For years it was a veritable cure all, slathered on hair, skin and stir fries around the world. But sales for coconut oil have taken a significant dive lately and their contentious health claims have been blamed.
According to the Washington Post, data from market research firm SPINS suggests that industry sales for the “superfood” fell flat in 2017. The oil exploded in popularity after a number of studies lauded the medium chain triglycerides they contained. Coconut oil was said to help boost metabolism, aid weight loss, and improve immunity amongst a number of other benefits.
Google Trends stats shows that interest in coconut oil boomed after 2011 and demand for the product peaked in 2015 with over $229 million in US sales. But even before the American Heart Association officially denounced coconut oil in June 2017, sales were already on the decline with a nearly 30% drop in 2016.
The Dietary Fats and Cardiovascular Disease advisory conducted seven controlled trials where they compared coconut oil with monounsaturated or polyunsaturated oils. They found that that coconut oil increased LDL, or “bad” cholesterol in all seven of their controlled trials and in six of them, the increase was considered significant.
However, some experts are still divided over the science behind saturated fats and its implications for coconut oil.