Benefits of coconut oil - 7 good reasons why you should use it
It is a common misconception that coconut oil is bad for you. And if you do some research you might find a lot of stories about how the oil/fat industry of other products promoted this bad image of coconut oil so they can sell better. And you will find stories about how countries got fatter and unhealthier by cutting down on healthy fats and eating more carbs…. but that is another story…
The truth is, people all over the world are experiencing the healthy benefits of using coconut oil.
Coconut oil is actually one of the healthiest oils you can consume. It doesn´t need extreme processing, to extract any oil, they only “press” the oil out of the coconut.
Here is a short summary about the process from coconut to coconut oil and the top seven reasons why you should use coconut oil as an alternative to other common cooking oils.
The process from coconut pulp to coocnut oil
The coconut’s white pulp is the basis for the extraction of coconut oil.
A distinction must be made between industrial and virgin coconut oil. The industrial process is more common, but the biological and gentler process is becoming more and more popular because it has some advantages in terms of the quality of the finished coconut oil.
In industrial pressing, the coconut is dried after harvesting and stored for a long period of time, often several months pass before the fruit is processed. The pulp is chopped and grated. Before pressing, the pulp is heated up strongly and then mechanically pressed. A cold press, is not common in the industrial production method of coconut oil. Most often chemical agents are added to completely remove the shell of the coconut or to affect the consistency and color as well as the taste and smell of the oil. The oil is refined (usually also bleached and deodorized) and bottled or pressed into plates in order to be used as inferior coconut fat.
The organic production process of cold pressing is becoming increasingly popular because the oil obtained in this way is produced more gently, has a better taste and a higher quality.
Fruits from certified organic cultivation are usually used. It is particularly important to process the fresh, sun-ripened coconuts quickly so that contamination and negative enzymatic changes in the pulp can be ruled out if they are stored for too long.
The coconut is therefore freshly processed. The fruit is opened, peeled by hand, cut up and immediately pressed. Fast processing after opening is particularly important so that the valuable pulp does not spoil or become dirty.
In contrast to industrial coconut oil production, cold pressing is given priority in coconut oil, as this is a gentler and more nutrient-saving method. Organic coconut oil is not refined, bleached or deodorized, but only filtered to free the oil from pulp residues and moisture. Chemical additives are consistently avoided so that the natural properties of coconut oil are preserved. After cold pressing and filtration on site, the coconut oil is freshly filled into hygienic glass containers.
Tip for buying good coconut oil:
always look for organic, cold pressed, virgin coconut oil!
7 reasons why you should be using coconut oil
1. Coconut oil doesn't turn to fat in your body.
Unlike many other common oils, like soy (vegetable) and corn, coconut oil won’t make you fat. Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), which are an easy fuel for the body to burn, without turning to fat.
While most other cooking oils and fats contain long-chain triglycerides (LCT). LCT’s are easily getting stored as fat in your body.
So since coconut oil is a MCT, it will get more easily absorbed and will be converted to energy quicker. (Read more about MCTs here)
People in the tropics (well they always had coconuts all around, locally grown everywhere so no wonder they ate a lot of them) have relied on their coconuts as a traditional staple in their diet for centuries.
They did consume large amounts of coconut oil every day and instead of getting fatter, it helped them stay healthy, lean and trim. When they started to switch from coconut oil to our modern oils, they too developed obesity and the health problems that our modern society faces.
A few other people have known this truth for a long time… Those are people who are in the animal feed business. When livestock are fed vegetable oils, they put on weight and produce more fatty meat. When they are fed coconut oil, they become lean.
You should cook with a different healthy oils though, as diversity on a plate is always better, but try and swap a few refined plant oils and other fats (trans-fats) with coconut oil when cooking and baking.
2. Coconut oil increases your metabolism
Another benefit of oconut oil is, that it not only converts to energy faster, but also increases your metabolism, which promotes weight loss.
It boosts your metabolism, this is how it helps your body burn fat more effectively. That’s what we all want here right?
Coconut oil could triple your calorie burn.
