What smells like a tropical holiday and has amazing health benefits? Coconut oil, of course! We’re always looking for ways to boost our eating on days off from the Military Diet. Coconut Oil is a no-brainer…
Every now and then, a new ‘it’ food comes along. Many of these ‘it’ foods were always good for us, but fall in and out of favor based on research or the latest study.
Eggs and avocados are good examples of fats that are always good but occasionally get some bad press. If you follow health and diet trends, you can’t help but notice that coconut oil remains on top. There’s almost nothing this oil can’t be used for, but for many years Coconut Oil was demonized because it contains saturated fats, GASP! But not all saturated fats are created equally.
Coconut Oil and Saturated Fat
Somewhere along the way, saturated fats became the enemy. Since coconut oil has about 90% saturated fats, it got thrown out with the bath water. The thing is, not all saturated fats behave the same way in the body. Coconut oil has something called lauric acid, one of the good fats we’re always looking for. Unhealthy saturated fats come from meat and dairy whereas coconut oil comes from a plant, but coconut oil was grouped in with all the unhealthy saturated animal fats. Animal based saturated fats are composed of long chain fatty acids (LCFAs), but coconut oil is made up of medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs). When our bodies break down medium chain fatty acids, the effect is very different. Recent research shows that plant-based saturated fats have a positive effect on cholesterol, compared to animal based fats, which have a negative effect.
Does saturated fat cause heart disease?
Despite the hype, history doesn’t back the claim that saturated fats cause heart disease. In more recent years, new research indicated that saturated fats do not raise the risk of heart disease like previously thought. Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States, but even after the so called healthy oils became popular, heart disease hasn’t diminished, it’s actually increased. There are more cardiologists than ever. Saturated fats are actually necessary for healthy cell function and growth. Saturated fats have also been linked to weight loss!
Coconut Oil in other Countries…
While North America has caught onto the amazing health benefits of Coconut Oil, it’s been used for thousands of years in tropical climates, the places we usually go for holidays. In the 1960s, Coconut Oil was considered an artery clogger because of its saturated fat content. It’s just not true!
In warm places like Thailand, the South Pacific and the Mediterranean, people have eaten coconut as part of their daily diet for thousands of years. In the 1930s, Dr. Weston Price studied Pacific Islanders who ate a lot of coconut. He found them fit and healthy with almost non-existent levels of heart disease. Other Polynesian communities with high coconut intakes were studied in the 1980s and also found to have excellent cardiovascular health.
Benefits of Coconut Oil
Remember the dad in My Big Fat Greek Wedding who used Windex to treat everything from pimples to poison ivy? Windex isn’t really good for anything except cleaning windows, but Coconut Oil actually does have real antimicrobial, antibacterial and antifungal properties.
The miracle ingredient in Coconut Oil is lauric acid. Coconut Oil is over 40% lauric acid, the richest source naturally available. Lauric acid is found in human breastmilk, the healthiest of all foods. Lauric acid converts to monolaurin in the body and increases immunity by fighting viruses and disease like cancer. When combined with oregano oil, coconut oil is more effective at fighting deadly staph bacteria than antibiotics.
Top benefits of Coconut Oil:
Coconut oil lowers cholesterol and blood pressure.
Coconut oil increases thyroid health.
Coconut oil boosts metabolism.
Coconut oil assists in weight loss.
Coconut oil makes bones stronger because it helps in the absorption of calcium and vitamin D
Coconut oil reduces yeast and candida because of its antifungal properties
Coconut oil fights bacteria and viruses
Coconut oil has anti aging benefits when applied to the skin
Coconut oil reduces the risk of Type 2 diabetes
Coconut oil enhances athletic performance
Coconut oil is good for your heart
How to buy Coconut Oil
Look for unrefined, cold pressed coconut oil. Virgin coconut oil is advertised everywhere, but there’s no industry standard for the term. It’s really just a marketing term that brings to mind virgin olive oil, which we also know is good for us.