- Diet & Weight Loss
Coconut Oil - It's Not Just For Losing Weight
When I hear an inaccurate statement such as, "My doctor told me to stay away from saturated fats," it makes my blood boil; it's hard to keep my mouth shut and not give my "radical opinion."
The Truth Is, Not All Saturated Fats Are Created Equal
Saturated fats come in three classes: short, medium and long chain fatty acids. Classes are determined by the number of carbon molecules they contain.
Coconut oil has short and medium chain fatty acids that are easily absorbed by the body and have numerous health benefits.
How Did Coconut Oil Get Such A Bad Rap?
When America's supply of delicious, nutritious coconut oil was cut off in WWII, American companies took the opportunity to promote their so called "heart healthy oils." That's when we turned from wholesome coconut oil to rancid vegetable oils.
There was a infamous campaign to demonize coconut oil based on a study using "hydrogenated" coconut oil. No matter how healthy an oil is in it's original state, once it is hydrogenated it becomes one of the worst possible foods for your health. In other words, it was a rigged study.
At one time coconut oil was the oil of choice before polyunsaturated oils, before obesity, heart and a myriad of other diseases plagued our nation.
Here is some food for thought: if Polynesian communities' main staple is coconut, and coconut is so unhealthy, why don't the Polynesians look like the majority of Americans; Obese and sick?
Polyunsaturated Oils Lead to Disease
Unsaturated oils which are long chain fatty acids (LCFAs) such as: soybean oil, corn oil, safflower oil, canola oil, sesame oil and sunflower seed oils (also called "polyunsaturated” fats, because they're plant based) are mostly oils found in concentrated amounts in the seeds of the plant.
Because seeds are a plant's precious reproductive material but are susceptible to hungry animals, evolution has set defenses in place. The oil throughout the plant is concentrated in the seeds and is one such protector. To dissuade animals from eating their seeds, plants concentrate their oils in their seeds; the oil blocks digestive enzymes in the seed-eater. Mess with an animal's digestion and it tends to go elsewhere.
Digestion has a very important role in over all health, including thyroid health. When digestion is off, so is the thyroid, which may lead to low thyroid function. When the thyroid is under-active, metabolism slows down. We all know a sluggish thyroid means weight gain;a sluggish thyroid can also cause heart disease?
Unsaturated Oils Lead To Hypothyroidism:
The little thyroid gland has a big role to play in our bodies because it affects our metabolism and every organ in the body.
Hypothyroidism (sluggish thyroid) can cause blood pressure problems that can lead to heart disease and can worsen existing heart problems. Hypothyroidism gives rise to a myriad of other diseases : restless leg syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome, stress, sleep apnea, rhabdomyolysis, dry skin, pleuralfusion, obesity, amenorrhea, fatigue, urinary incontinence in women, thyroiditis, Raynaud's Phenomenon, thyroid cancer .
You can take medication for a sluggish thyroid, but why not eliminate what is causing your thyroid problem in the first place? Industrialization and mass production of foods produce products that contain high quantities of polyunsaturated oils. If you are eating pre-packaged, processed foods and frequenting fast food restaurants on top of cooking with polyunsaturated oils, maybe you should ask yourself, "What will my health be like ten years from now?" Not a pretty picture.
Weight Gain, Premature Aging, Sagging And Wrinkly Skin
Polyunsaturated oils are a toxic burden even before industrial processing tames them down.
Free radicals, acidity and oxygenation are some of the problems with polyunsaturated fats. When these fats are exposed to heat and oxygen they turn rancid. The seeds these oils come from are made to germinate in the spring, and are not evolved for heat. Once they enter our body polyunsaturated oils are exposed to heat and oxygen that turn them rancid, thus causing free radical damage. Besides premature aging, sagging and wrinkly skin, free radical damage is a major trigger for many diseases, including cancer, heart disease and autoimmune diseases such as arthritis, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and cataracts.
I am amazed when I read articles claiming these vegetable oils are "heart healthy." You may have seen one or two:
"Polyunsaturated vegetable oils are important for heath they are called essential fatty acids (EFA's) because they are essential to your health and a good source of omega 6 necessary for your optimal health."
There is nothing further from the truth. Unsaturated oils lead to heart disease and contribute to the ingestion of (damaged) omega-6 in amounts that cause problems.
