Unique Properties of Coconut Oil

Decades ago coconut oil was the healthiest oil on the planet. It is still fed to critically ill patients and is a major component of baby formula most hospitals today. Now physicians and nutritionists recommending it as a source of healthy fat. Even Dr. Oz reversed his position and is promoting it! The misinformation about the supposed dangers of coconut oil has lead to health issues (i.e. heart disease, diabetes, obesity, etc.). People in the tropics living on traditional diets high in coconut oil are robust and healthy well into old age and free of the many life style diseases that plague us.

Coconut oil (like palm oil, palm kernel oil) is unique in it’s health-giving properties. It is made up of mostly saturated fat (92%), but this saturated fat is different from other saturated fats. You see, seed oils are the source of the highly beneficial medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs or MCTs). Unlike saturated fats from other sources (meats and vegetable oils) that are made up of long chain fatty acids (LCFAs). These LCFA if not immediately utilized are stored in our fat cells. The shorter/smaller MCTs found in coconut oil are much easier to digest and are go directly to the liver and used for energy production. They are not stored as fat deposits in our arteries or tissues.

Coconut oil produces energy, is not stored as fat and is a major component of many athletes’ diet and meal replacements. Athletes use coconut oil to control and reduce weight and for energy. Coconut oil improves the function of the liver and reduces LDL cholesterol, which protects against heart disease. It supports thyroid gland health and increases metabolism. And it even increases insulin sensitivity and helping to reverse diabetes and even Alzheimer’s.

When coconut oil is combined with other foods, namely starches and carbohydrates, it slows down passing sugar into the blood stream. Coconut oil reduces the glycemic index and prevents the potential insulin spike. So not only do you get more energy, you feel fuller longer and are less prone to blood sugar fluctuations that causing cravings. In addition to the blood sugar benefit, the MCFAs of coconut oil don’t require the action of bile or pancreatic enzymes, are able to cross the wall of the intestine and enter the portal vein and directly enter the liver where it burned as fuel. This reduces the workload of the liver (no bile production) while increasing metabolism all leading to weight loss. And this is supported by 100s of articles published in reputable scientific journals like the Journal of Nutrition.

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