The Health Benefits of Coconut Oil - Paula Owens, MS

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20 Health Benefits of Coconut Oil and MCT Oil

Coconut Oil Health Benefits - Paula Owens, MS Holistic Nutritionist and Functional Health PractitionerDespite the bad rap that saturated fats have gotten over the years, there’s plenty of evidence supporting the endless health benefits of saturated fats such as coconut oil.

Our bodies cannot function without saturated fats. They’re essential to heart health, hormone function, brain and respiratory health. Healthy saturated fats boost immune function, increase bone strength, improve liver health, and influence the release of insulin. They’re also excellent source of energy.

Sources of healthy, healing fats include organic, grass-fed meats, pasture-raised poultry and eggs, grass-fed pastured butter, wild and fatty cold water fish, seafood, raw nuts and seeds, olives and olive oil, avocados, ghee, coconut butter and coconut oil.

Coconut oil is unusually rich in medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) also known as medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). Coconut oil also contains caprylic, capric and lauric acids.

MCT Oil. The MCTs found in coconut oil are loaded with healthy, healing benefits that have a positive effect on body composition and weight, brain function, focus and cognition. MCT oil also increases energy, aids in digestion, elimination and the ability to absorb nutrients, protects the heart, fights infections, improves mood, supports hormones and increases metabolism!!! Ketones can be provided to the brain as an alternative fuel source by consuming foods that contain medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) to produce ketones. Ketones have some unique properties. They can reduce inflammation, act as antioxidants and reduce oxidation, especially in the brain. The cells in the brain are called neurons; they can use either glucose or ketones.

MCTs found in coconut oil are also found in MCT oil. Smaller amounts of MCTs are also found in butter from grass-fed cows and palm oil.

20 Health Benefits of Coconut Oil and MCT Oil

  1. Supports healthy thyroid function
  2. Stimulates metabolism and increases metabolic rate. One study found a 12% increased metabolism over six hours after ingestion of MCTs compared to other fats.
  3. Eat fat to lose fat! Coconut oil promotes lipid oxidation and helps burn mid-section fat. A study published in the journal, Lipids reported that those who consumed two tablespoons of coconut oil daily over a 12-week period experienced a reduction in waist circumference and an increase in HDL cholesterol.
  4. The MCTs metabolize differently compared to other fats and do not require emulsification by the liver or the gallbladder. The release of bile or pancreatic enzymes that are required for optimal fat digestion are not needed when coconut oil is consumed, so there’s less strain on the pancreas. This makes coconut oil the perfect fat for those with gallbladder issues, no gallbladder, digestive issues, absorption problems, and diabetes.
  5. Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) are a direct source of energy and have been shown to increase energy expenditure.
  6. Resistant to rancidity. It’s the perfect oil to cook with because it remains stable and does not oxidize at high temperatures or when exposed to air or light.Coconut Oil, Butter and Saturated Fats - Paula Owens, MS Holistic Nutritionist and Functional Health Practitioner
  7. Caprylic acid and lauric acid are effective and potent anti-fungals and anti-microbials making it beneficial for fighting and preventing bacterial and viral infections, Candida overgrowth, parasite infections, athlete’s foot and fungal infections.
  8. The perfect oil to use for oil pulling. The antimicrobial properties help to prevent gum disease and tooth decay, prevent gums from bleeding, reduce pocket size, and whiten teeth.
  9. Provides diabetes protection, and helps to manage and balance blood sugar. A study of 3,333 people over 15 years led by Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian of Tufts University, examined actual blood levels of fats, and found that those with the highest level of dairy fat (essentially, butter in the blood) had up to a 44% lower risk of developing diabetes compared to those who had the lowest levels of dairy fat in their blood.A Norwegian diet intervention study (FATFUNC), performed by researchers at the KG Jebsen Center for diabetes research at the University of Bergen found that participants on a very-high-fat diet had substantial improvements in several important cardiometabolic risk factors such as fat storage, blood pressure, blood lipids (triglycerides), insulin and blood sugar. –The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Nov 2016.
  10. Reduced risk of heart disease and a lower risk of stroke.
  11. Improved cholesterol: lower LDL and total cholesterol, and increased HDL. In a study of postmenopausal women with coronary heart disease (CHD), greater intake of healthy saturated fat was associated with less progression of atherosclerosis whereas carbohydrate and polyunsaturated fat intake were associated with greater progression. –British Medical Journal, April 2017.
  12. Perfect chemical-free moisturizer, makeup remover, massage oil, deep hair conditioner, deodorant, tooth paste, lip balm, aftershave, and great for dandruff, wrinkles, aged and dry skin. A healing antidote for acne,  dry, cracked heels, burns, scrapes, cuts, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, dandruff, stretch marks and scars. Apply to your body as a moisturizer after showering or bathing.
  13. The MCTs do not require L-carnitine to be transported across the cell membrane into the mitochondria like other fats.
  14. Constipation relief! MCTs are natural laxatives that promote healthy elimination.
  15. Use as a chemical-free bug repellent and natural chemical-free sunscreen. Coconut oil is soothing for sunburn.
  16. Coconut oil is highly beneficial for pets too! Simply add some coconut oil to their food (one teaspoon for every 20 pounds).
  17. Coconut oil lowers inflammation and boosts immune function.
  18. The perfect fat to add to smoothies.  The addition of healthy fats to greens increase the nutrient content from the greens.
  19. Coconut oil is effective for reducing sugar and carbohydrate cravings.
  20. Brain food! Nourishing for the brain, supplying energy for brain cells, improved cognitive function and memory, prevents brain aging, and stalls or even reverses neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease in early stages.

Coconut oil is solid in cooler temperatures and liquefies at 76°. Look for organic, unrefined, virgin coconut oil with no other ingredients listed on the label.

Some of my personal favorite uses for coconut oil: Add it to my Rottweiler’s food (dogs love it!), use coconut oil for cooking and stir-fry, slather it on my skin after showering, a deep hair conditioner, brushing my teeth, deodorant (coconut oil, lime and baking soda), and oil pulling.

Become an avid label reader and an ingredient detective. Avoid harmful, unhealthy fats that accelerate aging, make you fat, sick and inflamed. These include margarine, vegetable oils including genetically-modified canola oil, corn oil and soybean oil, which contain GMOs, all oil sprays such as Pam, and trans fats. These toxic frankenfats suppress thyroid function, increase risk of diabetes, accelerate aging, increase inflammation, and your waistline!

Instead consume healthy, healing fats (eat fat to lose fat) such as coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil, ghee, pastured grass-fed butter, grass-fed meats, pasture-raised poultry and eggs, nuts, seeds, and avocados.

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