Coconut oil is bad for you? That's a myth! There are dozens of cooking oils around the world but few can match the health benefits of coconut oil
For a long time coconut oil has been wrongly advertised as an unhealthy food product because of its high unsaturated fat content in order to promote other cooking oils such as canola. The common complaints against coconut oil were elevated cholesterol levels, risk of heart and brain disorders etc.
Today, research has revealed that coconut oil, although comprising of 90% saturated fats, is quite safe for consumption and contrary to what was advertised, has dozens of health benefits of its own. From being a natural cooking oil that is delicious and having a high smoke point, to a healer of several serious diseases and preventer of a similar number, coconut oil is indeed a blessing of nature that has been misrepresented for a long time.
Why is coconut oil so healthy?
Coconut oil owes much of its potency as a healthy food product because of lauric acid; a fatty acid present in coconut oil that has astonishing health boosting attributes. Lauric acid is well known for antimicrobial properties that strengthen the human immune system.
The body converts lauric acid in to a compound called monolaurin.
The MCFA's present in the coconut oil improve our metabolism and encourages the body to utilize stored fat as energy which causes weight loss.
What is the difference between refined and unrefined coconut oil?
Refined coconut oil is tasteless and odourless making it ideal for deep fried foods because of its high smoke point. Its nutritional value is slightly less than that of virgin or unrefined coconut oil.
The majority of coconut oils present in the market are refined but their quality varies a good deal. Try to obtain non-hydrogenated good quality. Make sure that it has been refined by natural and non-chemical process.
The main advantage of refined oil is that it is cheaper and its fat content enables it to be used as a great bath oil/natural body wash/ moisturizer
Unrefined coconut oil is otherwise known as virgin/extra virgin coconut oil that is obtained by pressurizing raw coconut under a hydraulic press without any chemical interference. Its flavour ranges from mild to intense depending on the amount of heat provided during the extraction process
Quality unrefined coconut oil will have a light coconut taste and aroma. The difference between virgin and extra virgin varieties is more of a marketing ploy and both are superior to refined coconut oil.
Coconut oil not only makes you feel healthier, but also makes you look better too. Regular applications of coconut oil will make your hair and skin healthier, softer, and brighter than ever.
An amazing facial cleanser: Because coconut oil is naturally antibacterial, antifungal, moisturising, and according to research, great for atopic dermatitis, you can use this as a cleanser or make-up remover for your bedtime routine. Many women swear by its use as a night-time moisturiser for their face too. (If you’re adult-acne prone, avoid this technique unless you know your skin tolerates coconut oil.)
Skin softener: Coconut oil is a great skin softener and helps with severe dry hands and feet, which may happen due to excessive cold or strenuous work while standing on your feet. The cracks in your feet will not vanish, but your feet will become softer within days if you apply coconut oil to the affected area. Coconut oil is also able to penetrate your skin on a deeper level than your average product because of its low molecular weight and the way it bonds with proteins.
Cold sore treatment: Prone to cold sores? Dabbing coconut oil on them can help speed up healing time, alleviate pain and reduce the risk of scarring or discolouration.
Coconut oil contains three fatty acids — capric, caprylic and lauric acid — that possess both disinfectant and antimicrobial properties, helping to protect against as well as heal microbial infections.
Cuticle oil: Use coconut oil in your next at-home manicure. Rubbing the oil into cuticles helps keep germs at bay and will loosen up cuticles, making them easier to push back or cut.
People using large amounts of coconut oil in their diet should have their blood cholesterol levels checked regularly.