Ah, the benefits of just good, natural foods! They can’t be beat! This is why I encourage you to get all the information that you can on the benefits of natural, healthy foods!
Coconut Oil Health Benefits
“There is no better source of saturated fat than coconut oil. Unlike other saturated fats, it contains medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA’s). Other sources of saturated fat contain long-chain fatty acids. Some of the benefits of consuming MCFA’s include weight loss, decreased risk of heart disease and lower LDL cholesterol levels. One outstanding benefit of consuming medium chain fatty acids is increased metabolism and energy through immediate burning of the fat. Long chain fatty acids found in other sources of saturated fat, store the fat around the thighs, buttocks and waist.
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the health benefits of coconut oil because of its high saturated fat content. To add to the controversy, fifty years ago food manufacturers began hydrogenating coconut oil to increase shelf life and raise its melting point. Hydrogenation involves heating fats to a very high temperature which causes oxidation and the formation of trans-fatty acids.
Trans-fatty acids have been associated with several of the leading health problems today. Health authorities recommend avoiding coconut oils that contain trans-fatty acids known to raise LDL cholesterol, lower HDL cholesterol and increase the risk of heart disease. They are also linked to diabetes, obesity, cancer, atherosclerosis, bone and tendons problems, birth defects, difficulties in lactation and irregular thyroid function.
To satisfy the public outcry for healthier oils manufacturers produced vegetable oils. The problem with nearly all vegetable oils available today is that they are also hydrogenated and contain trans-fatty acids. Another problem with consuming vegetable oils is that because they are found in so many foods today, they are causing an imbalance between omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids in the body. Vegetable oils are extremely high in omega 6, but do not contain omega 3. Omega 6/omega 3 imbalance is known to cause degenerative conditions in the body and premature aging.
Many health conscious individuals who are aware of the harmful effects of hydrogenated oils have switched to oils such as olive oil. Unfortunately, even olive oil begins to oxidize and release free radicals when heated. The only oil that doesn’t oxidize at high temperatures is coconut oil.
It isn’t difficult to find coconut oil that has not been hydrogenated, but health authorities claim that saturated fat, which is abundant in coconut oil, is another reason to avoid it. Saturated fat is believed to promote unhealthy cholesterol levels. Research has shown that this is not the case. It is true that saturate fat raises LDL cholesterol levels, but unlike trans-fatty acids, it also raises HDL cholesterol levels, which helps to maintain a healthy balance between HDL and LDL cholesterol levels. Studies have found that nations that regularly consume saturated fat are among the healthiest nations in the world.
Saturated fat is a necessary component of a healthy body. It makes up about fifty percent of cell membranes. Calcium utilization by the bones requires the presence of saturated fat. Studies have found that saturated fat has the ability to lower lipoprotein, a substance that contributes to heart disease. Palmatic acid found in coconut oil has proven to be good for the heart. Saturated fat helps protect the liver from toxins, and is necessary for the proper utilization and retention of omega 3 fatty acids in body tissue. Caprylic acid, another saturated fatty acid has anti-fungal properties which helps combat candida.
There is no better source of saturated fat than coconut oil. Unlike other saturated fats, it contains medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA’s). Other sources of saturated fat contain long-chain fatty acids. Some of the benefits of consuming MCFA’s include weight loss, decreased risk of heart disease and lower LDL cholesterol levels. One outstanding benefit of consuming medium chain fatty acids is increased metabolism and energy through immediate burning of the fat. Long chain fatty acids found in other sources of saturated fat, store the fat around the thighs, buttocks and waist.
Coconut oil has many health applications. It can be used for detoxification, treatment for sore throats, colds, dandruff, fungal infections and various skin conditions, digestive disorders, viruses and diabetes. It can also be used as a topical cream for cuts and scrapes, as a makeup remover, a lip balm or a hair conditioner.
There are several types of coconut oil available. The best type to use is organic, raw, extra virgin coconut oil, which is unrefined, cold or expeller-pressed, unbleached and unrefined and not deodorized or hydrogenated. Once the oil has been refined the chemical structure is changed and no longer has the same health benefits. Coconut oil has many uses in the kitchen. It is the perfect for baking, cooking or stir-frying. It can also be added to salads or cereals such as oatmeal.”