All Hail: Coconut Oil…Or Not
The coconut oil craze that’s taking the beauty and nutrition world by storm is something everyone wants to learn more about. However, this topic is one that conflicts me, because even though I want to believe that coconut oil can save my life, there are limited long-term research studies done that can prove positive effects. That means most of these miracle uses for coconut oil are found in home remedies. But before you freak out and throw away all the coconut oil in your house, there is still some science backed proof that coconut oil does benefit our bodies in some ways.
Total Trim Down
Great news: what you heard about coconut oil being great for weight loss is most likely true, and this theory is backed by the scientific makeup of the oil. I’m sure everyone has also heard that coconut oil is high in saturated fat, which is often associated with heart disease. But unlike the saturated fats butter and lard, coconut oil is broken down differently, and made into energy after being taken from the liver to the GI tract.
Why does the body treat coconut oil differently? Coconut oil fat is made up of “medium chain triglycerides,” while other saturated fats are made up of “long-chain triglycerides.” So no more worrying about the high fat controversy in coconut oil that’s stirring the internet right now, because it still helps you lose more weight than the other guys.
Here’s a great myth that is very possibly true: the fat in coconut oil may support less inflammation in the body. While no long-term study has proved it yet, it’s believed to decrease the chance of diabetes and autoimmune diseases (diseases where the body attacks its own healthy cells). Some people have even gone as far as to say that coconut oil saved their lives.
Coconut oil is rich with antioxidants, which we have all learned are great for our body. Basically, the compound that coconut oil is full of provides reactive oxygen molecules with what they need to repair themselves. Complicated? Yes, but also very important when it comes to a healthy body.
So What’s the Catch?
Like everything else in this world, coconut oil should be used in moderation because even though it has benefits, this oil is also pretty high in fat, as in one tablespoon equaling 14g kind of high! And even though that famous ‘vlogger’ you may watch swears that cooking with coconut oil changed their life, just keep in mind that the smoke point is only 350 degrees, and other healthy options like extra virgin olive oil have a smoke point of 410 degrees making them much better options when it comes to cooking, especially when it comes to the price.
At the end of the day, if you like coconut oil, you just have to keep in mind thateverything is okay in moderation. I never tell people to cut anything out of their diet (unless it involves an allergy or intolerance). So if you like coconut oil, just use it in a balanced way with other superfoods!
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