More to the point, does coconut oil cause heart disease? I've heard people saying that because coconut oil is a saturated fat and hardens at temperatures below 76 °F (24 °C) and so it clogs arteries easily. That seems to make sense. But the fact is our body is constantly attempting to maintain its temperature levels at around 98.6 °F (37 °C).
Even when our body goes into a severe disorder, it should never drop to anywhere below 90 °F (32 °C). So, how can coconut oil harden at temperature levels at or above 90 °F (32 °C) and clog our arteries and cause heart disease?
Don't you think that's dumb?
Another thing is, many heart disease sufferers do not take coconut oil and those who take coconut oil regularly do not suffer from heart disease easily. I'm one good live example. This alone shows that coconut oil does not clog arteries or I would have died of heart disease many years ago already especially when I have been taking so much coconut oil every single day since I discovered its health benefits in 2006.
You're probably still skeptical about the statement I just made.
Okay, why not we take a look at how an artery gets clogged. I'm sure after a good understanding of that you'll start to appreciate that coconut oil actually benefits heart health rather than a villain that is believed to cause heart disease.
Free radicals can attack and injure the inner wall of an artery. When a damage to the artery takes place, our body will send "paramedics" such as scar tissue, platelets, calcium, cholesterol and triglycerides to the wounded site to try to heal the injury.
As you can see, it is the mixture of these components (not just cholesterol alone) that clump together to form a plaque that may clog arteries if the injury persists for some reasons and does not heal in time. For your info, some plaques that clog arteries actually contain little or no cholesterol at all but pretty much unsaturated fats.
Unsaturated fat can actually appear more deadly than saturated fat because unsaturated fat oxidizes easily and encourages free radical activity whereas saturated fat does not oxidize easily and thus doesn’t support free radical damage.
So, does that mean saturated fats are good to eat because they don’t clog arteries?
Depending on the size of saturated fats you consume. For example, saturated fats that are long-chain like those found in animal meat are bad for your heart because they do not break down easily into energy and when they circulate in the bloodstream they increase your platelet stickiness, promoting blood clotting and hence, elevating your risk of heart disease.
In fact, all long-chain fats, whether they're saturated or unsaturated (except omega-3) increase platelet stickiness. Which explains why meat-eaters are so much prone to heart attack or stroke since animal meat contains mostly long-chain fats. And when they cook meat with corn oil, peanut oil, safflower oil or soybean oil etc that contain primarily unsaturated fats, their risk of heart disease shoots up.
Another bad thing about eating animal meat is the increase of homocysteine levels which can elevate your risk of heart disease to a whole new level.
By contrast, most saturated fats in coconut oil are burned up quickly to provide energy for your cells due to their shorter length of fatty acids (i.e. medium-chain fatty acids). Even though there are still some percentage of long-chain saturated fats in coconut oil that may convert to cholesterol and 8% of unsaturated fats that may promote oxidation, coconut oil’s medium-chain saturated fats can help burn them off before they contribute to plaque formation and clog arteries.
For these reasons, coconut oil does not clog arteries.
Not only that, it helps even further to protect your arteries. How so?
The compounds in coconut oil have extremely powerful antiviral, antibacterial, anti-parasitic and antitoxic properties which can help to prevent or minimize the arterial injury incurred by viruses, bacteria, parasites or toxins (free radicals are not the only possible cause of injury to the inner lining of your arterial wall).
Having said that, instead of clogging arteries, coconut oil actually provides protection for your arteries and keeps you free of heart disease. Of course, you should also cut back on consuming animal meat and using cooking oils that contain mostly unsaturated fats so that coconut oil's artery-protecting power can bring into full play.