Healthy amounts of omega-6 can be obtained by eating whole foods such as coconut oil, avocado, organic eggs from free-range chickens, and grass fed beef.
Coconut oil has the highest lauric acid content other than mother's milk
What's So Great About Coconut Oil?
1. Lauric Acid - Coconut Oil's Secret Weapon
Coconut oil consists of approximately 50% Lauric acid (healthy saturated fat) a trace of polyunsaturated fatty acids (Linoleic acid) and monounsaturated fatty acids (Oleic acid).
Lauric acid is converted in our bodies to monolaurin (not produced by our bodies) which boosts immunity, reduces sickness and fights viral infections, such as liver disease, kidney disease, Chron's disease, cancer, flu, herpes, measles influenza and hepatitis C, to name a few.
Researchers in the Philippines are studying lauric acid and it's in it's effectiveness against HIV/AIDS.
2. Health And Weight Loss
Coconut oil is not a fad diet; it keeps your body operating at tip-top condition; like a well oiled machine.
Coconut oil, boosts your metabolism, increases energy, and helps a sluggish thyroid.
Coconut oil has thermogenic properties (raises body temperature) which raises our metabolism. It decreases our appetite by regulating insulin levels, and nourishes our thyroid by producing thyroxine; the more thyroxine the more energy the more calories you burn. Children have more thyroxine than adults, which explains their high energy level.
When you consume coconut oil you burn fat for energy, due to the MCFAs which nourish the mitochondria and give you instant energy.
Unsaturated oils, on the other hand, damage the mitochondria via oxidative stress.
Pre-workout Belly Buster Cocktail:
Coconut oil and quality coffee (see Fountain of Youth) is a powerful pre-workout, belly buster cocktail. Just add a spoon or two of organic extra virgin coconut oil to your quality coffee. This combination is part of a dynamic breakfast and is sufficient to drink alone (without additional food) before your workout. The combination of coconut oil and the right kind of coffee (coffee also contributes to weight-loss) revs up your metabolism and gives you a successful and efficient workout.
Take 3 to 4 tablespoons per day for weight loss results.
3. Beautiful Youthful Skin:
Coconut oil increases absorption of B vitamins, the fat-soluble vitamins: A, D, E, K, and is rich in antioxidants. These vitamins and antioxidants help destroy free radicals that can cause premature aging and wrinkly, saggy skin.
I don't go a day without applying coconut oil all over my body and face. Absorbing deep into the skin coconut oil strengthens connective tissues which helps reduce fine lines, wrinkles and promotes elasticity.
I love the way it feels and smells (a subtle, pleasant aroma), especially how soft and smooth it makes my skin look and feel.
It seems my miniature poodle likes the taste of coconut oil; she seems to instinctively know how good it is for her. As soon as she hears the twist of the cap she is by my side licking the oil my legs. I'm sure coconut oil is beneficial for her as well, but I rather not share my leg oil :o) I am thinking of adding some to her food since she is looking a little pudgy, lately.
You can also shave with coconut oil, use it as sun screen and it's a great deodorant.
- 4. Protects From Heart Disease and Type 2 diabetes
Unlike polyunsaturated fats, coconut oil's lauric acid (saturated fat) nourishes the thyroid, which influences every organ in our body including our heart.
Coconut oil gives us instant energy like carbs, but instead of spiking insulin levels and making us sick as carbs do, coconut oil stabilizes insulin levels and protects us from type 2 diabetes.
- 5. Anti-fungal, Anti-bacterial and Anti-viral Properties
Coconut oil'sbeneficial fatty acids---lauric, capric, and caprylic---have antioxidant, anti-fungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties.
These fatty acids prevent and treat ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, acne, bruises, psoriasis, athletes foot, nail fungus and more.
- 6. Protects Against And Helps Reduce Candida
Candida is a chronic condition many people don't even know they have. Candida lives in your body and is a yeast that thrives on carbs and sugar, the more yeast build up, the more carbs and sugar you crave; it's a viscous cycle. Candida has many symptoms, some of the being: fatigue, bloating, joint pain, depression, acne, itchy skin, cravings for sugar and carbs, poor memory, fast or irregular heart beat, dizziness, numbness, anxiety, cystitis, thrush, menstrual irregularities, asthma, weight gain and loss, ear infections and insomnia.
