Coconut oil is one of a kind…
Coconut oil was once considered bad for the heart because of it’s high concentrations of saturated fat.
Its unique composition of fatty acids helps with brain functioning, preventing certain diseases, losing fat, and more.
Before we get started… The most important tip you need to know about coconut oil and its health benefits is that it’s vital to purchase organic, unrefined, extra virgin coconut oil. It’s the kind that hardens at room temperature or at about 75 degrees. If your coconut oil stays liquified or says “refined,” then it has been processed and stripped of most of its health benefits.
1. Helps burn fat by increasing energy output.
It’s no secret that obesity is one of the biggest problems in the world.
While coconut oil does contain fat, this is not the normal fat that is found in a stick of butter.
It contains medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) that the body processes differently, and replacing the current oil and fats you use with it will help with weight loss.
What the science says: The medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) in coconut oil increase energy expenditure compared to the same amount of calories from longer chain fats
One study found that 15-30 grams of MCTs per day increased 24 hour energy expenditure by 5%, totaling about 130 calories per day
So the body actually burns more calories by consuming coconut oil!
2. The unique fatty acids and saturated fat will keep you healthy.
For a long time, saturated fat was wrongly pegged as the food responsible for clogged arteries and heart disease.
This myth began in 1977 despite having never been proven and became a cornerstone in dietary recommendations.
However, current research has shown saturated fat to be associated with stronger bones, improved liver health, and improved brain functioning.
What the science says: New data is showing that saturated fats are harmless. Many massive studies that include hundreds of thousands of people prove that the whole “artery-clogging” idea was a myth
Point is, you have nothing to fear when consuming coconut oil and foods high in saturated fat. These foods were wrongly blamed for problems caused by sugar and insulin.
3. Societies that eat lots of coconuts are among the healthiest people on the planet.
Coconuts are considered a foreign concept in most western cultures, however, there are societies that have been consuming diets heavy in coconuts for many years.
Not only do these cultures consume over 50% of their diet in coconuts, they are considered some of healthiest groups of people in the world. They don’t have the diseases known to the western world and are in excellent health. These people thrive from eating massive amounts of coconut.
What the science says: The best example of such a population is the Tokelauans, which live in the South Pacific. They eat over 60% of their calories from coconuts and are the biggest consumers of saturated fat in the world.
They have no evidence of heart disease
Another example of a population that eats a lot of coconut and remains in excellent health is the Kitavans
4. Coconut oil will curb your hunger, helping you eat less naturally.
Considering a detox and finding yourself hungry? Another astonishing fact about coconut oil is that it helps fight hunger cravings.
The medium chain triglycerides seem to have another profound effect on the human body causing people who consume them to be significantly less hungry. This helps people eat less and naturally lose weight in a healthy and sustainable manner.
What the studies say: In one study, varying amounts of medium and long chain triglycerides were fed to healthy men.
The men eating the most MCTs ate 256 fewer calories per day, on average
Another study in 14 healthy men discovered that those who ate the most MCTs at breakfast ate significantly fewer calories at lunch .
5. Coconut oil can help stave off infections by stopping bacteria, fungi, and viruses in their tracks.
Sick of getting sick? There’s a large amount of Lauric acid found in the fatty acids of coconut oil. When it is consumed and digested, the lauric acid will travel through the bodies various systems and help the body fight off bacteria, fungi, and viruses.
It’s a good idea to be consuming coconut oil when you’re sick or have an infection for these reasons.
What the facts say: Lauric acid can kill harmful pathogens like bacteria, viruses and fungi
It has been shown to kill the bacteria Staphylococcus Aureus (a very dangerous pathogen) and the yeast Candida Albicans, a common source of yeast infections in humans
6. Coconut oil helps improve blood cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart disease.
As stated above, coconut oil is loaded with saturated fats that have been wrongly victimized by the media.
Consuming these saturated fats can raise good cholesterol and reduce the risk of developing heart disease. Since these diseases are so prevalent in the world, it’s safe to say that we should all be eating more coconut oil.
What the facts say: Saturated fats raise HDL (the good) cholesterol and change the LDL cholesterol .
In one study in 40 women, coconut oil reduced Total and LDL cholesterol while increasing HDL compared to soybean oil.
There are also rat studies showing that coconut oil reduces triglycerides, total and LDL cholesterol, increases HDL and improves blood coagulation factors and antioxidant status.
7. Coconut oil will improve skin and hair quality.
Coconut oil has a variety of benefits listed at the end of this article, but the 2 most effective uses are for skin and hair quality.
Coconut oil does not have to be consumed to benefit making it one of the most versatile foods on the planet.
What the fact say: Studies on individuals with dry skin show that coconut oil improves the moisture and lipid content of the skin
Coconut oil is protective against hair damage, and one study shows it can even be used as light sunscreen, blocking about 20% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays
Another application is using it like mouthwash in a process called oil pulling, which can kill harmful bacteria in the mouth, improve dental health, and reduce bad breath
8. Coconut oil can reduce seizures from the ketones it produces.
If you suffer from seizures or know someone who does, this information can be very useful.
The ketogentic diet (very low carb, very high fat) is well know for its effects on treating epilepsy. This is because the diet forces the body to burn ketones for energy instead of carbohydrates.
Because of the fatty acid composition of coconut oil, the body is able to produce more keytones to help prevent seizure.
What the facts say: The MCT oils get shipped to the liver and turned into ketone bodies, they are often used in epileptic patients to induce ketosis while allowing for a bit more carbs in the diet
9. Improved brain function in Alzheimer’s patients.
The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease and it effect older individuals worldwide.
In patients, there is a reduced ability to use glucose in certain parts of the brain. Basically, the energy created through the foods one consumes is not getting to the brain.
What the facts say: Ketone bodies can supply energy for the brain and can provide an alternative energy source (other than glucose) and reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s
In one 2006 study, consumption of MCTs led to immediate improvement in brain function in patients with milder forms of Alzheimer’s
Other studies support these findings and MCTs are being intensively studied as potential therapeutic agents in Alzheimer’s disease
10. Helps reduce the most dangerous fat on the body.
The fat around the abdomen is the most dangerous fat, because it is stored in the abdominal cavity and around many of the major organs.
This type of fat is highly correlated with many diseases and the danger of premature death.
It can help you reduce this type of fat and subsequently reduce the chance of developing these diseases. Another excellent reason weight loss programs should have coconut oil in them (want more motivation to lose weight?
What the facts say: A study in 40 women with abdominal obesity, supplementing with 30 mL (1 ounce) of coconut oil per day lead to a significant reduction in both BMI and waist circumference in a period of 12 weeks
Another study in 20 obese males noted a reduction in waist circumference of 2.86 cm (1.1 inches) after 4 weeks of 30 mL (1 ounce) of coconut oil per day
Dr. Kim Phuong