Coconut oil is a great alternative to other fats and oils in your pantry! Coconut oil is full of nutritious properties, including its ability to boost your vitamin and Omega 3 absorption. Coconut oil has been used for centuries for its medicinal power, it played a key role in the hygienic teachings of ancient Ayurvedic medicine! Coconut oil is full of nutritious properties that make it a great choice for athletes and foodies alike.
1. Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
1. Coconut Oil is full of medium chain fatty acids that help assist in weight loss
Coconut oil is full of medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) which are healthy fats that are found in coconut oil, palm oil and ghee.
What are medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs)?
These MCFAs are known for their easy digestion - instead of a 26 step process to be digested they take only 3 steps. MCFAs enter mitochondria directly, without taking the carnitine transport system, which means the fat is sent to the liver and is digested quickly.
What medium chain fatty acids are in coconut oil?
The top medium chain fatty acids found in coconut oil are Lauric Acid (52%), Myristic Acid (19%), Palmitic Acid (11%), Decanoic Acid (10%) and Caprylic Acid (9%).
Why are medium chain fatty acids good for you?
- Boosts energy expenditure which aids in weight loss
- Enhances athletic performance
- Supports cardiovascular health
- Helps support weight loss, and maintaining weight loss
- Supports healthy brain function
How do the medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil help you lose weight?
The quick metabolism of MCFAs makes them a potential weight loss agent. MCFAs have been used effectively in obesity and weight loss treatments. These fats increase energy expenditure, meaning, that your resting metabolic rate goes up with their consumption. Your body actively burns more calories with these fats. In 4 week study of 19 healthy overweight men weight loss in response to long-chain triglycerides, which make up fats like olive oil, or medium chain triglycerides, like MCFAs and coconut oil, were compared. MCFAs showed a significant higher weight loss result, and it also showed a stimulation in energy expenditure.
Why does coconut oil reduce your hunger?
Coconut oil increases your feelings of fullness because they contain medium chain fatty acids. In a study of 12 healthy adult men, they studied the effects of different types of fats in diet. MCFAs showed to decrease the food intake of the men because they have a postabsorptive mechanism that made the men feel fuller, longer. Six of the men showed to eat up to 256 calories less per day with coconut oil as an additive to their diet.
How does coconut oil reduce abdominal fat?
In a study that tested the effect of coconut oil on women with abdominal obesity it was shown that coconut oil reduce the women’s waist circumference, which is specifically associated with cardiovascular diseases. The coconut oil group had a significant decrease in their abdominal fat and waist circumference, whereas the soybean oil group did not.
More research needs to be done on this subject, but it appears that coconut oil supplementation is more effective at targeting abdominal fat, especially as opposed to other oils.
What type of fat is in coconut oil?
Coconut oil is 91% saturated fat, 6% monounsaturated fat, and 3% polyunsaturated fat.
Isn’t saturated fat linked to heart disease?
Current research isn’t so sure. Click here to read more.
EAT SMARTER TAKE AWAY: Despite being an oil, coconut oil has tons of benefits that can help you on your weight loss journey!
2. Coconut Oil can possibly help treat Alzheimer’s and improve brain function in aging people
What is Alzheimer’s?
Chronic neurodegenerative disease is called Alzheimer’s. It tends to begin slowly, and worsen over time. There is currently no reversal treatment or cure for alzheimer’s, but there are some factors that can improve symptoms.
How does coconut oil treat alzheimer’s?
While it is uncertain what exactly plays a role in the onset of Alzheimer’s, altered brain glucose metabolism has been thought to be an important link. In brains of Alzheimer’s patients, changes in glucose transporter function and expression has been observed.
Coconut oil, because of it’s ability to be broken down into ketones, is believed to help nourish the brain and treat Alzheimer's. Research from the University of Oxford showed that coconut oil, despite being temporary, allowed for short term benefits in those suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s. The quick breakdown of ketones is thought to improve cognitive function - even temporarily.
It is also thought that since the dysregulation of amyloid-beta (Aβ) levels can contribute to Alzheimer’s disease, coconut oil can help fight neurodegeneration because it has properties that help reduce Aβ alterations. This is important because Aβ is the main component for amyloid plaques that inhibit cognitive functioning in Alzheimer’s patients. By reducing the dysregulation of Aβ peptides, coconut oil fights the formation of these amyloid plaques.
What are ketones?
Ketones are chemicals created by the body when fat is broken down to be used for energy.
How does coconut oil improve brain functioning?
In a study that analyzed mice that were treated with virgin coconut oil and subjected to high stress tests, those treated with VCO benefited from higher levels of brain antioxidants (as well as lower cholesterol, glucose, triglyceride and cortisone levels). This study suggests that coconut oil could be beneficial in stress management which is crucial for proper brain function.
EAT SMARTER TAKE AWAY: Coconut oil contains ketones which are being researched for their potential as an Alzheimer’s therapy and brain boosting agent!
2. Disadvantages of Coconut Oil
1. Coconut Oil can cause allergic reactions!
As with most any food source, there is a risk of allergic reaction. This allergic reaction can materialize in many different ways, whether through contact or consumption. Coconut allergies are considered rare, because a tree nut allergy isn’t necessarily a coconut allergy. (Though for some it is, so be wary!) You are more likely to have a contact reaction to coconut than from consuming it.
