Scientific research on coconut oil has revealed health benefits that affect your entire body, inside and out.
You’ve heard good things about it and now you have a tub of it sitting in your pantry.
Coconut oil is a heart-healthy food that can help keep your body running smoothly and efficiently in a number of ways. The oil contains a combination of fatty acids, medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs), which contain antioxidant properties and help in the absorption of other minerals, according to Healthline. Here are the various ways it can impact your health.
9 Amazing Facts You Need To Know About Coconut Oil
Boosts Brain Function in Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia worldwide and occurs primarily in elderly individuals.In Alzheimer’s patients, there appears to be a reduced ability to use glucose for energy in certain parts of the brain.Ketone bodies can supply energy for the brain and researchers have speculated that ketones can provide an alternative energy source for these malfunctioning cells and reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s
Manages type 2 diabetes
A recent study by the Garvan Institute of Medical Research found that coconut oil protects against insulin resistance, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. MCFA fats are small enough to be absorbed into the cells where they’re quickly converted to energy. It is this process that not only reduces the amount of fat we pack into storage, but improves insulin sensitivity.
It’s not a miracle food
No single food is a magic bullet, coconut oil included. An internet search will bring up dozens of webpages claiming that coconut oil can do everything from clear up your acne to cure cancer. It’d be great if that were true, and research into the food continues, but there is no scientific evidence supporting the majority of the health claims made for coconut oil.
Coconut oil is made up of healthy fats lauric acid, caprylic acid and capric acid which contain antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral prosperities to boost the immune system. Lauric acid contains the highest concentration of MCFA fatty acids, approximately 75 per cent. The body turn this fat into monolaurin which is claimed to help heal viruses such as herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, helicobacter pylori and candida.
Improves Blood Cholesterol Levels
Coconut oil is loaded with saturated fats, which actually do not harm the blood lipid profile like previously thought.This improvement in cardiovascular risk factors should theoretically lead to a reduced risk of heart disease over the long term.
All fats are not created equal
Coconut oil contains short term medium-chain saturated fatty acids (MCFAs), which is a “healthy” form saturated fat compared to trans fat. Trans fatty acid consumption is linked with heart problems, depression and increased cholesterol levels. What does consuming MCFA fats in coconut oil mean for your body? Our body metabolises these fats in the liver, immediately coverting this into energy (fuel for the brain and muscle function) rather than it being stored as fat.
It’s a source of lauric acid
The majority of the saturated fat in coconut oil is in the form of lauric acid, which is why many consider it to be a healthier choice than other fat sources. There are studies that show that lauric acid can increase your HDL or “healthy” cholesterol and lower your LDL or “lethal” cholesterol.
It’s high in calories
Regardless of the form it comes in, each gram of fat has nine calories. So if you’re on a calorie-restricted diet, you’ll want to watch your coconut oil intake—like any oil, it’s high in calories. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it in moderation, whether it’s for the taste or any potential health benefits; it just means you’ll have to account for it in your daily intake totals.
Cook in high temperatures
Because coconut oil is a medium-chain saturated fatty acid, it gives it a higher smoking temperature than most polyunsaturated or monounsaturated oils. If you’re preparing recipes that require high temperatures you should consider coconut oil for this type of cooking. Unlike olive oil which will oxidise at high temperatures, creating free radicals.
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