The Health Benefits of Coconut Oil and How to Use it in Your Diet
Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has gotten a bad rap. It's long been maligned and lumped together with all saturated fats as a key contributor to heart disease. But new information indicates that this may not be true. Coconut oil has actually been called the healthiest oil on earth and for good reason. It's one of the only sources of medium chain fatty acids, which impart unique health benefits. The many health benefits of coconut oil include cardiovascular and heart health, weight loss, thyroid function support, immune system health, and skin health. Using coconut oil daily may help you feel better and look better. Read on to learn how to incorporate coconut oil into your diet and how it can specifically benefit you.
Coconut Oil and Medium Chain Fatty Acids
Oils can be classified in two ways. One is by level of saturation giving us saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Coconut oil is a saturated fat just like the fat found in butter and steak. However, unlike those fats, which are long chain fatty acids, coconut oil is a medium chain fatty acid. This is the second way to classify fats, by the length of their carbon chains. And medium chain fatty acids have distinct advantages in the body that explain the source of coconut oil's benefits.
Coconut Oil and Cardiovascular Benefits
In cultures that traditionally consumed high levels of coconut oil, like the people of Sri Lanka, heart disease has been among the lowest in the world. Recently, as they've switched to margerine for heart health, the incidence of heart disease has increased. Is this a coincidence or is there something to it? Does coconut oil have a beneficial effect on the heart? Many people think so. There is evidence that consuming coconut oil can increase HDL, the good cholesterol, providing a protective effect to the heart.
- Why Eating Fat Will Help You Lose Fat
Dietary fat has gotten a bad rap that's very underserved. Eating fat can actually help you lose weight and can keep you healthy. Read on to learn why you should eat more fat to lose fat.
Coconut Oil and Weight Loss
Can eating a fat actually help you lose fat? The answer appears to be yes, especially if you're talking about coconut oil. Coconut oil appears to stimulate the metobolism. In addition, because medium chain fatty acids are more easily burned for energy than long chain fatty acids, there's less of a chance that it will get stored as fat in the body. Adding coconut oil to your diet while keeping your calories under control and incorporating exercise, my make it easier for you to lose and maintain your weight.
Update: I decided to incorporate more coconut oil into my diet to see if it would help me shed the ten pounds I'd gained over the last couple of years. I've been stirring one tablespoon into my morning cup of coffee and then twice during the day, one tablespoon into a cup of herbal tea. I'm amazed that the coconut oil actually seems to be making a difference. I've lost three pounds and that's without working out. I also have more energy. I'm going to keep doing this and see how it goes.
Coconut Oil and Thyroid Health
A 2003 edition of Women's World magazine famously stated that eating coconut oil would cure hypothyrodism. Since then, many physicians have criticized this assertion stating that it's not backed by research. However, there are many anecdotal stories from people who have followed a thyroid health program that includes coconut oil and found significant relieve from their symptoms. Coconut oil may not cure hypothyroidism but if it helps and doesn't cause harm in other ways then I believe it's worth a try. Dr. Bruce Fife, author of The Coconut Oil Miracle is a big advocate and has seen tremendous results from people who have followed the program outlined in his book.
Coconut Oil and Immune System Health
Medium chain fatty acids like coconut oil have been found to have strong anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. Consuming coconut oil on a regular basis may therefore prevent viral and bacterial infections and even candida infections. This is an important addition to your diet to keep you free from colds and flu all winter long.
- Coconut Oil Recipes - Hundreds of Recipes using Coconut Oil!
Coconut Oil Recipes from Tropical Traditions. Kitchen-tested recipes incorporating coconut oil in some way are found on this page.
Incorporating Coconut Oil in Your Diet
Coconut oil can be included in your diet in many ways. At breakfast, put coconut oil on your toast, waffle, pancake or bagel just as you would with butter. You can also drop some into your coffee and let it melt in. If you drink smoothies for breakfast, put some coconut oil in and mix it up. You'll get a great coconut taste to your smoothie. You can use it at lunch by drizzling the melted oil over a salad or stirring it into a bowl of soup. At dinner you can use it to saute or stir fry your vegetables or drizzle it over steamed vegetables. Check out the great recipes using the link to the right.