Health Benefits Of Coconut Oil
Lately, I’ve been adding coconut oil to everything that I eat. A good chunk of my daily fat intake (around 110 grams) mostly comes from coconut oil. The rest is from eggs, natural peanut butter, chicken, and other foods that I eat that may contain fats. But you get the point. I’ve always read about the benefits of coconut oil, but my healthy fat of choice was always fish oils and olive oil. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I decided to swap over from using olive oil to cook, to using coconut oil on everything, and boy it’s amazing. Probably because I love coconut.
Now many people would say that coconut oil is not good for you because about 90% of it is saturated fats, and you know how saturated fats get a bad rap in the health community. But fellow saturated fats lovers fear not, because over the years saturated fats have been studied more in depth and have been proven to provide many health benefits such as lowering the risk of heart disease, increasing bone density, increasing testosterone production, and strengthening the immune system. Not to mention saturated fats provide a ton of energy for the body. Now don’t get me wrong, and go out and start eating a ton of bacon, butter, fatty steaks and beef patties everyday, because too much of it can actually do more harm than good. Moderation is key. The point that I’m trying to get across is don’t fear saturated fats. Anyways, back to the topic of the benefits:
Aside from the cardiovascular, and testosterone boosting effects that I’ve listed up there, the biggest benefit of coconut oil that you may of heard of is fat loss. If you’re trying to lose a few pounds, you’ve probably heard from a friend or read a few articles, or even seen on a few health shows that coconut oil is the fat to go with. This is because coconut oil is easily digested and metabolized in the body and used for energy the same way carbohydrates are. This is because the oil contains medium chain fatty acids (MCT) and it goes straight to the liver from the digestive tract, where it’s used as a quick source energy instead of being circulated in the bloodstream or stored away as extra body weight. This in turn can speed up your metabolism by 48-65% according to a study performed on obese patients.
Coconut oil has also been shown to provide benefits to patients that have type 2 diabetes. The saturated fat in coconut oil has been shown in animal studies to help control the rate of glucose synthesis and release by slowing down the digestive process. It regulates the breakdown of carbohydrates into glucose, helping to keep blood-sugar levels within a safe range. For this reason, coconut oil is sometimes recommended to be taken alongside carbohydrates to help lower their glycemic effect.
How do you use it?
Aside from those health benefits, coconut oil can provide a ton of other benefits when applied externally to the skin or hair. But I’m not going into detail of that stuff, because I only eat it, and have never thought of applying it topically. I pretty much just replace my olive oil/vegetable oil with it, because since it’s less sensitive to heat its great for stir frying and sauteeing. One thing that you need to watch out for when buying coconut oil, is to not get the refined stuff. I choose the organic virgin coconut oil that can usually be found in the organic and health food section of supermarkets. Give coconut oil a try next time you’re grocery shopping. Share your thoughts and comments below, and I’ll see you in the next article!