How does coconut oil differ from palm oil?
Palm oil is composed of about 44% palmitic acid (C16: 0), 40% oleic acid (C18: 1) and 10% linoleic acid (C18: 2). Palm oil is thus a balanced oil as it contains roughly equal amounts of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids.
Coconut oil however contains about 87% saturated fatty acids in the form of 44.6% lauric acid (C12: 0), 16.8% myristic acid (C14: 0), 8.2% palmitic acid (C16: 0), 7.5% caprylic acid (C8: 0), 6.0% capric acid (C10: 0). The unsaturated fatty acids in coconut oil are 5.8% oleic acid (C18: 1) and 1.8% linoleic acid (C18: 2).
Though palmitic acid, the predominant fatty acid in palm oil is a saturated fatty acid, it has been found to be less hypercholesterolemic than shorter chain saturated fatty acids.