Coconut oil has been lauded for its many health benefits, for thousands of years. The Ayurvedic tradition of India has expressed the value of this wonder oil for everything from hair care to weight loss. Despite not having any scientific evidence for these claims, coconut oil continues to be part of the diets of many different people from many different countries. Now, we have that scientific evidence, and the Ayurvedic practitioners were right, this wonder oil has many, many health benefits, and can even help you lose weight. But before we get on to why coconut oil will give you sleek hair, and a trim physique, we need to address one thing. Coconut oil is primarily fat... saturated fat.
Saturated fat? Surely not?!
We are told to stay away from saturated fats at all costs, however, there are many kinds of saturated fats, and not all of them were born equal. An interesting fact about fats is that they contain 9kcal per gram. Now, depending on the richness of the source, coconut oil contains anywhere between 90-100g of fat per 100g of actual oil, and 900kcal approximately. With such a large calorie density it is easy to see how one could assume that such product would be bad for you.
Now, this was the assumption reached by cattle farmers in the US during the 1940’s, who sought to fatten their livestock by feeding them cheap coconut oil, which at the time was a waste product from the processing of coconuts for beauty products and other foodstuffs. What actually happened, despite the farmers best wishes, was that the cattle became more active, healthier, hungrier and actually leaner. But why did that happen when they were living in a state of a calorie surplus and were eating incredibly high amounts of fats?
Many of the saturated fats that we find in our diets come either in the form of fats from animal fat and the fats which we find in most processed foods in the form of hydrogenated fats, (fats that have been bound chemically with hydrogen, act as a preservative). Now, fats differ based on the length of their ‘chains’, or chemical bonds. Hydrogenated fats are long chain triglycerides, or LCT’s. These fats are very dense and are not easily digested. As such, they are not fully broken down and stored as body fat. However, lower density fats, such as medium chain triglycerides, or MCT’s are easily digested, and almost immediately burned in your liver for energy, like carbohydrates, but without resulting insulin spike one would expect from an intake of carbs.
Due to the fact that the bodies insulin levels stay the same during the intake of MCT’s, the bodies only available response to increase the rate of digestion is to raise its metabolic rate, which results in you burning more calories in a resting state and causes it to burn fat for energy as opposed to storing it, once again helping you get leaner. Ultimately, this leads to weight loss.
How does this relate to coconut oil?
Well, coconut oil is nature riches source of MCT’s as well as other rich fatty acids. Dr Weston Price analysed the diets of a controlled group of south pacific islanders in the 1930’s, whose diets were rich in fat due to the high consumption of coconut products, and found them to be in an excellent state of health. A similar study was done in the 1980’s under greater scientific scrutiny, and the same results were found, that the Islanders, despite the high levels of saturated fats in their diets, had fantastic cardiovascular health.
Wait! There's more
Nearly 50% of coconut oil fat is made up of lauric acid. So what is lauric acid? Lauric acid is a fatty acid that is converted by your body into monolaurin, an antiviral, anti-bacterial, anti-protozoa compound. This boosts your bodies’ ability to eliminate free radicals, increase the effectiveness of your body’s enzymes, and all around boost your body’s immune system. Especially when dealing with viruses and bacteria, causing diseases such as herpes, influenza and cytomegalovirus. An added bonus is that the use of coconut oil in your diet and in open wounds actually speeds up the rate of healing and repair.
Most of the CSN staff have ended up using it as a complete replacement for butter, and all our cooking oils. Also, I would highly recommend putting a spoon of it in your coffee first thing in the morning and get your fat burning kick first thing. we like to call it, the 'Bullet Proof Coffee', cause that’s how it's going to make you feel, Bullet Proof!
Use Coconut oil in your everyday cooking for its full benefits
In regards to its more allopathic uses, coconut oil is also an effective moisturiser, of both skin and hair due to its chemical makeup, i.e. its rich sources of fats and proteins which nourish your skin and hair on a cellular level. It prevents dryness and flaking of the skin, which becomes prominent with age and stress. It also, delays sagging of the skin and treats eczema and other skin infections, preventing premature ageing.
That about covers it on coconut oil so why don't you get a stash of coconut oil from CSN. As always Team CSN are here to help, call or email us today and we can give you professional, unbiased advice on all your nutrition and supplement needs.