Coconut oil happens to be quite a good example of a kind that is considered a controversial food. Despite the fact that it is praised by a huge percentage of the media, there exist several scientists that happen to question some of its benefits.
The reason as to why they question its credibility is the saturated fat it contains. Research that has been undertaken lately indicates that saturated fat is not as unhealthy as it is said to be.
Coconut oil is extracted from the flesh of harvested mature coconuts that are obtained from coconut palm trees. Coconut oil happens to have risen to prominence not only in the bathroom as a moisturizer but also in the kitchen.
Said this, is coconut oil good for you? Well, keep reading the article.
Coconut oil exists in several varieties. Often, when refined it loses the coconut smell as well as flavor. It also happens to be relatively cheaper. In addition, virgin coconut oil is assumed to be of a higher quality as compared to the refined kind. Researches have also discovered that virgin oil has more antioxidant polyphenols as compared to the refined one.
Let’s have a look at the main coconut oil benefits.
Improve The Blood Lipids
Did you know that eating coconut oil on a regular basis could increase the number of lipids that are in blood circulation? This could minimize the chances of suffering from heart diseases. In the recent past, a study was conducted on a group of adults that lasted four months. This period included the consumption of 50 grams of coconut oil, butter or olive oil.
Of all the oils, the use of coconut oil stood out to be the best as it improved HDL (high-density lipoproteins) cholesterol as opposed to the rest. Also, coconut oil inhibited the increase of LDL cholesterol which is a bad kind and awful to the human body.
In a few words, coconut oil tends to protect human beings from suffering heart diseases as compared to alternatives like butter. Moreover, coconut oil has not been proven to affect critical endpoints that entail strokes as well as heart attacks.
It Consists Of Lauric Acid
As a matter of fact, coconut oil is said to contain an amount of 40% of lauric acid. This happens to be such a huge amount of acid. Most alternative oils contain only a tiny amount of it thus making coconut oil stand out. What is lauric acid? It happens to be an intermediary connecting medium-chain fatty acids to the long-chain acids.
However, it happens to not only be differently metabolized but also digested in a distinct manner unlike the real kind of medium-chain acids. Therefore it is rightful to assume that it is a long chain kind as they share many properties.
You might be wondering, what is the significance of lauric acid?
It’s the multiplication of HDL in the human body that lowering the chances to suffer from heart complications.
A Rare Composition Of Fatty Acids
Cooking with coconut oil is helpful as opposed to other oils as it contains a rare combination of fatty acids. It contains 90% of saturated fatty acids with lauric acid being 40% of its fats constituents. That composition causes the coconut oil to have high resistance against oxidation especially at an extreme amount of heat. Therefore, while cooking in high heat conditions, one should consider using coconut oil as oxidation is unlikely to happen.
In addition, fatty acids may improve cognitive functioning in Alzheimer’s patients.
It Assist In Weight Loss
It has been proven that cooking with coconut oil helps to lower the bodyweight of parties involved. Two studies were conducted to investigate this and the outcome will surprise you.
First, 15 women were fed on virgin coconut oil as well as virgin olive oil for a given period of time. It was discovered that coconut oil minimizes appetite as opposed to olive oil. Those advantages are insinuated to be because of medium-chain fatty acids which could help in lowering a person’s body weight.
Second, a group of 40 women found with obesity of the abdomen were fed on both coconut as well as soybean oil. As opposed to soybean oil, coconut oil resulted in a reduction of the circumference of the waist. This is enough to suggest the loss of some pounds.
However, there is still some doubt on whether coconut oil does have benefits of weight loss.
It Can Help To Face Infections
Virgin coconut oil has antibacterial properties that can benefit our stomach and intestines.
One study found that it stopped the growth of Clostridium Difficile intestinal bacteria. this is a bacterium belonging to the Clostridiaceae family commonly known as C. diff, which causes severe diarrhea.
It Improves Dental Health And Relieve Skin Irritation
Thanks to the antibacterial properties we have talked about, coconut oil can be an ally against mouth bacteria. These cause dental plaque, tooth decay, and gum inflammation.
A study showed that using coconut oil for 10 minutes obtained the same result as an antiseptic mouthwash.
Furthermore, daily oil consumption significantly reduced gum inflammation in some adolescent patients.
Bacteria are also the cause of bad breath which in certain situations causes embarrassment and relationship difficulties.
Another benefit comes from a study done on some people with dry skin. Coconut oil is able to improve the elasticity and moisture content of the skin and also reduces the symptoms of eczema.
What Does History Say?
In the past years, quite a number of people who did consume coconut oil were said to be of good health.
It has been suggested that if there was a problem caused by the consumption of coconut oil, people who used it in the past should suffer from various health problems.
Indigenous humans that acquired the majority of their calories from coconuts appeared to be healthier as compared to humans living in western society at that particular period.
For instance, the Kitavans consumed an amount of about 17% of calories containing saturated fats with coconuts being the source.
The Tokelauans acquired about half of their calories in percentage from coconuts thus positioning them as the largest consumers of saturated fats in the entire world.
History of both Tokelauans and Kitavans shows that none of them suffered a heart attack or general heart disease irrespective of the fact that they consumed much-saturated fats.
Nevertheless, both communities fed on seafood, fruits, and the exclusion of processed foods. Notably, they did not purchase processed coconut cream but rather took coconut flesh directly from the natural source.
From the observations, it is clear that there is a possibility of people remaining healthy even when they are engaging in high consumption of saturated fats from coconuts.
Coconut Oil Has Alternative Uses In The Kitchen
Coconut oil tends to have a long-lasting property that most alternative fats lack. Also, coconut oil has a relatively higher smoke point as compared to the rest. It can be utilized for a couple of purposes like frying, greasing of baking pans as well as in baking recipes. It is also a great substitute for vegetable oil as well as butter in cooking recipes.
When it comes to sautéing using coconut oil, it is best that one purchases it in the form of cooking spray. Moreover, coconut oil whether in spray form or solid form is safe to store in your refrigerators or pantry.
Fat plays a big role in human bodies and coconut oil happens to be one of them. Besides providing one’s body with fatty acids, it also aids the body in absorption of several vitamins including A, K, D, and E as they are fat-soluble.
Medium Chain Fatty Acid commonly referred to as MCFAs are in coconut oil as mentioned earlier and tends to serve the body positively. It makes the fats be utilized directly as an energy source and therefore less likely to be stored in the body.
In conclusion, despite the fact that cooking oil is considered controversial by many, there fails to be proof indicating that consumption of the oil moderately is unsafe. Truth is that benefits of coconut oil are a result of the lauric acid content which happens to be a kind of saturated fat that is usually different from other foods.
Eating of coconut oil could be said to be generally fine and may improve your health. But keep always in mind that cooking with the oil ought to be done sparingly as well as moderately to avoid adverse effects.