Friday, February 6, 2015

Why Is Coconut Oil So Controversial?

If you were brainwashed like I was that saturated fat is the devil, the idea of purposely consuming coconut oil is akin to drinking antifreeze.

Nutiva is a popular brand of high quality coconut oil
Coconut oil is 90% saturated fat.

Although the federal government and most nutritionists still stand by their high carb, low fat diet recommendations (follow the money), many reputable peer reviewed studies now suggest saturated fat is not only healthy, but also an essential source of energy for people on low carbohydrate diets.

Which is why the saturated fat content of coconut oil not only doesn't bother me, it's a benefit.

What's more, coconut oil contains mostly medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs), which are metabolized differently than the short and long chain fatty acids found in most other fat sources. MCFAs head right to the liver, where they do not pass go or collect $200. They are quickly converted to energy instead of being stored as fat.

Coconut oil is also thermogenic, which means it increase the amount of fat you burn. One study found that just 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil a day increased the amount of energy expended in a control group by 120 calories.

And like all fats, coconut oil will make you feel full and satisfied; so in addition to burning more calories, you will consume less calories per day since you won't feel hungry. The idea of food may still seems interesting, but you'll have no desire to eat it.

You may also get sick less often if you consume coconut oil. Half of the fatty acids are lauric acid, which can protect against biological bad guys like bacteria, viruses, fungi and yeast. 

All this coconut oil propaganda may seem too good to be true, and I was skeptical, too. But the more I use coconut oil, the more I like it. And (knocking on head), I have yet to catch that pernicious flu going around this year.

Recipe can be found at The Nourished Life
There are a million ways to consume coconut oil, but I most commonly cook with it instead of olive oil or add a spoonful to my smoothies. I've also used coconut oil to make a chocolate hard shell by adding cocoa and Swerve, melting them together in the microwave, and then pouring the mixture over some strawberries and walnuts. One recipe I really want to try is coconut oil fudge, only I would use Swerve or another erythritol sweetner like Lacanta instead of honey.

You can always try a jar of coconut oil, and if you don't like the taste or nutritional benefits, use it as a hair conditioner or skin youth-enizer. It seems like you can do almost anything with coconut oil these days except drive it to work or send text messages.

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