Q. The secret for lowering my hubby’s cholesterol about 100 points was to eliminate all unnatural oils.
I wouldn’t allow him to take the medications. I’d been brainwashed about using vegetable oils years ago and they made his cholesterol numbers worse.
Finally I decided we would go all natural. I’d hoped that adding all these saturated oils would lower his numbers, and they did!
We use only organic oils–coconut, palm, olive, butter and regular rice bran oil. I also save the drippings from our organic bacon to use in cooking. I make mayonnaise using almond oil or other natural oils such as avocado. I have a wand blender that makes it easy to whip up the mayo in a jar.
The other benefits of eating these natural oils is that it does wonders for our skin. I’m 66 and people often comment on how good my skin looks. I don’t use commercial creams either.

A. Avoiding trans fats found in shortening and some commercial mayonnaise can help get cholesterol under control. It comes as a great shock to people to learn that saturated fats such as coconut or palm oil don’t necessarily raise cholesterol levels. We have been so accustomed to hearing that sat-fat is bad that we take it as an article of faith.
A study several years ago demonstrated that consuming palm oil did not raise blood lipids or LDL cholesterol (Archivos Latinoamericanos de Nutricion, Jun, 2002).
One study of medical students in Brazil suggested that palm oil might actually lower triglycerides (Nutrition, Jan. 2008).
Even more surprising was a study comparing dietary soybean oil to coconut oil. The group of women who were randomized to coconut oil had higher levels of good HDL cholesterol and a lower LDL:HDL ratio. They also had a better waist circumference after weeks of consuming coconut oil. Those consuming soybean oil experienced an increase in total cholesterol and LDL:HDL ratio and had reductions in good HDL cholesterol. The authors concluded, “It appears that dietetic supplementation with coconut oil does not cause dyslipidemia and seems to promote a reduction in abdominal obesity.” (Lipids, July, 2009)
We recognize that this flies in the face of conventional dietary wisdom. Because we do not know exactly how your body will react to palm oil or coconut oil, we think the best approach is to pay attention to your lipids with periodic blood tests. That way you can track the approach that offers you the biggest benefit.
We have collected many readers’ favorite tactics for lowering cholesterol and triglycerides naturally in our book, The People’s Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies from National Geographic. For more specific recommendations and heart-healthy recipes such as our Favorite Fish Platter, Fish Tacos with Radish & Lime, Spicy Fresh Tuna Salad, Lentil Nut Loaf with Red Pepper Sauce, or Cinnamon-Almond Oatmeal, have a look at our book, Recipes and Remedies From The People’s Pharmacy. Healthful eating can be delicious!

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  1. B.Glass

    I use coconut oil in the solid form on my face and neck. It helps reduce wrinkles. I never ingested it because I was told it was very high in cholesterol. I may try is tablespoon a day and see what happens. Thanks for all the great information.

  2. RFM

    I wish somehow when readers report their experiences they would be as specific as possible regarding quantities. I.E. how much coconut oil? A Tablespoon a day? A gallon a day?

  3. Tracy

    Coconut oil is AMAZING! Saturated fats ARE NOT THE ENEMY! Trans fats are the enemy! The study that brought us all the idea that saturated fats are bad has been debunked years ago. Do your research and don’t just rely on what you’ve been told (especially if it was years ago) in the past. Research is being done daily and you need to keep up to date because your doctor most likely will NOT. Do you know that most doctors have had, at most, ONE nutrition course.
    According to new analysis, which combined the results of 21 previous studies, researchers found no clear evidence that higher saturated fat intakes led to higher risks of heart disease or stroke?
    For information on the benefits of coconut oil, check http://www.mercola.com. You could also just do an online search for benefits of saturated fats, saturated fats and heart disease, saturated fats and cholesterol…any one of those will bring up lots of good, CURRENT info.
    The only oils we use in our home are coconut, olive, ghee and lard from organic, grass-fed animals. I haven’t tried palm oil only because it’s not readily available in our area.
    If you want to become and/or stay healthy, avoid vegetable oils: soybean oil, canola oil, safflower oil, cottonseed oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, and others.
    People’s Pharmacy response: in Japan, where saturated fatty acid makes up a much lower proportion of the diet, people who get less saturated fat are at higher risk of hemorrhagic stroke. Here is the link to the abstract on this brand – new research:
    It is worth remembering, however, that those who eat more saturated fat are at higher risk for heart attacks in Japan as here.

  4. NJA

    About twenty five years ago, my husband was advised to avoid cocoanut oil in any form. I wonder how they came to the conclusion that it was good for you. He passed away from heart trouble even though he had had bi pass surgery.

  5. Ines A.

    My cholesterol level is a little high, but I do not want to take any medicine for that. My diet is good, I do not eat fatty food, I exercise, etc… I have been eating 1 tablespoon of oats with the cereal, every morning… also, eating egg plant on daily bases… is there anything else that I can do to lower the cholesterol? Tks Ines

  6. Cindy B.

    I’ve studied up on coconut oil (which I formerly avoided like the plague, thinking it very unhealthy) — and there seems to be significant evidence that it does indeed reduce the chances of getting Alzheimer’s and similar problems. I take approx. a tablespoon per day. Hard to tell how much it’s helping because I can’t go back and “re-do” the same time period without taking the oil. I do think it’s helping, though.

  7. shell

    I saw a very interesting video about coconut oil preventing alzheimers. A friend who is a nurse sent it to me and I was wondering about that too–BUT all that fat is just not good for you.. ketones etc…. No way would I want to try the coconut oil. but I have 2 friends who are taking it and thinking they are going to be Alzheimer’s free because of it….

  8. Angela M. R.

    I have been reading ingredients and when I see the terrible trio, Palm oil, Palm Kernel oil and Coconut oil, I avoid it. Yes, there are many things I don’t eat. But, I lowered my cholesterol to 179… I think it’s the lowest since I was born!!!!
    So, with all the praises from this lady, I still can’t bring myself to indulge. I’m 83…I don’t want to be a burden to my children. When I go,I hope it’s on the EXPRESS!!!! :)

  9. Paul43

    Works great as a Underarm deodorant!

  10. jcf

    I have heard that palm kernel oil is not good for you is that the same as palm oil?
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: Palm oil and palm kernel oil are derived from different parts of the palm: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palm_oil

  11. Amy G.

    Amen for eating saturated and good fats, and for not using trash oils (canola, vegetable, corn, soybean, etc!)

  12. cpmt

    I HEARD THAT COCONUT OIL (100% pure, organic, virgin) is good for alzheimers and dementia and memory problems. And since I am having memory problems (I am taking metformin)- forgetting words and names- I thought to know your opinion on this. And, Any suggestions to improve memory? Thank you.

  13. CJ

    Thanks for sharing this. We have switched to coconut oil and really like it. Wish I could share with you how Vitamin B5 can stop grinding of the teeth which saved the fillings I have. My dentist was concerned about my gold fillings and then after my doctor put me on B vitamins, I no longer did this. Also read in Prevention magazine that the lack of this was the cause of this, and I realized I no longer was doing this. Amazing.

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