We use edible oil for cooking our food daily. There are many kinds of edible oils out there. Such as olive oil, avocado oil, soybean oil, coconut oil, etc. This article will learn about coconut oil, its uses, benefits, and is coconut oil good for you.
It is a type of edible oil. We extract this oil from the kernel or meat of mature coconuts harvested from the coconut palm.
This oil is also called copra oil. It has various applications. Since it contains high saturated fat, it oxidizes slowly. That’s why it is resistant to rancidification. It can also last up to six months at 24 °C or 75 °F temperature without spoiling.
1 lb of this oil contains – 121 calories, 0 g of protein, 13.5 g of fat (11.2 g saturated), 0 milligrams of cholesterol. It also contains Vitamin E. A little or no other vitamins and minerals, and no fiber.
This oil is almost 100% fat; most of it saturated. But, coconut oil’s fat structure differs from other oils, mainly of long-chain fatty acids.
This oil provides us with many health benefits. It contains a high amount of medium-chain triglycerides or (MCTs). These are harder for our body to convert into stored fat. But compared to long-chain triglycerides or (LCTs), these are easier to burn off. So, the ordinary people who support coconut oil attribute many of its benefits to the high MCT content.
This type of oil can provide you many health benefits. They are:
Help raise good cholesterol.
There are two types of cholesterol in our body. One is good cholesterol or HDL (high-density lipoprotein). The other one is harmful cholesterol or LDL (low-density lipoprotein).
This kind of oil contains natural saturated fats. They can help decrease (LDL) levels into a less harmful form. They can also help in increasing the (HDL) levels in your body. Many experts believe that coconut oil may help boost heart health more than other fats.
One study on 40 women showed that consuming this oil increased good cholesterol (HDL) in their bodies. Its consumption also helped to decrease the (LDL) level in the body. It was more effective than consuming soybean oil.
Another study made on 116 adults had a diet programthat included the consumption of this oil. The results showed that consuming coconut oil raised the (HDL) levels in people with coronary artery disease.
Boost heart health
In many parts of the world, coconut, loaded with coconut oil, is a dietary staple that people have been consuming for generations.
For example, in 1981, there was research on Tokelau, a chain island in the South Pacific. The study stated that the people living there obtained over 60% of their calories from consuming coconuts. The research also reported that people had good health and had low rates of heart diseases.
Kitavan people in Papua, New Guinea also consume a lot of coconuts, alongside tubers, fruit, fish, and other foods. That’s why they have low rates of stroke and heart diseases.
Increase fat burning
In the present world, obesity is one of the biggest health problems. Many people think that obesity is just a matter of how many calories a person eats. But considering the source of these calories is essential as well. Different foods contain different amounts of calories. It can affect your body and hormones in different ways.
This kind of oil contains Medium-Chain Triglycerides or MCTs along with Low-Chain Triglycerides or LCTs. Compared to other oils, which only contain LCTs, the MCTs in this oil increases the burning rate of calories in your body, increasing energy expenditure.
One study stated that eating 15–30 grams of MCTs per day increased our body’s 24-hour energy expenditure by 5%. But these studies didn’t include the effects of this oil. They examined only the health effects of MCTs, excluding lauric acid, which makes up about 14% of this oil.
There’s no concrete evidence to state that eating this oil will increase the number of calories you expend. But keep in mind that it is very high in calories. If you eat it in large amounts, it can easily lead to weight gain.
Provide healthy fatty acids
This kind of oil is known to be high in particularly saturated fats. Compared to other dietary fats, these fats affect the body differently.
The fatty acids that this oil contains provide quick energy to the brain and body. They can help your body to burn fat faster. They also help in raising HDL or good cholesterol in your blood. It can help reduce the risk of heart diseases.
Most dietary fats are long-chain triglycerides or LCTs. But this kind of oil contains some medium-chain triglycerides or MCTs, including LCTs, shorter fatty acid chains.
MCTs tend to go straight to your liver when you consume them. Your body then turns them into ketones and uses them as a quick source of energy.
Ketones can provide health benefits for your brain. Researchers are studying ketones and are trying to use them to treat epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, and other conditions.
Prevent antimicrobial effects
This oil contains lauric acid. It makes up almost 50% of the fatty acids in coconut oil. When we digest lauric acid, a substance called monolaurin forms up. Both monolaurin and lauric acid can kill harmful pathogens, such as viruses, bacteria, and fungi.
For example, test-tube research shows that these substances can kill Staphylococcus aureus, which causes staph infections.
It also helps to prevent a common source of yeast infections in humans known as Yeast Candida Albicans.
But there’s no proof that coconut oil reduces the risk of the common cold or other internal infections.
