Coconut oil does not clog arteries because it doesn’t convert to cholesterol easily. It is also an antioxidant by itself that stops free radical activity and damage. How does coconut oil achieve that? Read this article to find out now.
Coconut oil may contain 92% saturated fat, but that does not make it artery-clogging.
What actually cause an artery to get clogged is the mixture of calcium, scar tissue, cholesterol, triglycerides and platelets being deployed to the wounded site to heal an injury (caused by free radical activity).
But when the injury persists due to some disorder, more of these components get deployed. They then clump together and harden to form a plaque that clogs the artery.
By the way, some plaques that clog arteries actually contain little or no cholesterol but pretty much unsaturated fats.
Unsaturated fat can actually appear more deadly than saturated fat because unsaturated fat oxidizes easily and promotes free radical activity whereas saturated fat does not stick on the arteries like unsaturated fat does because saturated fat doesn’t oxidize easily and thus doesn’t promote free radical damage.
So, does that mean you should take more saturated fats since they don’t clog arteries?
Not all saturated fats are created equal. All saturated fats from animal meat belong to the long-chain fatty acid group which are hard to break down and convert to energy. For this reason, they convert easily to cholesterol instead.
That explains why meat-eaters tend to have high cholesterol levels that may involve in clogging arteries, thereby increasing their risk of heart disease and stroke. And when they cook meat with common dietary oils that contain primarily unsaturated fats such as safflower oil, peanut oil, corn oil or soybean oil etc, their risk of heart disease and stroke rises dramatically.
Another bad thing about eating animal meat is the increase of homocysteine levels which can elevate your risk of heart disease and stroke to a whole new level.
In contrast, most saturated fats in coconut oil convert to energy quickly due to their shorter length of fatty acids (i.e. medium-chain fatty acids). That means, these medium-chain saturated fats do not convert to cholesterol at all.
Although 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 to prevent them from oxidation (medium-chain saturated fats are antioxidative by nature) or even burn them off before they contribute to plaque formation and clog arteries (medium-chain saturated fats boost metabolism and burn fat).