Coconut oil has been recently gaining popularity in the world of health and dieting. There are many health promoting aspects of eating and cooking with coconut oil, but moderation is always key.
Coconut oil is a plant-based fat (useful for vegans) derived from the meat of a coconut. Coconut oil is actually 90% saturated fat, compared to butter’s 64% saturated fat.
You may be wondering… isn’t saturated fat bad for your health? It’s true – eating too much saturated fat will raise your levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol. Higher levels of LDL cholesterol increase the risk of heart disease, which is why most people try to stay away at all costs. However the thing about coconut oil and cholesterol is that it also gives your “good” HDL cholesterol a boost.
Antibacterial Properties of Coconut Oil
One amazing thing about coconut oil is that it has antibacterial properties, and can therefore destroy bacteria. This means that using coconut oil on your skin can actually help reduce acne by killing bacteria!
At the same time, coconut oil can destroy both the good and bad bacteria in your gut microbiome when you digest it. It is because of this that consuming too much coconut oil will cause diarrhea. To prevent this, simply use coconut oil in moderation in your recipes and while cooking.
Can Coconut Oil Burn Fat?
You may have heard of coconut oil’s ability to burn fat. Some people even stir coconut oil into their coffee in the morning! This is because coconut oil contains a high amount of medium-chain-triglycerides (MCTs).
MCTs are not stored as body fat as easily as other fats are because the body metabolizes them more like carbohydrates. MCTs can even be used as a direct energy source for the brain and muscles. In this way, coconut oil can improve performance in sport as well as improve cognitive functions.
The way that these fatty acids are metabolized differently has been proven to aid in weight loss, specifically from belly fat. Coconut oil can also help with weight loss by keeping you fuller for longer.
Moderation is Key
As with most health fads, further research is needed before coconut oil’s health benefits can be guaranteed. Saturated fat still raises cholesterol and increases the risk of heart disease.
Cooking with coconut oil is still a more health promoting option than cooking with other solid fats. Just use coconut oil in small amounts to gain the most benefits, while keeping your saturated fat intake in check.
Coconuts themselves can help prevent cancer, improve digestion of certain nutrients, and keep your skin and hair healthy. Here at U-raaw you can add dried coconut flakes to your own homemade energy bars, trail mix or cereal. Not to mention that coconut flakes on their own are a great tasting addition to oatmeal, baking or salads!