Since coconut oil is an MCT, it is converted into energy so quickly that it generates a lot of heat. In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, MCTs burn three times more calories than LCTs after a meal for six hours.
3. Coconut oil has omega 3 fatty acids
Most cooking oils contain omega 6 fatty acids, something we get way too much daily.
A good omega 6 to omega 3 ratio should be 1:1 but it is nowadays more like 50:1.
We need to drastically cut back our unhealthy omega 6 oils but not on our healthy omega 6 oils and consume more healthy omega 3 oils. (read more about healthy omega 6 and omega 3 oils here)
And coconut oil is filled with these healthy omega 3 fatty acids.
4. Coconut oil gives you more energy
So because of healthy omega 3 fatty acids and the increase of metabolism, most people that switch to coconut oil will feel a burst of added energy in their daily life.
This is because coconut oil is natures richest source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCT’s).
MCTs will increase metabolic rates and lead to weight loss. They promote thermogenesis, which increases the body’s metabolism, burning fat = producing energy.
Many people with chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia have found that adding coconut oil to their diet was helpful to them.
So if you feel tired a lot, you could try to add some coconut oil to your coffee in the morning (the so called bullet-proof coffee).
5. Coconut oil is one of the best oils for cooking
So why is coconut oil the best cooking oil?
Have you heard about the smoking point of oils? This is the temperature when oil is starting to smoke in the pot/pan. In this stage it will develope unhealthy smoke for our bodys.
So the higher the smoking point of an oil, the better for cooking.
Coconut oil has a higher smoke point than olive oil, which means it can take higher temperatures better, so great for cooking and frying.
There are several healthy omega 3 oils we can choose to consume, such as flax and olive oil, but they don’t do well under the high heat we use for cooking and should be rather used to make a salad dressing or a plantbased bread spread or dip.
It is harder for coconut oil to go rancid, unlike other cooking oils, which are usually rancid long before you even bring them home. Rancid oils cause free radical damage in the body, which is a leading cause of cancer. Coconut oil is stable for over a year at room temperature.
6. You can use coconut oil for your skin and hair
Coconut oil is one of the best things you can apply directly on your skin and hair.
It is natural, no chemicals (if you use organic), no perfume added…
It gives temporary relief to very dry itchy winter skin or skin problems like rashes.
Coconut oil aids in healing and helps restoring skin to a younger appearance. It has also been known to help people who suffer from yeast infections in the skin, as well as many other skin problems.
Not only does it soften and smooth your skin, coconut oil has antioxidant properties that protect the skin from free radical damage. It can prevent wrinkles and coconut oil makes excellent massage oil too.
I personally have very dry skin and coconut oil is the best product so far for me. It is also always available in many stores all over the world in glass jars, making it easy for me to reduce plastic trash in the bathroom.
7. Coconut oil has health benefits that most other oils don`t have
Evidence is mounting that coconut oil has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral effects when both consumed and used on the skin.
Most oils oxidize and turn rancid very quickly causing free radical damage in our bodies. Coconut oil is not easily oxidized and does not cause harmful free radical damage like polyunsaturated vegetable oils. Free radical damage is thought to be responsible for many ailments in our body from arthritis to increased susceptibility to cancers.
Coconut oil also helps our bodies absorb other nutrients more effectively, such as Vitamin E.
Because of the misinformation we have been given for years, we have lost out on the healthy benefits that coconut oil has given the people of the tropics for centuries.
But now it has been rediscovered!
Coconut oil is so effective, you should start consuming and cooking with coconut oil today!
Just remember to look for unrefined/virgin – cold pressed – organic coconut oil! And if you have a choice, choose the glass jar over plastic always. Fat is known to absorb chemicals from plastic easily, and since you are here to get a healthy and strong body, make sure to avoid food in plastic whenever you can. (Will write more about the issues of plastic in future blog posts)
These Amazon (Affiliate) Links are for inspiration to read more about the products or if you can’t find any of these products in your local shops.
Whenever you can, buy local and in small shops in your neighborhood. #supportyourlocaldealer