By now I’m sure you’ve already heard some of the fantastic health benefits of coconut oil, but is it all hype or is it the real deal?
There’s no doubt coconut oil has been getting more and more popular as the word spreads on its powerful health benefits. I’ve heard some sensationalized stories about the magical healing properties of coconut oil that made me laugh like Santa Claus eating cookies by the fireplace, but even if it won’t make you walk on water it still has some powerful properties you need to know about.
For over half a century all saturated fats have been treated abhorrently with false convictions of heart disease. A 1998 Indian study published in the Journal of the Indian Medical Association called “Choice of cooking oils–myths and realities” found heart disease and diabetes actually increased when coconut oil and ghee were eliminated from the diet. They found newer “healthier” oils such as sunflower and soybean oil were the real culprits behind heart disease with its high amount of omega-6 fatty acids.
Additionally, 1981 study found heart disease to be very uncommon for Pacific Islanders even though coconut was their chief source of energy. They determined there was no evidence that high saturated fat intake having harmful effects.
The truth is coconut oil does have some very powerful benefits. You also should make sure you’re eating the right kind of coconut oil or else you could be throwing away all the health benefits you’ve been hoping to take in.
First off, you have to make sure you buy organic coconut oil and NEVER eva buy refined coconut oil.
Well, refined coconut oil essentially means it has been heavily manufactured usually with chemicals being used to extract the oil from the coconut. The meat of the coconut is usually dried out then high heat is used to take away all the natural flavor and odor. Additionally, manufacturers add solvents to extract as much oil as possible from the meat as they also add other chemicals to preserve shelf life.
So unless you actually want that garbage in your body I’d recommend to always buy organic virgin coconut oil. I usually pick up my coconut oil at Trader Joe’s for about $5. Done deal.
The Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
Unfortunately, too many people automatically stigmatize coconut oil because of its high fat content at about 92% saturated fat. Now, most cardiologists would have a heart attack when they saw that much saturated fat in a food many people are beginning to eat more and more.
The secret to coconut oil is it’s made up of lauric acid, which is a medium chained fatty acids/triglyceride (MCT). This particular kind of fat is beneficial to us because it’s broken down in the liver making it highly efficient for energy burning. Lately, I’ve been adding a heaping tablespoon of coconut oil to my morning green tea for an additional energy burst.
The particular health benefits of coconut oil are astounding ranging anywhere from fat burning to improving Alzheimer’s disease. If you’ve been lectured by your doctor for having high cholesterol then coconut oil may help ease those high levels. Coconut oil actually increases HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) while also reducing LDL (bad) cholesterol.
It should be noted a 2009 study also found those who ate 2 tablespoons of coconut oil daily for 12 weeks also saw a reduction in abdominal fat. So if you’re looking to lose belly fat then it’ll be a wise idea to start mixing in some coconut oil into your diet every day.
There are a couple more studies that have also found the MCT found in coconut oil to boost your metabolism by reducing body fat, increasing energy and improving insulin sensitivity.
Some of the other incredible benefits of coconut oil include improved thyroid functioning, increased digestion, strengthened mineral absorption, protection against alcohol damage in the liver, improved blood sugar control and improved resistance against illness-causing bacteria and viruses.
Cooking with Coconut Oil
There’s one thing that really holds me back from consuming more coconut oil. And that would be its taste and texture. Now, in my imaginary world eating coconut oil would be like drinking a piña colada on a beach in Maui. But in reality coconut oil has a texture similar to the paste you would eat in Kindergarten.
This is far from encouraging to eat more coconut oil by the spoonful. It’s honestly not too bad at first but the mere thought of putting a spoonful of coconut oil in my mouth is enough to cause me to prefer starvation than to eat it.
The trick I’ve found is to mix it in with other foods. Like earlier said, I mix it in with my morning green tea and you could even mix it in with your coffee. Since it has less sensitivity to heat you could also cook foods with it. I’ll usually melt some coconut oil in a pan before cooking up some eggs or other kind of meat.
This should be an important reminder to not automatically assume all fats are bad for you. There are some that can actually help you lose belly fat while also improving your overall health. Of course, you should be eliminating the bad fats from your diet such as those found in processed foods. Trans fats are pretty much the devil for your health so if I were you I would purge my kitchen from those dirty mofos.
I recommend all of my clients and Flat Belly Formula members to eat coconut oil on a daily basis if they want to transform their bodies (last I checked nobody walked in my door and said they wanted to get fatter). Make sure you also include other healthy fats into your diet such as avocado, organic butter, ghee, fish oil and olive oil while eliminating those bad mofo fats like margarine, soybean oil, shortening and baked goods.
Incorporating the health benefits of coconut oil into your diet is going to be imperative, but you should also be using a proven nutrition and training plan to guide your body transformation on the path to success.