Coconut oil does the body good!
Apr 30, 2013
My last blog from March was all about the unhealthy effects of cooking with canola oil. As promised, today I want to give you all a very healthy option…coconut oil!
What I hope to accomplish is to educate you on the reasons why this “saturated” fat is so good for you. Here goes…
Have you noticed for about the last 60 years that the message has been that saturated fats are bad for your health? The media and health care officials have even gone so far as to tell us that ingesting saturated fats would lead to high cholesterol, heart disease and Alzheimer’s. But, while avoiding these so-called unhealthy fats, Americans’ levels of heart disease, obesity, elevated cholesterol and Alzheimer’s have skyrocketed!
The fact is all saturated fats are not created equal—key word here being “created.” Some saturated fats occur naturally, while others are artificially manipulated through the man-made process called hydrogenation. These manipulated saturated fats are also called “trans fats.” Just about all of the experts agree that hydrogenation of fats does nothing good for your health. So, if one form of saturated fat is bad for you, does that mean that all saturated fat is bad for you? Absolutely not!
There have been multiple studies on Pacific Island populations who get 30 to 60% of their total caloric intake from fully saturated coconut oil. Guess what? Cardiovascular disease is nearly nonexistent in these groups of populations! Where were all the clogged arteries and heart attacks from eating all of this “evil” saturated fat?
Naturally occurring saturated fat in coconut oil is actually good for you and provides the following health benefits:
- Improved heart health
- Boosted thyroid function
- Increased metabolism and fat burning
- Strengthen immune system
- Anti-aging and regenerative effects when applied topically
So now let me explain why and how…
Fifty percent of the fat content in coconut oil is called lauric acid, which has unique health-promoting properties. Your body is able to convert lauric acid into monolaurin, which has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-microbial properties.
Coconut oil is also nature’s richest source of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA). By contrast, most vegetable or seed oils contain long-chain fatty acids (LCFA). LCFA are large molecules, so it makes it difficult for our bodies to break down and our bodies end up storing them as fat!
On the other hand, MCFA are smaller, easily digested and immediately burned by your liver for energy—without the insulin spike. MCFA actually boost your metabolism and help your body use fat for energy as opposed to storing it, helping you become leaner.
Back in the 1940’s farmers discovered this effect accidentally when they tried to use inexpensive coconut oil to try and fatten livestock. It didn’t work! Instead the coconut oil made the animals lean, active and hungry.
The truth is this…it is unsaturated fats combined with too much sugar and processed foods that are primarily involved in heart disease, not the naturally occurring saturated fats you have been lead to believe.
Coconut oil in your kitchen
I use only 2 oils in my food preparation.
- Olive oil is the best monounsaturated fat and works best as a dressing for salads. Olive oil should not be used for cooking due to its chemical structure. It is susceptible to oxidative damage, making it not good from human consumption.
- Coconut oil can be used for high-heat cooking as it will not damage or change structurally. So, I use this oil exclusively when cooking with heat.
As discussed in my earlier blog, vegetable oils such as corn, soy, safflower, sunflower and canola are the worst oils to cook with due to the negative effects they pose on your health.
3 reasons why vegetable oils are BAD
- Most vegetable oils are produced from genetically modified crops.
- Cooking your food in these oils produces toxins and forms trans fats.
- Vegetable oils contribute to the overabundance of damaged omega-6 fats, throwing off your omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. We consume far too many omega-6 fats—about 100 times more than a century ago—and insufficient omega-3 fats, which contribute to chronic degenerative diseases.
There is only one oil that is stable enough to withstand the heat of cooking and that’s coconut oil. So, do your body a huge favor and ditch those “healthy” oil wannabes and grab a jar of organic, unrefined heart healthy coconut oil.