Is coconut oil truly a super-ingredient you should include in your diet and what is it?! Does it really deserve its superfood status? Let’s find out.
Coconut oil is an edible oil that comes from the meat of a mature coconut from the coconut palm tree. While it is an oil/ fat and calorie-dense, we find that when used in moderation it can really pack a punch when it comes to improving overall health. Coconut oil benefits are countless from being used as a tropical tasting cooking oil, healing dry skin, and even reducing hunger while improving cholesterol levels!
Yes, “WHOA!” is right.
The coconut oil craze is not new. It’s been being discussed for years now, but not everyone knows the real reasons why…
Below are some of the amazing benefits we find to be most helpful when journeying to a healthier and happier life.
Coconut Oil Facts- It Contains Medium-Chain Triglycerides (MCTs)
Many trending diets like keto tend to encourage heavy use of high-fat foods like coconut oil due to it being made up of MCTs or medium-chain triglycerides. The goal is to encourage the body to use a different source of energy – fat rather than glucose. While Weight Loss Direct does not condone heavy focus on fats or any kind of macro-imbalanced diet for weight loss, we too love the MCTs.
Triglycerides are lipids (fat) found in your blood. When ingested, your body uses them for energy and any extra gets stored in fat cells. You will often hear about medium-chain triglycerides and long chain triglycerides in the diet. MCTs are touted as being more beneficial because they’re not as long as the LCTs (makes sense) and therefore metabolized differently. MCTs are more readily metabolized because they do not require enzymes or bile acid that LCTs require to be digested; they go straight to the liver to be used as energy. So, when ingested the metabolism tends to perk-up more immediately, increasing thermogenesis giving your more energy and helping to burn more calories.
MCTs are easily accessible and most commonly found in coconut oil; it can be made up of anywhere from 45%-65% MCTs.
Coconut Oil Facts- Helps to Reduce Hunger
Fats are more filling and may lead to less calories consumed per day. Per gram they provide the most calories out of the macronutrients at 9 calories per gram. Additionally, fats are the last to leave the digestive system meaning the body will feel fuller for longer and they wont cause blood sugar to spike and drop, which can lead to cravings and extra calorie consumption.
Coconut Oil Facts- It is Antimicrobial:
Coconut oil is made up of 8 different fatty acids with Lauric acid making up 49%. Lauric acid has amazing antimicrobial properties. Studies have shown that it has been effective in combating the bacteria that causes acne; it even was shown to work better than benzoyl peroxide – a common acne treatment. Additionally, in another study, participants were asked to do oil pulling with coconut oil to see how it would affect the bacterial count in their saliva. End results of this study showed significant reduction in streptococcus mutans in saliva and that oil pulling with coconut oil may be used as a preventive therapy at home to maintain oral hygiene, as it is natural, safe and has no side effects.
Ready to incorporate Coconut Oil into your everyday life? Check out our blog post on ways to get creative with this oil: 6 Ways You Didn’t Think to Use Coconut Oil