Coconut oil is made from pressing copra of fresh coconut meat. To make this oil, you can use both wet and dry methods. The milk and oil from the coconut are pressed, and then the oil is removed. At room temperatures, coconut oil has a firm texture because the saturated fats in the oil are made of smaller molecules. Coconut oil health benefits vary depending on the type of oil you use.
Types Of Coconut Oil
There are different types of coconut oils, with each having its own benefits. The 2 main types of coconut oil include:
Virgin Coconut Oil
This is the least refined. It has many benefits compared to others. Virgin coconut oil has a sweet and nutty flavor.
Refined Coconut Oil
This has gone through a refining process that involves deodorizing and beaching the oil. Unlike Virgin coconut oil, refined coconut oil does not have an aroma or taste.
Coconut Oil Health Benefits
1. Alzheimer’s Natural Disease Treatment
The digestion of this oil by the liver helps in creating ketones that are easily accessible by the brain for energy. Ketones are known to supply the brain with energy without the need for insulin to process glucose to energy. For Alzheimer’s patients, the ketones in coconut oil can help create an alternative source of energy that helps in repairing the brain. (1)
2. Prevents High Blood Pressure & Heart Diseases
Coconut oil is rich in saturated fats. These fats are known to increase HDL cholesterol; healthy cholesterol in one’s body. Additionally, it helps in converting bad cholesterol into a good one. By increasing your consumption of HDL, you increase the chances of a good heart health while lowering your risk of heart diseases. Also, coconut oil is known to benefit the heart by lowering high triglycerides. (2)(3)
3. Aids In Digestion
Coconut oil helps with food digestion. It does this by aiding the body in processing soluble fat components like magnesium and vitamins. Also, it helps in eliminating toxic bacteria, which fights stomach inflammation and poor digestion. Elimination of candida and bacteria helps prevent stomach ulcers as well. (4)
4. Used To Treat Wounds & Burns
Coconut oil is ideal for skin care. Especially in the treatment of burns, dermatitis, and injuries. Additionally, it acts as a sunblock and a moisturizer for the skin. This is all thanks to lauric and caprylic which are the primary fatty acids found in coconut oil to team up and reduce inflammation under the skin and promote better healing. (5)
5. Assist In Weight Loss
Compared to other fats, the triglycerides in coconut oil speed up the rate of energy consumption in our bodies. Coconut oil is easy to digest, and it helps in healthy functioning of the endocrine and thyroid system. Additionally, coconut oil is known to increase the bodies metabolic rate. It does this by removing stress on the pancreas. Therefore, the body can burn more energy! (6)
6. Preventative For Type 2 Diabetes
At times, the body’s cells can be insulin resistant. Thus the body can no longer take in glucose for energy, and when the pancreas pumps out insulin, it leads to an overproduction cycle. Insulin resistance is a precursor to diabetes type 2. However, with the intake of coconut oil, the MCFAs helps balance the cells and promote a healthy digestive process. With taking the strain off the pancreas, it provides the body with a consistent energy source that is not dependent on glucose reactions. Assisting in the prevention of insulin resistance and diabetes type two. (7)
7. Improves Energy & Endurance
In addition to coconut oil being easy to digest, it also produces long sustained energy that increases your metabolism. MCFAs are sent to the liver directly and converted into energy. During training and races, most triathletes use coconut oil as their number one source of fuel. (8)
Misleading news headlines about coconut oil will tell you that its high saturated fat content makes it bad for you. It will raise your cholesterol, drastically increasing your risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality. The American Heart Association (AHA) consistently spreads this fabled link between saturated fat and heart disease.
Research demonstrates that saturated fat can in fact raise your cholesterol. However, this is a good thing! LDL cholesterol contains too many small but thick particles and when your triglycerides are high, this paves the way to heart disease. Those particles are the result of a high carb diet that is low in fat. Reducing your carb intake is imperative. Consuming more fats is not bad if they are high quality healthy fats. This will recover your cholesterol particle ratio.
When your LDL cholesterol contains large particles that are soft, and your triglycerides are low, your risk of heart disease reduces significantly.
The dietary concern here should not be about the amount of fat and cholesterol being consumed but the amount of sugar! The average person is consuming approximately 20 teaspoons of sugar each day! It is in fact sugar that raises you LDL cholesterol and lowers your HDL cholesterol. This increases your triglycerides, leads to increased insulin resistance and inflammation. It is the over consumption of sugar that is the main culprit linked to heart disease above all other risk factors!
Saturated fat is good if it is from a healthy source like coconut oil. Coconut oil has several health benefits and is recognized as having antibiotic, anti-microbial, and anti-viral benefits.
Coconut oil health benefits are plentiful, so lets go nuts for coconuts!
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Dr. Casey Sinclair, D.C. is a leading holistic healthcare doctor trained in functional medicine. He has extended his reach around the world by co-founding Family Health Advocacy, a health advocacy group lead by doctors and health professionals providing resources and education on global health matters. He has been fortunate to act as health a consultant to some of the largest companies in North America and as a professional speaker he’s had the privilege of speaking to thousands of people. Dr. Casey is an advocate for people suffering with chronic pain and fibromyalgia and has authored a book on the subject.