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More Research Needed To Determine Health Benefits Of Coconut-Milk Products

March 22, 2010: 03:41 AM EST
Newly developed coconut-milk drinks may be lower in overall calories than their much-maligned ancestors from the 1980s, but they still contain a lot of saturated fat. However, according to makers of the beverages, scientific studies have shown that the sat-fats they contain, known as MCFAs, speed up metabolism and promote weight loss. The claims are being tested, and so far are unproven. At the same time scientists are examining evidence that MCFAs increase cholesterol levels, including the so-called bad cholesterol LDL, and may be harmful to health. Consumers need to be careful because coconut-milk drinks are far from being considered a health food, despite the preliminary research into weight loss benefits. Bottom line: much more study is needed to confirm whether coconut-milk products are helpful -- or harmful -- to health.
Elena Conis, "Got coconut milk?", Los Angeles Times, March 22, 2010, © The Los Angeles Times
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