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Is coconut oil a healthy fat?

03/26/2014 9:33 AM

03/26/2014 9:42 AM

Coconut is a staple part of many diets around the world, but coconut oil had become taboo in Western diets.

The culprit? Saturated fat.

“Perhaps the biggest change in thinking regarding coconut is that not all saturated fats are created equal,” writes freelance food jounalist Lisa Waterman Gray. “While a series of long-chain fatty acids characterizes many saturated fats, coconut offers plenty of medium-chain fatty acids that dissolve into the blood rather than passing through the digestive system.”

Now even Dr. Oz says the once demonized fat deserves a second look. Meanwhile, Whole Foods reports coconut oil sales are on the rise, as well as gluten-free coconut flour, coconut flakes and coconut water. Get the

rundown on coconut product brand names to look for plus some recipes by local experts.

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