There are so many mixed messages about Coconut oil that it can get very confusing. At one point it was considered bad and now it is considered good. What is the true story about coconut oil?
The first thing to remember is moderation. The problem is that we hear something is good for us and we start using too much of it. The American Heart Association is recommending the average male limits daily saturated fat intake to 30 grams per day; 20 grams for women. That’s about the equivalent of 2 tablespoons of coconut oil for men and 1.33 tablespoons for women. Most people are not going to surpass this in a day unless they are on a high fat Paleo diet or ketogenic diet.
Coconut oil has saturated fa that can be good and bad for us depending on how we use it. If we are consuming coconut oil in a raw form by adding it to salads, grains and vegetables once it has been prepared it is okay to use. However, once we start using it as frying oil then we are changing its consistency and its nutrients. Remember, it is still a saturated fat so frying can change its form to trans fat which will impact the cholesterol in our bodies.
There are many benefits in consuming cold pressed coconut oil.
Most of the fats we consume take longer to digest, but MCFAs found in coconut oil provide the perfect source of energy because they only have to go through a three-step process to be turned into fuel vs. other fats that have to go through a 26-step process!
Coconut oil has two qualities that help it fight cancer: one, because of the ketones produced in its digestion. Tumor cells are not able to access the energy in ketones and are glucose-dependent. Two, as the MCFAs digest the lipid walls of bacteria, they also can kill the helicobacter pylori bacteria that has been known to increase the risk of stomach cancer.
In a study in India, the high levels of antioxidants present in virgin coconut oil (VCO) reduced inflammation and treated arthritis more effectively than leading medications.
Coconut oil is high in natural saturated fats. Saturated fats not only increase the healthy cholesterol (known as HDL cholesterol) in your body, but also help convert the LDL “bad” cholesterol into good cholesterols. By Increasing the HDL in the body, it helps promote heart health and lower the risk of heart disease. Coconut oil also benefits the heart by lowering high triglycerides.
The important thing to remember is there are many healthy benefits of having coconut oil. The key is to have it in its raw form and always try to have the cold pressed version which is less processed.
Also, remembering that it is still a saturated fat and not eating too much of it is very important.