Coconut oil has been an important part of communities residing in the Pacific for thousands of years. When dentist Weston Price came to investigate the health of Pacific residents in the 1930s, he found that the locals had no traces of cardiovascular disease, had optimal dental health, and were fit and lean – effects that were potentially brought on by the coconut oil in their diet.
At present, there is a lot of confusion regarding the benefits of coconut oil. Healthcare officials previously warned the public against coconut oil due to its saturated fat content, which they say is linked to a host of health conditions. However, nothing can be further from the truth, as their claims were based on a seriously flawed study.
According to health expert Dr. Joseph Mercola, there is no evidence that the naturally-occurring saturated fat in coconut oil poses a threat to health. Instead, he says that saturated fats, especially those from animal and vegetable sources, can improve your health in a number of ways.
Saturated Fat: The Secret to Coconut Oil’s Success
Virgin coconut oil has been linked to a number of health benefits. It owes its success to its saturated fat content.
Fifty percent of coconut oil’s fat content oil is lauric acid, a healthy saturated fat rarely found in nature. This fatty acid is converted by your body into monolaurin, which is known for its anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-protozoa properties. It has been found to help eliminate lipid-coated viruses and pathogens. Another type of fat found in coconuts and coconut oil is capric acid, which also contain antimicrobial properties.
Virgin coconut oil is also the best source of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs). Compared with long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs) found in vegetable oil, MCFAs are smaller and easier to digest, putting less stress on your digestive system. MCFAs are also stored as energy rather than fat, and can stimulate your body’s metabolism.
Make Virgin Coconut Oil Your Cooking Oil of Choice
Clearly, coconut oil proves that not all fats are bad for you. According to Dr. Mercola, it is the ideal fat to use when you’re looking for replacement for grains and sugar. In fact, he consumes about one quart of coconut oil a week.
Coconut oil is also the best type of oil to use in the kitchen, as it has a unique composition that makes it resistant to heat-induced damage.
While Dr. Mercola does not recommend frying food, he advises doing it with coconut oil instead of hydrogenated oils, such as corn, soy, and canola. The hydrogenated varieties contain omega-6 fats that are susceptible to oxidation and can form toxic substances like trans fat, or unsaturated fats artificially manipulated into saturated fats that are detrimental to your health.
You are better off avoiding vegetable oils completely, as most of them are genetically modified. Over 90 percent of soy and corn crops in the United States are genetically engineered.
Coconut oil is also better than extra-virgin olive oil. Although olive oil contains monounsaturated fat, it should only be used as salad dressing. Olive oil’s chemical structure makes it prone to heat-induced damage.
Five Other Coconut Oil Benefits You Probably Don’t Know
Coconut oil is friend to good health. In addition to using it for cooking, below are other ways on how coconut oil can promote optimal health:
- Coconut oil is safe for your heart, as studies show that it is unsaturated fat that causes cardiovascular problems.
- Coconut oil helps stimulate your metabolism and promotes a healthy thyroid. It is an effective ingredient for weight management.
- Coconut oil’s MCFAs make it a safe source of energy.
- Although it acts as a carbohydrate, coconut oil is good for diabetics because it does not induce an insulin spike in your body.
- Coconut oil can also be applied topically. This tropical oil can help keep your skin young-looking with its anti-aging properties.