Over the years, coconut oil has gotten a pretty bad reputation. However, this reputation may have more to do with a mass smearing campaign by the manufacturers of processed vegetable oils than true reality. In fact, some of the world’s healthiest populations subsist on large amounts of coconut and coconut based products on a daily basis! And their levels of heart disease and many other degenerative diseases are extremely low!
Coconut oil is amazing for your heart, for your skin, and for your metabolism. Read on to find out why you should be incorporating this superfood into your diet too!
- It is a fact that different foods affect our bodies and hormones in different ways. In this regard, a calorie is NOT a calorie.
- Different foods and macronutrients go through different metabolic pathways.
- The different types of foods we eat can have a huge effect on our hormones and metabolic health.
- Some metabolic pathways are more efficient than others and some foods require more energy to digest and metabolize.
- Coconut oil is vastly different from most other fats in the diet.
- Whereas most foods contain predominantly long-chain fatty acids, coconut oil consists almost entirely of Medium Chain Fatty Acids. (MCFAs) are easily digested and readily cross cell membranes.
- MCFAs in coconut oil are immediately converted by your liver into energy rather than being stored as fat.
- They are sent straight to the liver from the digestive tract, where they are either used for energy right away or turned into ketone bodies.
- One important property of coconut oil is that it is “thermogenic” – eating it tends to increase energy expenditure (fat burning) compared to the same amount of calories from other fats.
- Eating coconut oil stimulates your metabolism.
- In fact, the ability of MCFAs to be easily digested, to help stimulate the metabolism and be turned into energy has entered the sports arena. Several studies have now shown that MCFAs can enhance physical or athletic performance.
- Coconut oil is easy on your digestive system and does not produce an insulin spike in your bloodstream.
- In one study, 15-30 grams (1 to 2 tablespoons) of medium chain fats per day increased energy expenditure by 5%, totaling about 120 calories per day.
- Several other studies confirm these findings. When humans replace the fats they are eating with MCT fats, they burn more calories.
- Therefore, a calorie from coconut oil is NOT the same as a calorie from olive oil or other fats.
- The medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil have been shown to increase 24 hour energy expenditure by as much as 5%, potentially leading to significant weight loss over the long term.
- The men eating the most MCTs from coconut oil ate 256 fewer calories per day, on average.
- Another study in healthy men discovered that those who ate the most MCTs at breakfast ate significantly fewer calories at lunch(13).
- Another study in obese males noted a reduction in waist circumference of 2.86 cm (1.1 inches) after 4 weeks of 30 mL (1 ounce) of coconut oil per day.
- This number may not seem too impressive on the surface, but be aware that these people aren’t adding exercise or restricting calories. They’re losing significant amounts of abdominal fat simply by adding coconut oil to their diet.
- Studies in both humans and rats show that coconut oil improves important risk factors like Total, LDL and HDL cholesterol, which may translate to a reduced risk of heart disease.
- Studies show that the fatty acids in coconut oil can increase blood levels of ketone bodies, supplying energy for the brain cells of Alzheimer’s patients and relieving symptoms.
- In some parts of the world, coconut is a dietary staple that people have thrived on for many generations.
- The best example of such a population is the Tokelauans, which live in the South Pacific.
- Back in the 1930’s, a dentist named Dr. Weston Price traveled throughout the South Pacific, examining traditional diets and their effect on dental and overall health. He found that those eating diets high in coconut products were healthy and trim, despite the high fat concentration in their diet, and that heart disease was virtually non-existent.
- Similarly, in 1981, researchers studied populations of two Polynesian atolls. Coconut was the chief source of caloric energy in both groups. The results, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, demonstrated that both populations exhibited positive vascular health.
- They eat over 60% of their calories from coconuts and are the biggest consumers of saturated fat in the world.
- These people are in excellent health, with no evidence of heart disease.
- Coconut oil is also a powerful inhibitor of a large variety of pathogenic organisms, from viruses to bacteria to protozoa, largely due to its naturally high lauric acid content.
For your extraordinary health!