The Real Benefits of Coconut Oil
Since the word “fat” is often associated with being overweight, there’s a common misconception that all fats are bad. In reality, that’s far from the case; in fact, some fats are necessary and some can even be amazingly good for you. One source of these wonderful, “good fats” is coconut oil.
So what makes coconut oil a “good fat”? For starters, the coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), which are more easily converted into energy than many other fats. While most fats go through a process that requires twenty-six steps to be converted into energy, these MCFAs require only three steps. They’re relatively easy to digest and, because they’re processed by the liver, they become energy immediately after the liver does its work.
There are many, many more benefits of coconut oil than are listed here, but we’re taking you through some of the best benefits of adding coconut oil to your diet:
- Preventing heart disease and high blood pressure: Coconut oil is full of natural saturated fats, which not only increase the amount of good cholesterol in your bloodstream, but also helps to convert bad cholesterol into good cholesterol.
- Helping with brain function: When those MFCAs in coconut oil are processed through the liver, a by-product of this process is ketones. Ketones are an alternative form of energy that your tissues and muscles can use for fuel when your body doesn’t produce enough insulin to turn glucose into energy. This has great potential implications for brain health, since the brains of people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease have generally lost the ability to create insulin. Thus, ketones can step in and provide another source of energy to maintain brain function.
- Contributing to cancer prevention: Tumors use sugar to grow, but tumor cells are unable to derive energy from ketones. Producing more ketones through consumption of coconut oil gives the body the energy it needs for its healthy cells while simultaneously depriving energy from cancer cells - which is pretty amazing.
- Aid in losing abdominal fat: One study of 40 women with abdominal obesity found that they lost considerable amounts of fat after taking daily supplements of 2 tablespoons of coconut oil for 12 weeks.
Now that you know a few of the (many!) benefits of coconut oil: how can you start adding it to your diet? One of the easiest ways to incorporate coconut oil into your diet is to use it as a substitute for your usual cooking oils. However, coconut oil should not be consumed in excessive amounts (as it still has a lot of calories per ounce) and isn’t the best choice for high-temperature cooking. Beyond that, it’s great tasting and is an excellent addition!
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