I knew coconut oil was good for something.
One thing I learned about coconut oil growing up in Hawaii was if you wanted to get a nice golden brown, you would use tanning lotion with coconut oil. I was lucky. I’m already a nice chocolate brown. But, it was easy to spot who was using the lotion because of there glistening skin.
But the other great thing about coconuts growing up was opening a fresh one straight off the tree. Husking it. Cracking it open. Drinking the water after working in the yard. Eating the meat.
Coconuts are deep in my childhood memories.
As I got into fitness and learned more about nutrition – coconut was bad! The low fat diet fads were making everyone go crazy looking for fat-free or low fat products. I’ll be honest. I was one.
Fats were bad.
The Old Truth
Coconut oil being a saturated fat was seen to “raise” blood cholesterol and cause heart disease.
Ah Saturated fats! I’m going to get fat.
There are no real research done showing coconut oil does any of those things. The only study out their used hydrogenated coconut oil, and the word hydrogenated is a bad word.
The process of hydrogenation basically creates – trans fatty acids (TFAs), which we all know are the worse fats out there with many studies showing that TFAs raise blood cholesterol. These crappy stuff aren’t present in natural coconut oil.
The Truth about Coconut Oil
It’s awesome. While past ideas thought the saturated fat in coconut caused heart disease and raise blood cholesterol, scientist have found a new weapon to fight against heart disease. Yes, Coconut oil.
Although coconut oil is a saturated fat, it has a unique fat molecule known as medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) and doesn’t have a negative effect on cholesterol. Coconut oil actually increases HDL cholesterol. HDL is the good cholesterol that helps protect us against heart disease. We like HDL. LDL is the cholesterol you have to watch out for. Some foods that consist of high LDL levels are; many processed foods, deep-fried fast foods, cakes, pies, pastries, and doughnuts. Just to name a few.
So now that you know you can actually benefit from coconut oil, here’s why?
Like I mentioned earlier, coconut oil is a unique fat molecule known as MCT. MCT are easily digested and provide a quick source of energy and promotes healing. ”Eating foods containing MCT is like putting high octane fuel into your car,” said Bruce Fife of Coconut Research Center.
Since MCTs are absorbed by your body super fast, they are great for a boost of energy and improve performance during workouts. They also increase your metabolic rate. Which we all know is something we want to do to live a healthier life and be more efficient at burning body fat.
Dr. Joseph Mercola called coconut oil “the tropics best kept secret.”
Studies that were done in the South Pacific found that the native people whose diets were high in coconut to be healthy and trim, despite the fact that they were consuming high amounts of dietary fat. Another finding was that heart disease was non-existent.
This is still a new subject for me, but the research that I have been doing is crazy! Who knew that coconut oil would be such an important addition to everyone’s diet? A few things that I’m experimenting with is only using two types of oils in the kitchen; olive and coconut oil. I’ll definitely make sure to give an update on how things go.
1. Thampan, P.K. 1994. Facts and Fallacies About Coconut Oil. Asian and Pacific Coconut Community, p.8
2. Danesh, J. and Collins, R., 1997. Chronic infections and coronary heart disease: Is there a link? Lancet 350:430.
3. Sircar, S. and Kansra, U 1998. Choice of cooking oils-myths and realities. J Indian Med Assoc 96(10):304.
4. Kaunitz H, Dayrit CS. Coconut oil consumption and coronary heart disease. Philippine Journal of Internal Medicine, 1992;30:165-171
5. Mercola, J. 2011. Coconut Oil Beliefs: When Fat is Good for you. The Huffington Post.
6. Fife, Bruce.2010. Coconut Oil and Heart Disease. Coconut Research Center