You’ve probably noticed that I use a lot of coconut oil in my recipes. A lot of people assume that because coconut oil is comprised of saturated fat, it’s bad for you. That’s an old school train of thought. The most recent research tells us otherwise.
Not all saturated fat is created equally. The vast majority of fats we consume, from both animal and plant products, are made up of long-chain fatty acids. Coconut oil is made up of primarily medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA). Our bodies treat long and medium-chain fatty acids very differently.
Without getting too scientific, just know that our bodies can quickly use the medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil for energy rather than storing them, whereas that doesn’t happen with long-chain fatty acids.
In addition, one MCFA in particular found in coconut oil is lauric acid, which is full of health benefits. Lauric acid is rare and not found in many food sources. Coconut oil is made up of about 50 percent lauric acid, making it nature’s most abundant source. Other places you can find lauric acid are palm kernel oil (not the same as palm oil) and breast milk.
I highly recommend everyone use coconut oil. It’s great for cooking, baking, and even personal care. Check out the amazing health benefits coconut oil offers:
1. Coconut oil has a favorable effect on total cholesterol levels.
2. It is antimicrobial, antiviral, and antifungal.
3. Coconut oil is thought to be a brain booster. Many say it can slow the progression and even prevent Alzheimer’s disease. (You have to watch this Youtube video!)
4. Coconut oil helps promote healthy blood sugar levels, making it great for diabetics.
5. Coconut oil, because its type of fat is used for energy and not stored, can promote weight loss.
6. Coconut oil is shown to boost thyroid function.
7. It promotes a healthy heart.
8. Coconut oil, when used topically, has a positive effect on skin and hair health, including lessening wrinkles and combating dandruff and dry, brittle hair.
9. Coconut oil has been shown to increase metabolism.
10. Coconut oil boosts your immune system.
Most large mainstream grocery stores are starting to carry coconut oil. If you can’t find it at yours, check your local health food store. You can also find it here on Amazon.
. Look for pure, organic, virgin coconut oil.
Question: Do you use coconut oil? What’s your favorite use?
Want to read more? Here are some of my sources of information: