As a personal trainer, eating saturated fats has always been a big no no. Saturated fats cause high cholesterol, obesity, heart disease and cancer.
Coconut oil however unlike most common vegetable oils contains medium chain fatty acids (MCFA) instead of long chain fatty acids (LCFA). This means being smaller, they are easily digested and burned quickly by the liver for energy. Medium chain fatty acids boost the metabolism and instead of storing fat they use fat for energy.
Coconut oil is made up of healthy fats, lauric acid (almost 50%, the richest source in nature) caprylic acid and capric acid. Lauric acid contains the highest concentration of MCFA fatty acids, approximately 75 per cent and is the source of disease fighting fatty acid derivative monolaurin. Other oils such as flaxseed and olive oil oxidise at high temperatures causing free radicals, while coconut oil has one of the highest smoking points so should be used as your preferred oil for cooking as it doesn’t turn rancid
When buying your coconut oil, just make sure it’s unrefined, organic, virgin, cold pressed and unbleached so you get the most of the nutrients. Coconut oil has a melting point of about 24°C so you will find it as a liquid in summer and solid during winter.
Here are just some of the amazing benefits of eating coconut oil. I will share some of its many other uses in another post soon.
- Weight Loss: Medium chain fatty acids boost the metabolism and instead of storing fat they use fat for energy. Coconut oil also contains less calories than other oils and is more filling than carbs to help decreases sugar cravings.
- Digestion: Coconut oil has been found to benefit digestive disorders including irritable bowel syndrome and microbial related tummy bugs. The saturated fats present in coconut oil have anti microbial properties and help in dealing with various bacteria, fungi and parasites that cause indegestion such as candida. Coconut oil also helps in absorption of other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
- Immunity: Coconut oil strengthens the immune system as it contains antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid which have antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties claimed to help heal viruses such as herpes, influenza and HIV.
- Diabetes: Coconut Oil helps control blood sugar and insulin while also assisting in blood glucose usage to prevent and treat diabetes.
- Heart Health: Lauric acid helps in preventing various heart problems including high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. It does not lead to increase in LDL (Low-density lipoprotein aka bad cholesterol) levels like other saturated fats.
- Bones: Assists in the uptake of essential vitamins and minerals so naturally improves bone and teeth health. It also stops tooth decay!
- Kidney Health: Helps dissolve kidney stones and also assists in preventing kidney and gall bladder diseases.
- Liver Health: Helps prevent liver diseases as MCFAs are easily converted into energy so reduce the load on the liver.
- Sports Performance: Due to its health benefits coconut oil is the preferred oil for athletes. It is easily converted into energy and improves endurance therefore enhancing performance.
Click here for the many uses of coconut oil. Based on these benefits what do you think you could use coconut oil for?