Coconut oil is one of the most nutritious foods we can consume. It is over 90% saturated fat but don’t let that scare you away, not all saturated fats behave the same way in the body. Embrace the fat and let me explain why consuming it will have profoundly positive effects on your health.

What’s in coconut oil?

  • Medium-chain triglycerides. While most of the fats we consume are long chain fatty acids and need to be broken down before they are absorbed, coconut oil is different. It is an incredible source of short and medium-chain triglycerides (MCT). These are saturated fats that are easily digested and quickly converted by the liver into energy and provide many health benefits.
  • Lauric Acid.  Almost 50% of the fatty acids in coconut oil is lauric acid. In the body, this lauric acid is converted into a potent anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal substance, called monolaurin. Monolaurin has been shown to be useful in increasing immunity and fighting pathogens such as HIV virus, herpes virus, measles virus, Epstein-Barr virus, influenza and many others. It has also been shown to prevent some cancers. Lauric acid is one of the ingredients in human breast milk, protecting the baby from infections.

How does it work?

  • It regulates blood sugar. The saturated fat can positively affect our hormones as well as improve insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance. The result is blood sugar control and protection agains insulin resistance and diabetes.
  • It boosts brain function. Fatty acids can boost brain function and prevent Alzheimer’s disease. These fatty acids supply energy to the brain cells, increasing brain function almost immediately.
  • It boosts immunity. The unique MCT’s contain antibacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-parasitic properties boosting immunity and preventing disease. It is full of nutrients helping to fight off candida, yeast and fungus.
  • It lowers cholesterol. The saturated fat in coconut oil increases the good (HDL) cholesterol levels in the blood and lower blood pressure. This will help reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • It boosts energy and metabolism. Since coconut oil travels directly to the liver it is used as energy, not stored as fat. This provides instant energy and endurance, boosts your metabolism, and can decrease belly fat. Effective weight loss can be achieved as it brings a feeling of satiety.
  • It supports thyroid health. Unlike fat that does not contain MCT’s, these guys are easily digested and quickly converted by the liver into energy without the need for hormones and enzymes. This along with its many nourishing properties helps to support and restore thyroid health.
  • It prevents wrinkles and increases bone strength. By allowing better absorption of nutrients  like vitamin D, calcium and other minerals, it can increase bone strength. The MCT’s penetrate deeply into the skin protecting against free radical damage. Its quite effective as a sunscreen, blocking out 20% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
  • It’s healthy to cook with. Coconut oil is a great choice because it stays stable at much higher temperatures, meaning it can be heated to a high temperature without converting to a trans fat. Surprisingly is doesn’t have a strong coconut smell and any hint of coconut taste leaves when cooked.

What type should we buy, you ask? Make sure to buy organic virgin, cold-pressed coconut oil, preferably in a glass container. If you purchase it in a plastic container you can always transfer it to a glass jar at home. -Allie White