Coconut has become one of the top nutrition trends in the US, and with good reason. Coconut is a superfood that can provide numerous health benefits in addition to its amazing taste and wide variety of uses.
Right now the most popular Coconut product on the market is Coconut Oil, which is an oil extracted from the kernel or meat of matured coconuts. At first, many people were scared of this oil (and might still be) due to its high levels of Saturated Fat. I’m here to debunk that myth and explain the benefits of Coconut Oil.
I eat Coconut Oil every day, multiple times a day and have experienced all of the benefits that I’m about to share. Here are 4 reasons you should eat Coconut Oil daily!
Coconut Oil Can Help You Lose Fat
Let’s start off strong with the #1 reason to enjoy at least one serving of Coconut Oil every day. Coconut Oil can help you lose fat. Isn’t that what we all want?
More importantly, Coconut Oil has been linked to fat loss in the midsection – especially internal, visceral fat that is stubborn and extremely difficult to manage. This is the type of fat that we highlight during our InBody 570 analysis as being the most dangerous.
A recent study by the Universiti Sains Malaysia’s School of Medical Sciences showed a decrease in waist circumference, body fat percentage and body mass index in a group of participants who consumed 1 ounce of Virgin Coconut Oil daily for 4 weeks (1). Participants did not exercise during the study or decrease their caloric intake at all during the study. These results came from simply adding 1 ounce of Coconut Oil a day.
Imagine the results you’d see if you added a nutritional and exercise plan!
Coconut Oil Can Improve Skin & Dental Health
You don’t have to eat Coconut Oil to enjoy the full scale of benefits! Take Oil Pulling, for example. Just take 1 tablespoon of Coconut Oil and swish it around in your mouth for 20 minutes. This simple, painless process can decrease eliminate harmful mouth bacteria, decrease plaque build-up and improve overall dental health. (2)
It doesn’t stop there. Coconut Oil can be used on your hair, skin and nails too! My wife rubs it on her baby bump to help fight the skin dryness and stretching that comes with pregnancy. We rub a small amount on our dog, Penny, to help her with her dry skin and doggy dandruff.
The Department of Dermatology at the Makati Medical Center studied and proved coconut oil to be safe and effective for use on skin when used as a moisturizer. (3)
There are also several other topical uses for Coconut Oil backed by scientific data, so don’t be nervous to use it! (4)
Coconut Oil Can Improve Cholesterol
Let’s start with the notion that Coconut Oil is bad for you because it’s mostly made of Saturated Fat. Normally, this would be an accurate assumption but Coconut Oil is a special case. It’s made of MCT’s, or Medium Chain Triglycerides, which is rare to see in naturally sourced fat. This is not the typical Saturated Fat that you’d find in poor quality meat and dairy, MCT’s in Coconut Oil are metabolized differently by your body. Your body uses the fat for energy as a first option, rather than storing it for later use.
MCT’s are easy for your body to digest compared to Long Chain Triglycerides, so Coconut Oil is also a good option for those with digestion issues. The MCT’s in Coconut Oil bypass the lipoprotein stage of the digestion process which means the fat does not require enzymes to break it down and it will not enter your bloodstream. Why is this good? Because that reduces the risk of digestive problems and clogged arteries. Long story, short: Your body doesn’t have to work as hard to digest MCT’s and they increase your energy without storing excess fat.
I say all that to illustrate that this Saturated Fat is not one that you should be weary of trying. In fact, there is research to support that Coconut Oil can raise your HDL (the good Cholesterol), which theoretically, can reduce your risk of heart disease. (5)
Coconut Oil Can Increase Your Energy
Speaking of MCT’s, they’ve been linked to increase energy expenditure (6) which can help everyone. No one would turn down a little extra energy throughout the day. Think about all of the things you could accomplish if you just have 5% more energy during your day.
Think about this situation:
You don’t work out because you don’t have the energy, but exercise can lead to an increase of overall energy. So if something doesn’t change it’ll be a never ending low-energy circle of failed fitness goals. One serving of delicious Coconut Oil could be that boost you need to kick it into gear!
Now that you know some of the major benefits of Coconut Oil, don’t forget about some of the not-so-obvious reasons to try it out.
- Prevents Kidney Stones
- Reduces viral susceptibility
- Improves bone strength
- Useful in treating Pancreatic disease
- Anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties
You’re probably ready to get your first jar of Coconut Oil, right? Not so fast. Don’t just choose the cheapest or most convenient product out there. Just like anything else in the food industry, there are some really poor quality products out there pretending to be healthy.
Make sure you purchase an organic, virgin or extra virgin, unrefined Coconut Oil that comes in a glass jar. DO NOT purchase Coconut Oil that is refined or comes in a plastic jar. It also goes without saying that you’re looking for strictly Non-GMO products during your search.
I personally use Skinny & Co. but some other reputable brands are:
I hope you start to explore the awesomeness that is Coconut Oil. Try it once and I guarantee you’ll love it. Let me know if you need any recipes or cooking tips!
(1) Liau, Kai, Yeong Lee, Chee Chen, and Aida Rasool. “An Open-Label Pilot Study to Assess the Efficacy and Safety of Virgin Coconut Oil in Reducing Visceral Adiposity.” ISRN Pharmacology. International Scholarly Research Network. Web. 7 Apr. 2015. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3226242/>.
(2) Asokan, Sharath, Pamela Emmadi, and Raghuraman Chamundeswari3. “Effect of Oil Pulling on Plaque Induced Gingivitis: A Randomized, Controlled, Triple-blind Study.” Indian Journal of Dental Research. Indian Journal of Dental Research. Web. 7 Apr. 2015. <http://www.ijdr.in/article.asp?issn=0970-9290;year=2009;volume=20;issue=1;spage=47;epage=51;aulast=Asokan>.
(3) “A Randomized Double-blind Controlled Trial Comparing Extra Virgin Coconut Oil with Mineral Oil as a Moisturizer for Mild to Moderate Xerosis.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Web. 7 Apr. 2015. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15724344>.
(4) “Effect of Oil Pulling on Streptococcus Mutans Count in Plaque and Saliva Using Dentocult SM Strip Mutans Test: A Randomized, Controlled, Triple-blind Study.” Journal of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry. Department of Microbiology, Meenakshi Ammal Dental College. Web. 7 Apr. 2015. <http://www.jisppd.com/article.asp?issn=0970-4388;year=2008;volume=26;issue=1;spage=12;epage=17;aulast=Asokan>.
(5) “Effects of Dietary Coconut Oil on the Biochemical and Anthropometric Profiles of Women Presenting Abdominal Obesity.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Web. 7 Apr. 2015. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19437058>.
(6) “Twenty-four-hour Energy Expenditure and Urinary Catecholamines of Humans Consuming Low-to-moderate Amounts of Medium-chain Triglycerides: A Dose-response Study in a Human Respiratory Chamber.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Web. 7 Apr. 2015. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8654328>.