Coconut oil is one of the most beneficial things you can add to your diet. It has been around forever, and a staple in many Eastern diets, but only recently come back into the spotlight in our Western diets after to the explosion of vegetable oils and seed oils on the market. Many people are hesitant to consume fats for fear that they will go straight to their hips. However, not all fats should be treated equally. There are good fats that should be consumed in a normal balanced diet that provide many benefits to your health. Coconut oil is one of these healthy fats.
Coconut oil is a medium chain fatty acid which is much healthier than long-chain fatty acids found in vegetable oils and seed oils commonly found in our diets. What is the difference between medium and long-chain fatty acids? Long-chain fatty acids are much harder for our bodies to break down which puts a strain on all of our digestive organs. These include the intestines, pancreas, liver, etc. Long-chain fatty acids are also stored in the body as fat and can be deposited in the arteries as cholesterol. Medium-chain fatty acids, on the other hand, are smaller and more permeable to cell membranes. This means that digestion is much easier and doesn’t put strain on the body. They are also sent to the liver for conversion to energy to fuel the body instead of being stored as fat. This stimulates the metabolism without a spike in blood sugar.
Along with these health benefits, coconut oil has been found to help maintain a healthy cholesterol, assist with weight loss, provide immune system support, increase metabolism, encourage proper thyroid function, and keep your skin looking healthy and young. Because it is heat stable, coconut oil can be easily incorporated into your diet. It can be added to stir-fry, smoothies, baked goodies, etc., and can be used as lotion/skin care. Coconut oil is also good for your heart, containing no trans-fats, and has been shown to prevent and improved Alzheimer’s symptoms.
To get the true benefits of coconut oil, consume 3-3.5 tablespoons per day of this yummy ingredient. It needs no refrigeration and has a two-year shelf life but keep it out of direct sunlight. In selecting a brand, do some research on how it is made. Many lower quality brands are made using copra, the dried up meat of the coconut, and are refined, bleached, and deodorized. These types are usually heated and hydrogenated which create trans fats!
Make a change today that can truly affect your future. Add a little coconut oil to your diet and reap the benefits!