Coconut oil has been popular for a while now. But many people, with legit concern, questioned just how healthy coconut oil really is since...90% of the oil content is saturated fat. We were all taught that saturated fat is the enemy and that we must avoid it to be healthy at all costs. But is that the truth? Could some saturated fats be healthy for you?
Let's take a look at a few things...
First, in the 1960's, the Sugar Research Foundation sponsored (funded) research by Harvard scientists to "refute" concerns about sugar's possible role in heart disease. Several studies were done between 1964-1966 that suggested sugar might be linked to coronary heart disease. Then, in 1967, the New England Journal of Medicine published the result funded by the Sugar Research Foundation. The paper concluded that the best way to prevent coronary heart disease was to cut fat out of American diets. You can read more about that here.
Next, in 2012, a team of researchers from Norwegian University of Science and Technology evaluated the health and lifestyle habits of more than 52,000 adults aged from 20-74. They concluded that there was a 28% lower mortality risk in women with higher cholesterol above 270mg/dl. They also concluded that if you're a woman, the risk for heart disease, cardiac arrest and stroke are higher if you have cholesterol lower than 183mg/dl.
Then, in March 2014, using data from nearly 80 studies and more than a half million people, a meta-analysis was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. They concluded that those who ate saturated fat had no more heart disease than those who consumed less.
You have to decide for yourself what you believe. This research done by two Harvard researchers seems pretty legit to me. And wouldn't surprise me about the sugar industry. Not all saturated fats are created equal. Naturally occurring saturated fats are very good for our bodies. Processed saturated fats are not. To me, seems like the sugar industry may have been trying to give all saturated fats a bad name, while silencing the true effects of sugar. But, nonetheless, that's just my opinion after reading the research.
The saturated fat that I mentioned above that is not good for you is the kind that is highly processed through hydrogenation. These are unsaturated fats that are turned into saturated fats by adding hydrogen atoms while heating the oil. This creates a thick, rancid oil that only benefits the shelf life of processed foods. Then there's the saturated fat found in meat. We don't eat meat in our house, but I know people do so I want to address this quickly. The hormonal growth promoters and antimicrobial growth promoters used in the production of meat are a major concern for overall human health. The disruption of normal human intestinal flora and the induction of resistant bacteria raise a huge concern about the antimicrobial growth promoters being used. You can read more about the hormones used in meat production, legally and illegally,here. The naturally occurring saturated fats found in coconut oil are not only healthy for you, but are essential to your health!
There are nearly 2,000 studies to date confirming the health benefits of coconut oil. Coconut oil consists of medium chain fatty-acids called caprylic acid, capric acid and lauric acid. (lauric acid Medium chain fatty-acids are great because they quickly digest and convert to energy) They, in fact, burn fat already stored in your body and convert it to energy as well. There is not a high amount of micronutrients in coconut oil, but there are trace amounts of Iron, vitamin E and vitamin K. The main component that is giving it all it's grit is lauric acid. Lauric acid makes up 6.2% of the fat found in human breastmilk! These naturally occurring saturated fats also increase good cholesterol, while at the same time convert bad cholesterol to good cholesterol. As for brain health, coconut oil stimulates production of ketones in the brain. These ketogenic properties activate proteins that repair the brain. The medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil are small enough to cross through the blood brain barrier. These MCT's have anti-convulsant properties that have been proven useful in controlling epileptic seizures. Please note, if you want to get the full benefits of coconut oil make sure you buy unrefined (unprocessed), organic, extra-virgin coconut oil. Check out all the scientifically-proven health benefits of coconut oil below!
Benefits of Coconut Oil: When Used Topically
* healthy, shiny hair
* heals various skin issues
* heals gum disease and tooth decay
* promotes hair growth, eye lash growth and eye brow growth when applied to roots
* acts as a sunscreen
* can replace moisturizer
* whitens teeth When Used Internally
* treats cancer
* treats Alzheimer's
* treats kidney stones
* improves type 1 diabetes
* supports thyroid health
* reduces seizures
* reduces stress
* protects kidney and liver
* increases metabolism
* reduces inflammation and arthritis
* boosts immune system
* prevents osteoporosis
* improves energy and endurance
* improves brain function and memory
* helps heal brain injuries
* improves digestion
* reduces ulcers
* balances hormones
* fights candida and yeast infections
* builds muscle and decreases fat
Coconut oil is a powerhouse of a food. You can easily get more in your diet by cooking with it. You can add it to protein shakes. Eat it on toast. Sometimes I just take a tablespoonful right out of the jar and swallow it. I also use coconut oil as a moisturizer at night and during the day I apply a light layer on my skin. There are so many ways to use coconut oil. A great summertime toddler hack is to blend coconut oil with pineapple or any other berries and a little bit of ice. Blend well and pour into ice trays to make healthy popsicle treats for your kids. Let me know how you have used coconut oil and we can keep adding to the list of wonderfulness that this oil produces!
Disclaimer: The information in the articles on this blog are strictly of the opinion of the author. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, as this blog does not provide diagnosis or treatment. This blog is strictly for educational purposes. Some pages may contain affiliate programs with links.