What are the side effects of using coconut oil when you are diabetic?


Quick Answer

Because coconut oil contains saturated fat, diabetics who use it increase their risk of heart disease and stroke, reports the American Diabetes Association. Although coconut oil, unlike most other foods with saturated fat, does not contain cholesterol, U.S. government dietary guidelines and the American Heart Association do not suggest it is less harmful than other saturated fats, according to WebMD.

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Full Answer

Pure coconut oil is 92 percent saturated fat, which is a higher percentage than any other type of fat, explains WebMD. A person's total calorie intake should consist of 25 to 35 percent fat, but less than 10 percent of the total should be saturated fat. Because coconut oil contains short- and medium-chain fatty acids and may also contain beneficial chemicals, some researchers believe that it may have health benefits, but studies have not yet verified these speculations.

Although 20 grams of saturated fat per day is the normal maximum, some diabetics, such as women and sedentary men, may need to consume even less, advises the American Diabetes Association. They should consult their health care providers or dieticians about their own limitations. Instead of saturated fat products, such as coconut oil, they should cook with healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These include canola, peanut, corn, soybean and sunflower oil.

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