Coconut Oil Health Benefits
Have you heard of a few important coconut oil health benefits?
There's a new trend in healthy cooking and it comes in the form of oil. No, it's not the olive oil that you're so used to; it's coconut oil and it has a slew of health benefits that even top its Mediterranean counterpart.
Confused? So were we at first, but the coconut oil that you use today isn't the same as what your grandmother was using. The coconut oil used in the 30's, 40's and 50's was hydrogenated.
The hydrogenation process can change the structure of the fats in any oils, just as it does in coconut oil. Anything that is hydrogenated typically will add trans fats to the food, so it's a good idea to look out for foods that don't contain any kind of hydrogenated oils.
The virgin coconut oil that is available today offers completely unchanged oil. Much in the way that virgin olive oil is unprocessed and holds all of its original nutritional value, virgin coconut oil contains valuable nutrition that remains intact for your consumption.
So maybe you're wondering what the big deal about coconut oil health benefits is, and what is so great about yet another type of oil. Its oil and oil contains fats. Isn't it best to avoid oils or use as little of them as possible?
According to Dr Andrew Weil, any kind of oil should be added to the diet sparingly, since the way you process fats can be genetic and have to do with whether or not you gain weight or suffer from cholesterol problems. Since most of us use some kind of oil in much of our cooking, however, you could benefit from incorporating virgin coconut oil into your diet.
So, what are the said coconut oil health benefits?
Medium Chain Triglycerides
Coconut oil contains saturated fat from a non animal source, which can actually raise cholesterol levels; it is thought that since coconut oil is a source of medium chain triglycerides, however, that the body doesn't store it as fat as easily as it would store long chain triglycerides.
Canada's McGill University did a study and found that medium chain triglycerides (MCT) actually can help to boost metabolism. Many hospitals will give medium chain triglycerides to people who are seriously ill and have problems digesting fats, because MCT's are easily digestible. This is the first coconut oil health benefit of note.
As medium chain triglycerides can help to boost metabolism, coconut oil may in fact be helpful to people who are trying to lose weight.
Another important coconut oil health benefit stems from the fact that this oil contains lauric acid, which when digested turns into a substance called monolaurin. Monolaurin is found in breast milk and is an antibacterial and antiviral substance; monolaurin has been found to fight viruses, bacteria, yeast and fungi.
In cultures that have used coconut oil for thousands of years, this healthy oil has been used to fight bacterial infections such as abscessed teeth and viral ailments such as the flu.
Anti Cancer Properties
One study showed another of the possible coconut oil health benefits - that coconut oil may have anti carcinogenic properties and can potentially reduce your risk of colon cancer when substituted for certain margarines and butter.
The same study also found that coconut oil can potentially shrink enlarged prostates and help to heal ulcers.
The health benefits of coconut oil make this oil a useful food and, since you're going to use some oil when you cook anyway, you might as well give coconut oil a try. Coconut oil can, of course, also be used raw, and it's very delicious.
While coconut oil is good for you, many experts agree that it's best not to go too far overboard with any type of saturated fat. Don't feel like you have to consume massive quantities of this food to get the benefits; as with all aspects of a healthy diet and lifestyle, your efforts to harness the various coconut oil health benefits are cumulative over time.
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