This type of oil contains MCTs, and one exciting feature of it is that they can help reduce hunger. This fact may be related to how our body metabolizes fats. Consuming MCTs helps produce more ketones in our body, and ketones can reduce a person’s appetite.
There was research on six healthy men who consumed different amounts of MCTs and LCTs. The results were those who ate the most MCTs ate fewer calories per day.
Researchers made another study on 14 healthy men. They saw that those who ate the most MCTs at breakfast consumed fewer calories at lunch.
These studies got conducted for a short amount of time. If MCTs’ effects persist over the long term, it could lead to less weight gain over several years.
Even if coconut oil is one of MCTs’ richest natural sources, there’s no solid proof that consuming it reduces appetite more than other edible oils. Also, one study states that compared to MCT oil, coconut oil is less filling.
Help reduce seizures
It can be used in a modified ketogenic diet and reduce seizures in children with epilepsy.
The ketogenic diet is deficient in carbs and high in fats. Researchers are currently studying the ketogenic diet because of this diet’s therapeutic use in treating drug-resistant epilepsy in children.
Researchers aren’t sure why. They have tried multiple types of drugs to reduce epilepsy in children but haven’t had any success. But this diet dramatically reduces the rate of seizures in children with epilepsy.
A ketogenic diet focuses on less carb intake and high fat intake. Increased fat intake and decreased carb intake leads to increased concentrations of ketones in the blood.
Coconut oil contains MCTs, producing more ketones when it gets transported to your liver after consumption. So, healthcare professionals may use a modified keto diet that includes MCTs and less carb allowance to induce ketosis and treat epilepsy in children.
coconut oil Boost brain function in Alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s disease reduces the brain’s ability to use glucose for energy. We usually see this condition in older people. It is actually the most common cause of dementia.
Studies suggest that ketones can provide an alternative energy source for the brain cells that malfunction due to this disease and help reduce Alzheimer’s disease symptoms.
A study made in 2006 reported that consuming MCTs improved brain function in people who had milder symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. But the research is still preliminary. No evidence suggests coconut oil itself can combat this disease.
coconut oil Lose harmful abdominal fat
The fatty acids of coconut oil are helpful to reduce appetite and increase fat burning. It can also help you lose weight. Coconut oil contains MCTs and LCTS, and MCTs effectively reduce belly fat compared to LCTs.
Abdominal fat is one of the most harmful types of fats. It is also known as visceral fat, which lodges in the abdominal cavity and around your organs. This kind of fat links us to many chronic diseases. The MCTs in coconut oil helps to lose this harmful fat and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
Waist circumference is an easy marker that can measure the amount of fat in the abdominal cavity.
For example, researchers made a 12-week study on 40 women who had abdominal obesity. Those who took two tablespoons or 30 mL of coconut oil per day significantly reduced their body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference.
Researchers made another 4-week study on 20 men with obesity. The results noted a reduction in waist circumference of 1.1 inches or 2.86 cm after taking two tablespoons (30 mL) of coconut oil per day.
coconut oil Protect the skin, hair, and teeth
Apart from consumption, coconut oil has many other uses. Such as;
Many manufacturers use coconut oil to produce cosmetic products that improve people’s skin’s health and appearance.
Studies suggest that coconut oil can improve moisture levels in dry skin and reduce eczema symptoms.
Coconut oil can also help to prevent further hair damage. One study shows that coconut oil can work as a weak sunscreen and block about 20% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
There is also something called oil pulling. In this process, you use coconut oil as a mouthwash by swishing it in your mouth. It can help kill some of the harmful bacteria in the mouth, reduce bad breath, and improve dental health. However, more research on it needs to get done.
Is coconut oil good for you or bad?
Coconut oil can provide many health benefits. General people think that coconut oil is good for health. But many healthcare personals and health organizations such as; the World Health Organization, the United States Food and Drug Administration, American Heart Association, American Dietetic Association, and British National Health Service advise that the consumption of coconut oil should be limited avoided.
Coconut oil is high in calories. It is high in saturated fat as well. It contains a type of fat that can increase cholesterol levels. If you consume coconut oil regularly with other meals, it can grow (LDL) or harmful cholesterol levels in your body. It can cause problems for people who already have high cholesterol.
So, we should avoid consuming an excess amount of coconut oil. We should try to consume only the necessary amounts, from which we can get the health benefits.
To get the most benefits from it, make sure you select the organic, virgin coconut oil rather than the refined versions.
Coconut oil can be helpful if we consume significant amounts of it. It can also cause harm if we consume too much of it. We should keep that in mind and avoid consuming too much of it. So, we hope this article answered your question, is coconut oil good for you?