Tell Me More: Coconut Oil
What’s all the hype about coconut oil? Why are people all of a sudden cooking with coconut oil? Isn’t it high in saturated fat? Doesn’t saturated fat cause heart disease? These are all great questions! I’m hoping to answer all of these questions while shining some light on the benefits of regular consumption of coconut oil.
First, 90% of the fatty acids in coconut oil are saturated fats. However, these saturated fats are different than most, as they are made up of medium chain triglycerides (MCT’s). MCT’s are metabolized differently in the body than any other fat source, because they go straight to the liver and are used as a quick source of energy and/or turned into other substances called ketones. Numerous studies have proven that saturated fats have no link to heart disease, in fact high fat, low carb diets are being recognized for their ability to help decrease and prevent heart disease and obesity. (Jahannes Scholl)
Now that we know a little about coconut oil and how it’s metabolized in the body, let’s talk about some of its benefits and how it can help you in weight loss, and much more.
Boost your metabolism:
Coconut oil has a thermogenic property, which means that when it is metabolized in the body, it increases energy expenditure causing you to burn more fat, even if you are sitting still.
One of the products of the metabolism of coconut oil is ketone. Ketones are known to reduce appetite. Hence, coconut oil helps to reduce hunger making you feel fuller for longer periods of time.
Coconut oil not only helps with weight loss, but also fat loss in the abdominal cavity. Excess abdominal fat has been forever linked with an increased of heart disease. By adding coconut oil into your diet along with other dietary changes, such as reducing carbs and increasing protein intake, you can help reduce belly fat and your risk of heart disease.
Cognitive and memory function:
Coconut oil is a healthy fat that is essential for healthy brain function. Coconut oil contains omega fatty acids that have been proven to help reduce mental conditions such as Alzheimer’s, anxiety, and depression.
Coconut oil has a positive affect on thyroid function and blood sugar control. Intake of coconut oil boosts thyroid function, which increases your metabolism, energy, endurance, and improves cholesterol control. An improperly functioning thyroid can contribute to bad cholesterol. Coconut oil consists of a certain MCT called lauric acid, which raises HDL levels (good cholesterol) and converts LDL (bad cholesterol) into good cholesterol, lowering your risk of heart disease. Use of coconut oil also aids in insulin function in the body, and helps to absorb fat-soluble vitamins.
Boost immune system:
The lauric acid in coconut oil helps to boost your immune system by protecting you from viruses and infections. Adding in regular consumption of coconut oil can help to prevent future illnesses and bacteria.
Coconut oil is rich in antioxidants and vitamin E, which are great for your skin and hair. It even has some natural UV-protective qualities, blocking about 20% of the suns UV-rays. It can even be effective in mouthwash, aiding in preventing gingivitis.
Energy doesn’t need to come from caffeine! One of my favorite things about coconut oil is its long lasting boost of energy! Healthy fats are a great source of energy and because coconut oil enters our bloodstream and is used up immediately you get an instant source of energy that lasts for a long period of time. Not only does it give the energy you need to get through the day, but you also get it without consuming all the chemicals, headaches, and jitters other sources of caffeine can give you.
So what’s the hype about coconut oil? This healthy fat full of nutrients and health benefits is a great addition to your diet. If you have any more questions about coconut oil, healthy fats or nutrition in general call us at Elite Nutrition and Performance today and sign up for a NO OBLIGATION CONSULTATION with one of our registered dietitians.