Why Coconut Oil Is Good for You
Coconut oil seems to be the latest in super foods that promise great health benefits. Solid at room temperature, the thick, white, sweet-smelling oil is made from the white meat of the coconut. The oil pressed from the coconut meat is mostly saturated fat which is of the medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) variety. Though fat often gets a bad rap in our culture, this particular fat has significant health benefits.
The Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
- Heart Benefits: small amounts of coconut oil, consumed daily, have shown to increase the HDL or good cholesterol in the blood stream. Too much coconut oil can also raise the LDL or bad cholesterol, so moderation is key.
- Weight Loss: your body processes MCTs differently than other fats. Your body is more likely to burn these off quickly than to convert them to body fat. However, coconut oil is high in calories and you cannot approach it like a fat-burning freebie food. The pounds will not magically melt away because you have added this to your diet, but replacing small amounts of other fats with this more favorable fat may be helpful.
- Antioxidant Benefits: antioxidants are substances in our diet that help prevent the cell damage caused by oxidants. Oxidants include substances in our environments and that are produced naturally within our bodies. The antioxidants in coconut oil are definitely beneficial, though greater benefit can be obtained from increased consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Coconut oil is easily added to any diet. A small amount can be used in place of butter in muffins, stir-fries, or to make your morning omelet. When replacing an unhealthy oil like a vegetable or canola oil, coconut oil offers significant benefits.
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