Updated: Jan 28, 2019
The Coconut Oil Craze.....is it worth the hype?
Well the answer is YES girl, yes it is!!
But what exactly is it about coconut oil that makes it so healthy? And which type is best? I’ll briefly give you some facts about coconut oil, discuss some of the benefits that are extra helpful, and then talk about ways to incorporate it in your diet.
Coconut oil is a healthy kind of fat
Coconut oil is a fat and contains the same 9 calories per gram as other fats. It is extracted from the "meat" of the coconut. Coconut oil is a white solid at room temperature and easily melts into a clear liquid when warmed/heated.
Coconut oil contains a unique type of fatty acid known as “Medium Chain Triglycerides” (MCTs). What makes MCTs unique is how your body metabolizes them. They're easily absorbed into the bloodstream by your gut, where they go straight to the liver, and they're burned for fuel or converted into "ketones." This metabolic process, unique to MCTs, is what sets coconut oil apart from other fats.
Coconut oil MCTs may help with fat loss Coconut oil’s MCTs have been shown to have a few different fat loss benefits. First, it can help to increase feelings of fullness, which can lead to a natural reduction in the amount of food you eat. Second, because of their unique metabolic process, MCTs can also increase the number of calories you burn compared to the calories burned after eating the same amount of other fats. A few studies show that coconut oil may increase the number of calories you burn by as much as 5%. Third, reports show that eating coconut oil can help to reduce belly fat.
Coconut oil can help with balancing your hormones
The healthy fat that is found in coconut oil is essential for hormone production. It promotes the conversion of Cholesterol to Pregnenolone, which is a precursor or kick starter for many of our hormones. It also helps to process and eliminate hormones (such as excess estrogen), as needed, to keep us in balance. Due to the metabolic boost from coconut oil, this can also help stimulate the thyroid and help those with under active thyroid function.
Coconut oil can help our gut
Coconut oil can help repair the tissues in our gut and help encourage good bacteria to flourish while minimizing the bad bacteria. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, can help to improve digestion, and improve nutrient absorption.
Coconut oil can help nourish skin and hair
Coconut oil can be very useful for the skin and hair. It can be used as a part of a deep conditioning treatment for the hair and is often included in many hair masks and treatments. It can also lessen frizziness and increase the shine. For the skin, its most notable as a good moisturizer but did you know it also has some antibacterial and anti-fungal properties? Some other uses include removing makeup and acting as a good skin barrier. Word of caution: if you are prone to acne and/or have oil skin, using coconut oil on your face can promote blackheads and clogged pores if used in excess on your face.
How much coconut oil should I eat? The idea of adding coconut oil to your diet is NOT to add on to what you already eat, but to substitute it for some of the less healthy fats you may be eating now. This is because we still want to be cautious due to it's higher calorie content. Many studies recommend consuming up to 2 tablespoons per day. You probably don’t need any more than that. Use it in place of butter when cooking and add it to your coffee, tea, and/or smoothie.
What kind of coconut oil is the best? There are so many coconut oil options available in grocery stores these days that it can make it difficult to know which is best.
I recommend that you stay away from "refined" ones, and opt for organic virgin coconut oil. That is because it is processed at lower temperatures and avoids some of the chemicals used in the refining process. This helps to preserve more of the oil's natural health promoting antioxidants. Here is my favorite brand below.
Tip: Always avoid "hydrogenated" coconut oil. It can be a health nightmare because it contains the infamous "trans fats."
One thing you should also consider is that each oil has a specific high temperature that you should avoid surpassing. For virgin coconut oil, that temperature is 350F. That means you can safely use it on the stovetop on a low-medium setting, as well as in most baking.
So there you have it! Is coconut oil worth the hype? YEP! Substitute some of the fat you eat with organic virgin coconut oil. This may help you to lose weight and belly fat, help your hormone balance, improve digestion, and nourish your skin and hair.
Want more personalized help with balancing your hormones and/or managing your weight? Schedule a free strategy session where we can chat by clicking here.