An article I read the other day on coconut oil benefits made me feel very good about myself. I’ve been a regular user of the oil for my hair. It keeps it soft and conditioned. Whatever extra that remains I use as a moisturizer for my skin. I occasionally use coconut cooking oil when I dabble with Kerala cuisine, especially their non-vegetarian items. The oil gives items like the Malabar biriyani (Chicken-rice combo) and the Karimeen fry (Green Chromide fish fry) such an awesome flavoring and exquisite taste!
However, I was able to take notice of my friends from the south Indian state who have a range of health issues. The source of their deteriorating health was their over-consumption of coconut oil.
Here are some major side effects of using too much coconut oil:
1. It Increases Cholesterol Levels:
Over intake of coconut oil can increase the cholesterol levels in our body. Our body requires a certain amount of cholesterol to make certain hormones, vitamin D and for proper digestion. This required cholesterol is produced by the body itself. Coconut oil, a plant based food, contains saturated fat which raises low density lipoprotein (LDL) level which is the ‘bad cholesterol’ level in the blood stream. This can be extremely harmful for health. When the body has more cholesterol than needed, plaque starts to build up and clog the coronary arteries. The heart becomes weak without enough oxygen and blood flow. If the plaque breaks open, it can cause a blood clot to develop which further blocks the blood flow. This leads to heart attacks and strokes.
2. It Causes High Blood Pressure:
High blood pressure is a major side effect of coconut oil. As with the case of cholesterol, high amounts of coconut oil will increase the levels of saturated fat. This accumulation of fatty acids makes the blood vessels narrower, thereby restricting the flow of blood. This makes the heart pump harder, at a faster rate with no time for rest causing hypertension. This constant high blood pressure causes the arteries to weaken and even close completely. Alongside heart diseases and strokes, high blood pressure poses a risk of having kidney problems, diabetes, dementia and even issues with sight.
3. It Leads To Weight Gain:
Excessive intake of coconut oil won’t work well with your weight loss regimen. A low amount of coconut oil is fine for a healthy diet. But too much of it can lead to overweight caused by the fat accumulation. A lot of calories will not get burned. This can further make us vulnerable to a lot of health problems.
4. It Can Trigger Allergic Reactions:
Coconut oil can sometimes cause certain allergic reactions on the skin like rashes, breakouts, swelling, itching. Common reactions on intake are nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Its anti-bacterial and germ fighting qualities can trigger reactions within our intestine, leading to severe loose motions. A rare allergic reaction that excess coconut oil can cause is anaphylaxis which is life-threatening.
5. It Can Cause The “Die-Off “Effect:
Coconut oil is very effective in making our body system fungus free by eliminating the fungal organisms. However, it is in this process that a lot of toxins are released into the blood. This causes flu-like symptoms like fever, muscle pain, shivering, and headache and so on. This effect lasts for a few days.
Too much of anything can be harmful for the body. So despite the amazing benefits that coconut oil gives us both externally and internally, it is wise to know how much of it we consume or use. I’ve started looking keeping tabs on it now. How about you?