In the past, we were lead to believe that all fats should be feared and all fats were the root cause of obesity in people all over the globe. For many of us, the mere mention of the word fat would reduce us to quivering messes and would strike fear into all who heard its name. Because of this, people who were dieting in order to lose weight, would embark on low calorie, virtually fat free diets.
Not surprisingly, these low calorie, fat-free diets would leave dieters constantly hungry and lethargic, due to a lack of energy. These types of diets in fact, are why diets get such a bad rep in the first place, when in reality, there are many foods and supplements out there that are packed full of healthy fats, and are considered absolutely essential for our health and well-being.
As the years went by, more research was conducted and experts began to discover that, not only were some fats deemed safe for people looking to lose weight, they were actually considered to be an essential part of the human diet, as fats are one of three macronutrients, with the other two of course being: protein, and, carbohydrates. Recently, one of the healthiest sources of fat has actually been found to be coconut oil, particularly organic virgin coconut oil. So, move over olive oil, because there’s a new healthy fat on the block, so let’s take a look at just five of the many, many health benefits of coconut oil.
Coconut oil is a saturated fat, but unlike other forms of saturated fat, coconut oil is made up primarily of MCTs, or Medium Chain Triglycerides. MCTs are metabolized very differently to long-chain triglycerides, because, once digested, MCTs are not actually stored as body fat at all. Instead, they go directly to the liver, where they are speedily converted into energy. This is beneficial because it helps provide an increase in energy levels, but it is also beneficial as it can assist with fat loss, as it ramps up the metabolism.
Another fantastic benefit of coconut oil, is the fact that it has been proven to help to reduce hunger pains and cravings within the human body. MCTs actually form special ketone bodies, which suppress the appetite and help keep us feeling full for longer. This is perfect for anybody looking to lose weight, or maintain their weight for that matter, because obviously, if we aren’t hungry, we’re much less likely to overeat or snack between meals, so less calories in, means less fat will be stored by the body, and that’s definitely a win in our eyes.
As mentioned, in the past, all fats were feared and were considered to be the root cause of obesity, as well as heart disease and heart attacks. In today’s society however, we’ve finally discovered that not all fats are created equally, and in fact, even saturated fats can be healthy. Want proof of this? – How about the fact that coconut oil is made up almost primarily of saturated fats, and it is considered to be extremely healthy and beneficial for the heart and for the cardiovascular system. Studies have found that coconut oil can help to increase HDL cholesterol, which is a healthy cholesterol, and reduce LDL cholesterol, which is the bad cholesterol. It is able to do this by encouraging the human body to take cholesterol in the blood, and convert it into a usable form of energy. Because the LDL cholesterol is used up, it can’t build up and form fatty deposits in the arteries, and it will therefore reduce build ups of plaque in the arteries, which cause heart attacks, hypertension, and strokes. On top of that, experts have found that coconut oil can help to improve blood coagulation and reduce triglycerides, which again, will provide numerous benefits for the heart and cardiovascular system.
Another great benefit of organic virgin coconut oil is the fact it is packed full of antioxidants, the high antioxidant content of the oil can actually help to drastically reduce inflammation within the body, making it a great ingredient for anybody struggling with arthritis and joint issues caused as a result of inflammation.
Finally, as if all of the above wasn’t enough to convince you to head out and buy a jar of coconut oil right this second, how about the fact that it tastes absolutely amazing in the process? It is incredibly heat resistant, so it is perfect for baking, roasting, frying, or simply to be used as a flavour enhancer. The overall taste is slight sweet, and, not surprisingly, coconutty, without being overpowering. Instead of vegetable oil, try adding a spoonful or two, of coconut oil and see just how different it tastes. It works especially well in Indian and Asian dishes, as well as desserts, although to be honest, it tastes great with virtually all foods and drinks.