Just when you thought olive oil was the absolute healthiest oil, now you keep hearing about coconut oil. Both contain healthy fats known as monounsaturated fatty acids, or MUFAs, which can lower total cholesterol levels. This can reduce a person’s risk for stroke as well as heart problems like high blood pressure. MUFAs can also improve insulin sensitivity, which is great news for those with type 2 diabetes. Incorporating these healthy fats into your diet can also help with weight loss. So is one oil better than the other?
Let’s first compare them nutritionally. The chart below shows a similarity in calorie and total fat amount. The daily recommendation for total daily fat should be between 33 and 55 grams. For saturated fat, the daily limit shouldn’t exceed 16 grams. While coconut oil isn’t thought to negatively affect overall cholesterol levels, some experts say to use coconut oil in small amounts to be on the safe side.
As far as weight loss is concerned, including healthy fats in your diet can make you feel fuller, which can translate to fewer daily calories consumed. A diet rich in MUFAS has also been shown to reduce belly fat, and a few small weight-loss studies have shown that coconut oil can reduce waist size. Coconut oil is also slightly lower in calories, so over time, that little difference could add up.