and there are several types of saturated fatty acids in coconut oil. The predominant type is lauric acid (47%), with myristic and palmitic acids present in smaller amounts, which have been shown in research to raise harmful LDL levels. Also present in trace amounts are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
Coconut oil contains no cholesterol, no fiber, and only traces of vitamins, minerals, and plant sterols. Plant sterols have a chemical structure that mimics blood cholesterol, and may help to block the absorption of cholesterol in the body. However, the amount found in a few tablespoons of coconut oil is too small to produce a beneficial effect.
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