Coconut Oil – The Truth & The Myths Exposed
As consumers, we have been bombarded constantly over the past 40-50 years by the so called authorities about fats: saturated fats, unsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, hydrogenated fats, good fats, bad fats, you name it fats and unfortunately, the information released to the masses in western society has been misleading (based on old, out of date data and plain inaccurate and misleading studies), to the detriment of the health of people in our communities.
One thing that is becoming increasingly clear is that the old school mantra of bashing coconut oil as being bad for you, is fast becoming flawed. What needs to be noted is that early studies done on coconut oil many years ago that returned less than favourable results used partially hydrogenated coconut oil NOT unrefined virgin coconut oil.
Hydrogenated oil is not the same as unrefined oil and it is this that led to the inaccuracy of results and consequently coconut oil being undeserving of the criticism that it received then.
Since those very early days over 2000 studies have been performed on unrefined virgin coconut oil and a wide range of benefits have been demonstrated, despite 90 per cent of its fat content being saturated fat. Here’s the thing, our bodies need saturated fats and are not unhealthy as you might have been indoctrinated to think by the western medical system that still hangs its hat on outdated and flawed data from the 1960’s and early 1970’s.
If we spent more time looking at evidence based results then we would note that in places where coconut oil is a staple of the standard diet, people actually thrive and vascular disease in uncommon with NO EVIDENCE of the high saturated fat showing any harmful effects. This research took place in Polynesia in the populations of the Pukapuka and Tokelau people.
A further study completed in Papua New Guinea with the Kitava people who use coconut as a significant staple, found no evidence of any coronary heart disease at all.
Personally, I have been consuming coconut oil every day of my life for the past 7 years and do not suffer from any symptoms of coronary heart disease, do not have high (bad – ldl) cholesterol or suffer from dis-ease whatsoever.
So, what are the benefits of consuming coconut oil? Let’s have a look at why you need to be including this amazing oil into your diet, if you are not currently doing so.
- Ease of digestion, so people with digestive problems can now get the nutrients they need by consuming coconut oil (quick and easy source of nutrition)
- Helps to balance blood/sugar levels, great for people with diabetes who need to keep this balance
- It has powerful anti-cancer properties so can provide protection from cancer
- It also has anti-microbial properties that can protect you from infectious diseases
- It supports a healthy thyroid function, the anti-inflammatory properties can guard against hypo and hyper thyroidism
- Promotes good cholesterol (HDL) while also reducing the bad (LDL) cholesterol
- Contains MCTs – Medium Chain Triglycerides, which increase ketones in our body. Ketones are a great mitochondrial “fuel” and with improved mitochondrial function there is a reduced risk of serious diseases including atherosclerosis, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease and auto immune diseases
- Improved brain function since the ketones can penetrate the blood/brain barrier and provide another energy source for malfunctioning brain cells
- Easy digestion and conversion of the MCTs into energy by the liver
- Boost to the immune system as a result of antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties
- Help with weight loss by stimulating your metabolism
- Improved athletic performance as a result of better energy levels
- Prevention of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
- Ability to decrease symptoms of Crohn’s disease by improving your gut bacteria
- Great for cooking since it can resist the damage caused by heat. Therefore, you are not consuming damaging, oxidized oils, unlike other vegetable oils (eg: canola, cottonseed, corn) that produce oxidized cholesterol when heated.
Why Is The Saturated Fats In Coconut Oil Good For Us?
Fats in our diet are composed of fat molecules called fatty acids. These fatty acids can be placed in one of three categories:
- Long Chain Fatty Acids
- Medium Chain Fatty Acids
- Short Chain Fatty Acids
About 97% of fats and oils contain long chain fatty acids, but coconut oil is unique because it contains medium chain fatty acids and these give it the unique health properties. These also separate coconut oil from the saturated long chain fatty acids found in meat and other vegetable oils.
Additionally, coconut oil can be used as a skin conditioner. Because it is an anti-oxidant, it acts as a skin conditioner with the MCTs keeping it supple and healthy, feeding the skin with goodness and nourishment and protecting it from oxidation and skin aging.
Here are another fun 15 ways to use coconut oil…..thanks to Dr. Mercola:
- Shaving cream
- Rash relief
- Lip balm
- Facial cleanser
- Makeup remover
- Night cream
- Foot Fungus
- Bath oil
- Body scrub (with sea salt)
- Body lotion
- Oil pulling
- Ointment for wound healing
- Treatment for frizzy hair!!
That’s it for now. Please do your own research on this topic if you are still unsure about coconut oil as there is plenty of proven research online for you to read.
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