The symptoms of a food allergy to coconut oil include: itching, hives, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, breathing issues and swelling. If you have any of these reactions after trying coconut oil, stop using or eating the product and seek medical attention! Contact allergies can result in a rash or blisters, that can develop up to one or two days later, so keep that in mind when trying the product.
True virgin coconut oils are supposed to be non-allergenic and non-irritating. If you experience a reaction to coconut oil when you never had before, it is possible you are using a product that is not a decent quality. If you want to read more about why that matters, click here to learn about the different types of coconut oil.
EAT SMARTER TAKE AWAY: Coconut oil can cause allergic reactions in some people, so be sure to be careful when trying a new product. Different qualities of coconut oil matter, because of the way they are produced, so if you are a veteran that has an adverse reaction make sure to check that it isn’t because you're using a new product!
3. Top 100 Coconut Oil Recipes
4. Coconut Oil Recipes in Video
Coconut oil has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries, and is beginning to trend in the culinary world for its phenomenal health benefits (and its taste!). Coconut oil is a great addition to smoothies for a little immune kick, but is also great as a replacement for other cooking oils. As with any oil or fat, enjoy coconut oil in moderation, but it is a healthy fat to add to your diet. Try the recipes in this video to incorporate coconut oil into your life!
5. About Coconut Oil
What is coconut oil?
Coconut oil is a byproduct of coconut. It can be used in solid or liquid form. It is an edible oil that is extracted from the meat of mature coconuts that are from a tree. It is slow to oxidize because of its high saturated fat content. Coconut oil makes up about 2.5% of the world’s vegetable oil production.
What types of coconut oil can you buy?
|Unrefined Coconut Oil (Virgin)
|This type of coconut oil is less processed. It typically has a light taste and scent of coconut. Virgin coconut oil goes through less production steps than refined coconut oil. It is typically extracted using a screw press, extracting it post coconut milk production, or via a centrifuge.
|Refine Coconut Oil
|This type of coconut oil is typically cheaper to buy. It typically has no taste or aroma. This is produced from dried copra, which is the dried meat of the coconut. It typically experienced the RBD process, which is “refined, bleached and deodorized”. It is made in a heated hydraulic press. This is most popular type of coconut oil to buy, because it is easy to produce.
6. Coconut Oil vs. Oilive Oil
Coconut oil and olive oil are extremely similar in calorie content. Coconut oil is slightly less caloric, at 116 calories per tablespoon, as opposed to olive oil, which has 119 calories per tablespoon. Coconut oil and olive oil can both be processed in different ways, so make sure you know what type and quality of oil you are buying. Click here to learn more about the types of coconut oil there are. Neither coconut oil or olive oil contain cholesterol or trans fat, unlike butter. However, coconut oil is a very high saturated fat, whereas olive oil is very high in unsaturated fat (however it does contain 15% saturated fat!). To read more about coconut oil and its saturated fat content and medium chain fatty acids, click here. We recommend you enjoy a balance of a variety of fats in your diet… but as with everything, consume in moderation!
7. History of Coconut Oil
The coconut has been used for thousands of years by Islanders and Asian countries alike.
Origins of Coconut Oil
Coconut has been a staple in numerous cultures diets for thousands of years. Palm fronds were used for weaving and housing, the sap of the palm has been used as syrups and distilled into liquor, and the coconut meat itself has been a staple of tropical diets. It is estimated that nearly ⅓ of the world depends on the coconut palm itself, whether its for food or economy. Coconut oil has been used for thousands of years as a medicine as well as a nutrient staple.
The exact origin of coconuts is uncertain, however, researchers believe that it may be from Malaysia or from North Western South America. Coconuts are unique in the fact that they are water resistant, and inside the hard husk they contain a seed. Coconuts can float on ocean waters to a new destination without the help of birds or other migratory animals. Coconuts are grown in over 70 countries in the world. The primary growers of coconuts include India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, the Maldives and the Philippines.
8. Q&A About Coconut Oil
How do you pronounce coconut?
What does the word coconut mean?
The word coconut is derived from the 16th century Spanish and Portuguese word coco. The original form of the word was cocoanut. Coco means “head” or “skull”.
How long does coconut oil last?
It has a very long average shelf life for a cooking oil, approximately 2 years!
Does coconut oil need to be refrigerated?
No! You can refrigerate it if you want to though.
Why did my coconut oil melt?
Coconut oil has a low melting temperature, at around 76˚ F. It is completely fine to use in a liquid state, but if you want it as a solid, stick it in the refrigerator until it hardens.
9. Nutritional Information
This is the nutritional information for 1 tablespoon (14 g) of coconut oil!
|Calories from Fat 116
|Total Fat 13.5g
|Saturated Fat 11.7g
|Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2g
|Monounsaturated Fat 0.8g
|Total Carbohydrate 0g
|Dietary Fiber 0g
|Vitamin A 0%
|Vitamin C 0%
Coconut Oil Benefits
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