Coconut oil came out of nowhere and claimed the super food thrown despite years of criticism for being 90% saturated fat. The same saturated fat that has been blamed for years as the source for clogged arteries and weight gain. Lucky for us, researchers are finding more and more positives to this high fat food, and we’re finding more and more ways to use it.
So how did it redeem itself?
Well, it looks like health professionals are figuring out that saturated fats aren’t as bad as they once thought. So it didn’t really “redeem itself”, more like we wised up to fat not being the complete enemy and finally started giving sugar its fair share of the blame. In fact, the type of saturated fat in coconut oil can actually prevent long term weight gain and more research has convinced many health professionals that incorporating this beneficial fat in our diets can be super helpful. These benefits can be especially true for people with plant-based or paleo diets that need an awesome substitute for butter, one that emulsifies and solidifies. Or people that love to keep their personal care routines simple and natural. Or people that want to cook with a delicious tasting oil with added health benefits. Odds are you fit in one or two of these categories, so let’s go over some myths of this versatile ingredient…
Myth #1: Coconut Oil is Not Good For Diabetics
Coconut oil is mostly fat, as we mentioned above. So this is actually great news for diabetics and prevention of diabetes. It contains no glucose, and promotes the secretion of insulin to help keep diabetes in check. This is only true for VIRGIN coconut oil, not hydrogenated.
Myth #2: Coconut Oil Raises Your Cholesterol
Here’s the deal, there are two types of cholesterol, LDL or “bad” cholesterol that clogs up those arteries, and HDL, the “good” cholesterol that helps remove LDL from our systems. Turns out that coconut oil can help raise your HDL and at the same time lower your LDL. So sure, I guess coconut technically raises your cholesterol, but in a way that keeps your cholesterol profile even and healthier.
Myth #3: Coconut Oil Causes Weight Gain
In recent studies, researchers have given overweight women coconut oil supplements. In one study, women that supplemented their diet with coconut oil over soybean oil, showed a reduction in abdominal circumference. The medium chain fatty acids, a type of saturated fat, that are in coconut oil actually help increase the metabolic rate and give us more energy for exercising, that leads to more calories burned. (Also, coconut oil helps to prevent fat storage at a DNA level. Say what?!)
Myth #4: Coconut Oil Goes Rancid Super Fast
Even if coconut oil spoiled quickly, we use it way too much to ever make it there ;), but lucky for us its make up of saturated fats extends the shelf life a great deal. Coconut oil’s natural antibacterial powers, helps the shelf life as well, reducing contamination from microbes. Refined coconut oil (absent of the coconut taste and smell) will last 18-24 months and virgin coconut oil can last years without turning rancid. Yet another reason coconut oil puts some other oils to shame!
But wait, there’s more!
In addition to busting these myths that were commonly spread about coconut oil, it has now become the go-to ingredient for non toxic living. I know what your thinking, WTF?! is so special about this stuff? Well, it’s list of health boosting skills is impressive and includes increasing teeth health, having antimicrobial properties, moisturizing skin, relieving symptoms of eczema, soothing sore throats, and tasting amazing!
And that’s why coconut oil is our Ingredient of the Month!
All this month we will be exploring the rest of the coconut oil benefits (or trying, there are seriously so many), and sharing DIY recipes, food recipes and all things coconut oil here on the blog and social media.
Don’t miss it!