Scientifically Proven Benefits Of Coconut Oil
Posted on 29 May, 2016
Coconut oil is one of the few foods that can be classified as a “superfood.” Its unique combination of fatty acids have been found to have profound positive effects on health. Here are the top 10 health benefits of coconut oil that have been scientifically confirmed in human studies.
Improves Cholesterol Profile
Coconut oil is loaded with saturated fats, which actually do not harm the blood lipid profile like previously thought. New data has shown that saturated fats are in fact harmless and that the whole “artery-clogging” idea was an untruth.
Coconut oil doesn’t contain your average run-of-the-mill saturated fats like you would find in cheese or steak. Coconut oil contains short term medium-chain saturated fatty acids (MCFAs), which is a "healthy" form saturated fat compared to trans fat. The saturated fats in coconut oil raise HDL (the good) cholesterol and change the LDL cholesterol to a benign subtype.
Provides Efficient Energy
So it turns out that a calorie is not a calorie. Research has shown that instead of storing coconut oil as fat, our bodies metabolises them in the liver, immediately converting this into energy. One study found that 15-30 grams of MCTs per day increased 24 hour energy expenditure by 5%, which comes up to about 120 calories per day.
One 2009 study looked at the weight loss link between women's consumption of coconut oil and found that it reduces abdominal obesity. Researchers discovered coconut oil is easy to digest and also protects the body from insulin resistance.
As a result of the way the fatty acids in it are metabolized, coconut oil has an appetite reducing effect. In one study, varying amounts of medium and long chain triglycerides were fed to 6 healthy men. The men eating the most MCTs ate on average 256 less calories per day. Another study discovered that those who ate the most MCTs at breakfast ate significantly fewer calories at lunch.
If you suffer from poor digestion or tummy bloating try adding coconut oil to your diet. Coconut oil has been found to benefit digestive disorders including irritable bowel syndrome and microbial related tummy bugs. Fatty acids in coconut oil contain anti microbial properties, which have a soothing affect on bacteria, candida, or parasites that cause poor digestion.
Manage Type 2 Diabetes
A recent study by the Garvan Institute of Medical Research found that coconut oil protects against insulin resistance, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. MCFA fats are small enough to be absorbed into the cells where they're quickly converted to energy. It is this process that not only reduces the amount of fat we pack into storage, but improves insulin sensitivity.
Coconut oil is made up of healthy fats lauric acid, caprylic acid and capric acid which contain antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral prosperities to boost the immune system.
About 50% of the fatty acids in coconut oil is Lauric Acid. Lauric acid contains the highest concentration of MCFA fatty acids, approximately 75 per cent. When ingested, the human body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, which is helpful in dealing with viruses such as herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, helicobacter pylori and candida.
A study reported in the Journal of Nutrition found that coconut oil boosts metabolism. Researchers found that participants who consumed two tablespoons of coconut oil per day burned more kilojoules than those who consumed less. A speedy metabolism helps boost the body's immune system and keep weight off.
Good For Skin And Hair
Studies on individuals with dry skin show that coconut oil can improve the moisture and lipid content of the skin. . It also keeps the skin's connective tissues strong, which prevents sagging and wrinkles. Coconut oil can also protect against hair damage and has been shown to block out as much as 20% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
Cooks In High Temperatures
Because coconut oil is a medium-chain saturated fatty acid, it gives it a higher smoking temperature than most polyunsaturated or monounsaturated oils.
If you're preparing recipes that require high temperatures you should consider coconut oil for this type of cooking.
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