Our Educational Content is Not Meant or Intended for Medical Advice or Treatment
Coconut oil has a light and delicate flavor that will sweep you off to a tropical paradise with just one taste. It's hard to believe that other than an essential ingredient to your piña colada, coconut is also considered a powerful super food like kale or spinach.
Coconut oil was swiftly struck down during its rise to popularity because of unreasonable claims. Now, it's slowly becoming more widely accepted once again as people wake up to the truth about the benefits of coconut.
I'm here to tell you that believe it or not, coconut has incredible health benefits that should not be ignored. In this article, I will fill you in on the secrets of why coconut is actually really good for you, I will outline the top three benefits of coconut oil, and I will give you a few ways you can start incorporating coconut into your diet right now.
In this article:
- What is Coconut Oil?
- Top 3 Benefits of Using Coconut Oil
- Bonus—A Few Extra Things Coconut Oil Does for You
- How You Can Take Advantage of These Benefits
What is Coconut Oil?
Coconut is the largest seed on earth and it's packed with benefits for the body. It takes three years to break down in the soil before it can even grow and then one year for the coconut to mature from the flower. All of this times its developing essential nutrients and powerful ingredients to help keep the body working at its very best.
If you decide to go through the struggle of cracking a one open, you will find what is commonly referred to as the "meat.” This meat is actually the kernel of the coconut.
Coconut oil is extracted from this edible fleshy meat using a variety of different methods. Depending on the method used, the outcome will be one of three types of oil available on the market.
The three types of coconut oil are:
1.) Hydrogenated coconut oil
- Is a processed oil that contains trans fat.
2.) Refined coconut oil
- Is extracted from coconut meat that has been chemically bleached and deodorized.
3.) Virgin coconut oil
- Is extracted from fresh and mature coconuts. The process does not use chemicals and the oil is considered unrefined.
* In this article I am referring to the benefits of virgin coconut oil that is unrefined coconut oil. Never use products that contain hydrogenated coconut oil. Instead, choose unrefined coconut oil.
But isn't Coconut Oil a Poison?
No, coconut oil is not a poison. The reason it has been wrongly accused of being a poison is simply because it is a saturated fat.
Moreover, it turns out that the American Heart Association, which first blasted out that this oil was harmful, shockingly has the food and drug industries as sponsors. However, the coconut oil industry is not a sponsor.
So, what does this mean? Well, in 2011 and 2012 alone the food and drug industries gave about 512 million dollars to the American Heart Association where the coconut oil industry did not.
Basically, these industries spent all of this money for a stamp of approval whereas again, the coconut oil industry did not.
And get this. The American Heart Association will also endorse certain products as heart-healthy if companies are willing to spend something like $700,000 dollars a year on a heart check food certification. The coconut oil industry did not pay to have this certification.
Does the fact that the coconut oil industry did not put a ton of money into the American Heart Association make it a poison? I think not. You do not need to worry about coconut oil being a poison to you or your family.
But isn't Coconut Oil Bad for Your Heart?
The short answer, no coconut oil is not bad for your heart. So why the bad rap? Well, as I mentioned before, coconut oil is saturated fat. But, they did not study whether or not coconut oil is actually bad for the heart. It has just been assumed that because coconut oil is a saturated fat that it can cause coronary heart disease.
Unfortunately, most people have been given false information. They believe that all saturated fats will lead to clogged arteries and coronary heart disease. But, that is false data. Doctors were actually told to make the switch from coconut oil to vegetable oil by none other than the American Heart Association.
However, there are significant studies on this topic that have been blatantly ignored and swept under the rug because they do not suggest any link between saturated fat and coronary heart disease. No link whatsoever.
In fact, the natural saturated fats in coconut oil actually raise good HDL cholesterol. Studies have also shown that these saturated fats may turn the bad LDL cholesterol into a less harmful form.
This is only one reason many experts believe coconut oil is good for heart health.
But isn't coconut oil just a new health fad?
Not at all. Coconut oil is definitely not just a new health fad. Actually, different cultures around the world have taken advantage of coconuts for hundreds of years.
Even though currently in the Western world coconuts are primarily consumed by especially health conscious people, in some parts of the world they are considered a dietary staple. Not only that, but these cultures are incredibly healthy.
The Tokelauans live in the South Pacific and they used to consume over 60% of their calories from coconuts.
When this population was studied, researchers found that their health was fantastic and believe it or not, they had very low rates of heart disease.
Virgin coconut oil that is extracted from fresh coconut "meat" is packed with numerous benefits. Coconut oil has been wrongly accused of being poisonous. It is not a poison and is also not bad for your heart. It may even promote heart health.
Coconuts and their benefits have been enjoyed by many different cultures for centuries. These cultures have thrived for generations and have been found to be very healthy and even have low rates of heart disease.
Top 3 Benefits of Using Coconut Oil
While there may be a lot of controversy surrounding the subject, unless you happen to be lounging under a palm tree and one falls on your head, coconuts are not going to do you any harm.
Let me share with you the top three benefits of this healthy oil and why you need to start consuming more of it in your diet today.
1. Coconut Oil Supports the Brain
A significant amount of this oil is MCT, which stands for medium-chain triglycerides. Early studies actually show that medium-chain triglycerides can potentially help those with dementia and even Alzheimer's disease.
Alzheimer's disease is considered by some to be like diabetes for the brain. In a nutshell, insulin issues make it difficult for certain parts of the brain to use glucose for energy.
Your brain loves ketones. Experts suggest that ketones may even be an excellent alternative energy source for the brain to increase brain function and reduce the symptoms of Alzheimer's.
An exciting study done in 2006 found that the consumption of medium-chain triglycerides led to the improvement in patients with more mild forms of Alzheimer's disease.
