There has been loads in the news about how Coconut Oil is now terribly bad for us, having been told it was the wonder oil and we must all gobble down tons of the stuff to make us body beautiful from the inside out, it is being sited that it will lead to heart disease. What is really going on is that the American Heart Association is only focusing on the fact that Coconut Oil can increases LDL cholesterol (Low Density Lipoprotein) (* see note at foot for further information) and it is not pointing out all the lovely things it does for out bodies.
- Coconut oil and cholesterol – It raises HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) in us humans which is a good thing because having high levels can reduce the risk of heavy disease and stroke.
- Good Fats – Coconut oil is a wonderful source of healthy fats. Did you know that over 50% of the fat in coconut oil is lauric acid (most commonly found in breastmilk).
- Hormones – Coconut oil contains certain fats that specifically support the bodies natural hormone production.
- Improves gut health – Coconut oil has a high concentration of beneficial fats which makes it it helpful for digestion. Its antimicrobial properties can help fight irritation and infection in the gut from candida and the like.
- Immune support – Its antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties make it beneficial for immune support.
- Insulin levels – Some studies show that it can improve insulin levels when consumed regularly.
- Fab for cooking – Coconut oil is a very stable oil and doesn’t break down easily at high temperatures making it an ideal oil to cook with. It does not easily go rancid and has fantastic nutritional properties.
- Skin nourisher – Its antioxidant properties make it a wonderful natural moisturiser for both hair and skin and its great for wrinkles too !
- Increased absorption – It has been shown to increase the absorption of calcium and magnesium.
- Energy – It is an immediate source of energy when eaten, that isn’t stored as fat.
- On the body – Coconut oil has those antimicrobial and antibacterial properties that help to kill off yeast infections, help sooth psoriasis and eczema and some say when applied topically it can improve cellulite, it can even be used on your pets, seriously I am not kidding !
I could go on, but as you see taken in moderation either in your food or used on the skin as a moisturiser and nourisher, in my opinion, it can only be a good thing. I also find it a comforting fact that when you read the label you know exactly whats in it unlike some cooking oils and beauty products where you can’t pronounce the ingredients let alone understand what benefits they will actually bring.
Types of Coconut Oil –
Unrefined Coconut Oil – This oil gives you the most benefits and is found to have the highest antioxidant levels.
Extra Virgin – Unlike in Olive Oil, the term “Extra Virgin Coconut Oil” is produced by cold-pressing the oil and this does not preserve the antioxidants.
Refined Coconut Oil – Often tasteless and with no smell of coconut. It is may be heated, bleached and deodorised. There are healthy options out there but generally speaking refined coconut oil does not have the same health benefits as unrefined.
Fractionated Oil or MCT Oil – This is a liquid oil that does not go solid below 76 degrees. It does contain all the health benefits and is full of brain-boosting fats too.
At the end of the day you make your own choice dependant on budget and the way you will be using it but I find it rather a comfort to know exactly whats in this jar of goodness – one single ingredient, its just that simple.
Let me know what your favourite ways are for using coconut oil.
P.S. More on the art of Coconut Pulling to come in an upcoming post so if you are interested keep an eye out for that.
* Just as a note of reference as I mentioned HDL and what it stands for I thought I should clarify the other forms of Cholesterol that we frequently hear about…
- LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol makes up the majority of the cholesterol in our body. LDL is known as “bad” cholesterol because having high levels can lead to plaque buildup in your arteries and result in heart disease and stroke.
- HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol absorbs cholesterol and carries it back to the liver which then flushes it out of your body. HDL is known as “good” cholesterol because having high levels can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Triglycerides are a type of fat found in your blood that the body uses for energy. The combination of high levels of Triglycerides and low HDL or high LDL cholesterol can increase risk of heart disease.