People have been very skeptical about coconut oil due to its high calorie count and the fact that it is a saturated fat. However studies are now showing that not only are saturated fats not as bad for us as we once thought, but that coconut oil is immediately converted into energy rather than stored as fat.
- Coconut oil is great to cook with – it has a high smoking point and is the least vulnerable oil to oxidation and free radicals which means that it is the safest for cooking at higher temperatures.
- Coconut oil can help fight infections – including: viruses, bacteria, fungal infections, parasites, dental decay and can help stop the development of Alzheimers. The free fatty acids FFA give coconut oil this medicinal effect – 50 percent of the fatty acid content is lauric acid which is converted into monolaurin which is an antiviral.
- Coconut oil has a detoxifying effect – it can stimulate the immune system and help the body get rid of any stored toxins and germs.
- Coconut oil can help you lose weight. This is for 2 reasons:
- Coconut oil can help you burn more fat. The medium-chain triglycerides in coconut oil can increase energy expenditure and boost metabolism compared to the same amount of calories from longer chain fats (found in most oils, dairy and meat.)
- Coconut oil reduces your appetite. This could be related to the way these fats are metabolized. The ketone bodies, which the liver produces when you eat coconut oil, can have a powerful appetite reducing effect.
- Coconut oil can reduce the risk of heart disease – it is true that trans fats and long chain fatty acids found in saturated fats can be a cause of arteriosclerosis, however this is not the case for the medium chain fatty acids found in coconut oil. Unlike many other saturated fats, the medium chain fatty acids of coconut oil reduce the risk of clot formation and therefore reduce the risk of heart disease.
However, it is important to remember that everything should be eaten in moderation and my suggestion would be to swap your cooking oil with virgin (make sure its virgin) coconut oil when you can!