Coconut oil is becoming better known for its nutritional values. What exactly are the health benefits of coconut oil? The following is some basic information which can help you to understand what it is and what it can do.
Coconut Oil and Weight Loss – Is There Such Thing as Good Fat?
Contrary to popular beliefs, there are good fats which help the body lose weight. Coconut oil contains some of these “good fats.” A lack of sufficient good fats can contribute to weight gain and obesity. The types of fats contained in coconut oil are directly sent to the liver and transformed into energy. These fats also speed up the body’s metabolism and thus help it to burn body fat more quickly.
Coconut Oil as a Substitute for Butter or Margerine
Coconut oil is solid at room temperature (unless you are in a very hot climate). It can thus be used as a full or partial replacement for other less healthy solid fats, such as margarine or butter. It does not have to go through the unnatural (and dangerous) methods which are used to make other oils into solids. It has a melting point of 76 degrees Fahrenheit. It is also a healthy solution for vegans or vegetarians who are looking for butter substitutes but who want to avoid unhealthy alternatives like margarine.
Coconut Oil for Frying
Coconut oil can be heated without undergoing the same unhealthy changes that other oils go through when they are heated. It is thus very good for healthy frying or other high-heat cooking.
Coconut Oil and Rancidity
Coconut oil has a long shelf-life. It does not go rancid quickly. Even after one year at room-temperature, coconut oil shows no signs of rancidity.
People Who Use Coconut Oil
People who live in tropical climates and who consume large amounts of coconut oil in their diets, have less heart disease, have less cancer, have fewer colon problems, and are generally healthier. Examples of such are peoples of the Yucatan and of Melanesia.
Coconut Oil for Immunity, Anti-Aging, and Losing Weight
Coconut oil stimulates the thyroid, which is the most important gland in your body’s immune system. This assists in weight loss, helps to lower levels of harmful cholesterol, helps the body to produce anti-aging hormones, and helps prevent illness.
In the 1940’s, some farmers tried to fatten their animals by feeding them coconut oil. But instead, the animals became leaner and more active.
Coconut oil is said to help prevent cancer, obesity, heart disease, and senility.
Coconut oil contains substances which help the body to fight harmful bacteria and viruses. This helps prevent illness and infection in the body.
Coconut Oil to Combat Wrinkles
Coconut oil (consumed internally and also applied directly to the skin) also has anti-wrinkle effects and helps to maintain or create young-looking skin. It helps keep connective tissues strong and reduces fine lines. It helps the skin maintain its elasticity. It also assists your skin to exfoliate outer dead cells and tissues. It can be used as a make-up remover and for shaving.
For thousands of years, coconut oil was known and used for its health benefits and therapeutic properties. In the late 1900’s, it was made unpopular by public-relations campaigns against its use. The sources of these campaigns may have been connected with manufacturers of competing products.
Not all coconut oil is the same. Coconut oil which has been hydrogenated or processed can be harmful to the body. It’s best to use raw, virgin, organic coconut oil. Don’t use bleached, deodorized, hydrogenated, heat-processed, or impure coconuts oils.
How much coconut oil should one consume in a day? A recommended therapeutic amount is three to four tablespoons per day.
In baking, coconut oil can replace solid fats such as shortenings. When making pastries, you can try substituting coconut oil for 50% of whichever fats (such as butter) are required by your recipe. Coconut oil can also used as a substitute for butter on bread, pasta, popcorn or hot vegetables. You can try using coconut oil when frying vegetables, eggs, fish, etc.