Coconut oil's fatty acids destroys candida yeast. According to a study by the University of Iceland, coconut oil kills candida yeast without leading to resistant Candida strains the way other anti-fungal candida treatments can.
- 7. Prevents and Helps Cure Alzheimer's:
Coconut oil can convert medium chain fatty acids into brain-nourishing ketones.
Most long chain triglycerides (LCT) need to be digested with help from our gallbladder, but Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) go directly to the liver, which converts them to ketones. The ketones are released into the circulatory system making their way to the brain, thus helping brain function.
According to Health Impact News: "A study done in 2004 took MCTs, from coconut oil and put them into a drink that was given to Alzheimer’s patients while a control group took a placebo. They observed significant increases in levels of the ketone body beta-hydroxybutyrate (beta-OHB) 90 minutes after treatment when cognitive tests were administered. Higher ketone values were associated with greater improvement in paragraph recall with MCT treatment relative to placebo across all subjects."
Dr. Newport said in an interview with CBN that coconut oil has dramatically improved her husband's Alzheimer's. After being unable to get her husband enrolled in a clinical trial based on Medium Chain Triglycerides (maybe the one above), Dr. Newport conducted her own trial. Since coconut oil is a rich source of MCT's she gave her husband some every day by mixing it in his food. In just five days she says his mental fog lifted and there was tremendous improvement. Within five months, Dr. Newport's husband was more like his old self, more aware of people and enjoying social interactions again. Some physical ailments had subsided, as well, and some disappeared.
This experience has prompted Ms Newport to write a book: Alzheimer's Disease: What IF There Was a Cure?
I haven't read this yet, but I'm looking forward to it.
8. Bone and Teeth Health
Coconut oil improves absorption of minerals, such as calcium and magnesium. This is not only great nutrition but great for strong teeth (fewer cavities) and strong bones that can help prevent osteoporosis.
Toothpaste : Mix coconut oil with baking soda
- 9. Hair Conditioner
Coconut oil nourishes, protects and restores damaged hair. Apply coconut oil to you hair and let it seep in overnight, or for a few hours during the day. When you wash it out, your hair is silky and shiny. I like to rub some oil in my hair when it's dry; it takes away any frizzes and leaves my hair smooth and shiny.
Don't Settle For Anything But The Best - Buy The Highest Quality Coconut Oil:
Tropical Traditions Gold Label
Of course it makes sense the higher the quality of coconut oil you use, the more health benefits you receive.
Make sure you only buy virgin organic coconut oils. Be aware that even virgin organic coconut oils are mass produced. The oil is usually extracted from the coconut milk by mechanical means. This doesn't mean the organic virgin coconut oils isn't good; it just means it's not the best.
Why not get the best for maximum benefits to obtain optimal health?
Tropical Traditions Gold Label, comes straight from the Philippines uses a traditional method and is hand crafted by family producers. Once the coconut milk is extracted by grating fresh coconut, the milk is left in a covered container for 24 hours. This is how the oil separates from the water which produces the purest coconut oil there is for the most benefits you can have.
How Much Coconut Oil Is Best
It is recommended to consume 3 tablespoons of coconut oil per day for optimal results. If you are in emergency mode ( trying to heal from a disease) the dosage should be as much as 5 tablespoons per day.
How To Eat Coconut Oil
Some people take it by the spoonful.
Add coconut oil to your soups, stews and smoothies and don't forget your coffee.
Fry eggs with coconut oil.
Butter your toast with coconut oil (there is coconut butter (sometimes called cream) which works well for this.
Coconut oil for sauteing vegetables is delicious.
Pour over ice-cream to form a coconut shell (mix in some raw coconut flakes and organic chocolate nibs)
Add coconut oil to your oatmeal instead of milk
Coconut oil is great for Baking
Coconut oil can handle very high heat without being altered or going rancid at a smoking point of 260 degrees.
I would love if anyone has any recipes to share :o)
Here are two of mine:
Coconut Oil Mayo recipe:
1 whole egg
2 egg yolks
2 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
1/2 tsp salt
Drop eggs in blender, drizzle oil slowly, then add lemon and salt.
1 cup coconut milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of raw honey
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup coconut flour
2 tblsp butter
Combine baking soda, sea salt and coconut flour. Mix in eggs, honey, vanilla and butter.