What exactly are MCTs?
MCT is the abbreviation for medium-chain triglycerides. In contrast to long-chain fatty acids, this is a type of fat that turns into ketones and is used as energy. Ketones protect the nerve and brain cells against stress and of course, they also promote healthy brain function.
MCTs also provide many other health benefits. They promote weight loss, boost immunity, and they are friendly to your liver and gallbladder.
A large amount of coconut oil is MCT. MCTs are a type of fat that turns into ketones and can be used as an alternative fuel source to glucose for the brain. Using this alternative fuel source may help improve cognitive function and may even help Alzheimer's patients.
2. Coconut Oil Boosts Immunity
The fatty acids in coconut oil are effective in killing off and protecting against harmful fungi, viruses, and bacterium. Essentially, it helps boost immunity and may prevent infections.
For example, the substances in these fatty acids have been found to help kill dangerous bacterium like Staphylococcus aureus and also the common source of yeast infections—Candida.
Coconut oil is also packed health benefits like antioxidants and has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties as well.
What are the fatty acids in coconut oil?
There are three main fatty acids in coconut oil. They are:
- 1.) Caprylic
- 2.) Capril
- 3.) Lauric acid
Lauric acid alone makes up about 50% of the fatty acids in coconut oil. Lauric acid is a fat that is especially good for the body and has strong antibacterial properties.
It's also a precursor to monolaurin. Meaning when lauric acid is digested it forms the substance monolaurin. What is Monolaurin? Well, monolaurin has the unique ability to destroy the fat layer around certain viruses. This significantly helps the immune system.
Coconut oil is full of antioxidants and incredible healing properties for the immune system. The fatty acids found in this healthy oil also help fight bacterium and give the immune system a boost. Lauric acid and monolaurin especially benefit the body.
3. Coconut Oil Gives You Energy
How does coconut oil give you energy? It all has to do with the medium-chain triglycerides. As we have already discussed, coconut oil is a rich source of these healthy medium-chain fatty acids.
It turns out, that MCT oil is actually absorbed right into the body. It does not need digestive enzymes. Right away it starts giving you fuel. The fuel that coconut oil gives you is fatty acids and ketones, both of which are excellent for the entire body and mind.
How do fatty acids and ketones help?
Both fatty acids and ketones are a better and more efficient fuel source when compared to glucose. Having this alternative fuel source has shown to produce countless benefits.
Fatty acids and ketones give you more ATP, which is the energy currency the body uses. On the other hand, carbs don't give you the amount of energy that ketones and fatty acids do.
The MCTs in coconut oil are absorbed into the body right away. They instantly start producing a better and more efficient fuel source that gives you energy.
*Bonus—A Few Extra Things Coconut Oil Does for You
Promotes beautiful skin and hair
Coconut oil has topical benefits as well. It has shown to help moisturize the skin and help those who struggle with skin conditions like eczema. Many people are also using this incredible and versatile oil to protect against hair damage.
Improves digestive health
Some experts believe that because MCTs are directly absorbed into the bloodstream by your intestines, they may provide essential nutrients that those who suffer from digestive disorders can't usually absorb.
Aides weight loss
The medium-chain fatty acids in this oil can help boost your metabolism and can increase how many calories you burn. It has even shown to increase calories burned over 24 hours by 5%. This healthy oil may also help curb your hunger, which can contribute to weight loss.
Will help you get into ketosis
Coconut oil will help you get into ketosis and start burning fat. When you're in ketosis you need extra fat to help get you from one meal to the next. If you can consume more fat in one meal, it will help you to not be so hungry so you can get to the next meal without snacking. Ultimately, consuming more fat will help you burn fat.
How You Can Take Advantage of These Benefits
So, now you know how incredible coconut oil is for you and the top benefits it provides—plus a few extras. But, now what? How are you supposed to consume it? Taking a giant spoonful every day probably isn't going to be too tasty.
Don't worry there are better ways. Here is what I recommend.
1.) Try an MCT oil supplement
If for some reason you can't stand to consume straight coconut oil, try my meal replacement shake with MCTs instead. This is a delicious plant-based organic protein powder that contains MCTs from coconut oil and has a ton of benefits. Check it out—especially if you are on the keto diet.
2.) Cook with coconut oil
Coconut oil is a fantastic oil to cook with and make delicious healthy desserts with. Cooking with coconut oil is an easy way to consume more healthy fats. For this reason, I have put out a lot of different tasty recipes to help you learn how to cook with this fantastic oil and camouflage it in all kinds of recipes.
One of my favorite recipes that contain coconut oil is this incredibly delicious chocolate coconut keto bomb recipe. Not only do they taste great, but also they contain high amounts of healthy fats to help you get from one meal to the next on a keto diet. Just be sure to have one with a meal or right after as a dessert and not as a snack.
I'm going to go ahead and include the recipe for these chocolate coconut keto bombs below. But, you can also watch the video of the instructions by clicking this link and you can find more of my recipes by going to this link.
Chocolate Coconut Keto Fat Bombs
- ½ cup of coconut oil
- ¼ cup of coconut powder
- 4 tbsp peanut butter powder (without sugar! Jiff makes one.) Find one at your local grocery store, like Harris Teeter.
- 6 tbsp hulled hemp seed
- 2 tbsp heavy cream (Use organic.)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 28 drops of stevia (This makes for an UNsweet treat. Add more stevia or substitute powdered sweetener to taste.)
- ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
Mix all dry ingredients with oil. Work it all together with a fork until completely mixed into a thick paste.
Add cream, vanilla, and stevia (if using stevia), and mix again until well mixed. Roll into bite-sized balls, and then roll in coconut.
These can be stored in the fridge. If you freeze them, they will get really hard and you’ll need to let them rest at room temperature before serving them.