Coconut oil has taken the world by storm for its extensive benefits on health and skin over the past 10 years.
But the thing is, how much do you know about this tropical oil from the “Tree of Life”?
Many misunderstandings arise because honestly, coconut oil is not easy to understand and use, especially when it has been so badly criticized as an artery-clogging villain since the mid-1980s. Let’s find out.
1. Coconut Oil Clogs Arteries as It is a Saturated Fat
I get that a lot when people who wish to start eating coconut oil for health benefits but yet they’re still somewhat skeptical and wanted an assurance from someone who has taken lots of coconut oil for years with no signs of heart disease – me.
Of course, I gave them my word that coconut oil does not clog arteries at all. Look at me, I’m the best evidence!
The reason why people misunderstands that coconut oil clogs arteries is because they tend to associate the saturated fat in coconut oil with that in animal meat. There’s a huge difference though.
The predominant saturated fats in coconut oil are mostly medium-chain whereas those in animal meat are long-chain.
Long-chain saturated fats are hard to digest and break down and hence, they usually end up in your fat store. They promote platelet stickiness as well that leads to blood clot formation. Which is why animal saturated fats are so dangerous for health because heart diseases are mostly caused by meat intake.
Medium-chain saturated fats, on the other hand, are easy to digest and metabolize as energy for our body. They simply don’t have the time to stay long enough in our bloodstream to clot blood and clog arteries.
2. Coconut Oil Has Turned Rancid When It Looks Cloudy
Having 80-90% saturated fats, coconut oil does not encourage oxidation and hence, won’t turn rancid easily.
Have you noticed the surrounding temperatures?
Coconut oil begins to solidify below 76 °F (24 °C) and at these temperatures, you will start seeing soft chunks of snow forming inside the oil. And if the temperature falls even further the entire coconut oil will become snowy white and as hard as rock.
Just warm the oil and you’ll see the cloudy appearance vanish into thin air.
3. Eat Coconut Oil Sparingly… It’s a Fat After All
I don’t do that. I eat wholeheartedly and as much as my body can take it. It would be such a shame if you eat it sparingly since it really helps a lot in boosting your immunity and metabolism.
However, it is still a fat that contributes about 9 calories per gram to your intake. So, to make sure you don’t heap on excess calories that cause weight gain, instead of eating sparingly, just cut back on other foods when you incorporate coconut oil into your diet.
If you’re eating coconut oil for weight loss, all the more you should consume more of it so that you can get rid of more unwanted body fat.
But as just said, when you up your coconut oil intake, you must lower your intake of other foods to prevent taking in more than what you need.
4. Coconut Oil is Good for Skin Because It Has Plenty of Vitamin E
Vitamin E benefits skin, so does coconut oil. But coconut oil does not carry that much vitamin E. Only trace amount. Really.
The reason coconut oil is good for skin lies with its antimicrobial effect, content of saturated fats and medium-chain fatty acids. Let me give you a quick rundown.
Its antimicrobial effect helps to protect our skin against harmful germs. Its saturated fats help to stop free radical reactions in our skin so as to keep our skin firm and smooth. Its medium-chain fatty acids help to expel toxins and replace dead cells with new cells quickly so that our skin will look healthier and more radiant.
See? That’s how coconut oil benefits our skin. Nothing to do with vitamin E.
5. Refined Coconut Oil is Bad
Things that are refined doesn’t mean they’re bad. This statement particularly holds true when it comes to coconut oil.
Of course, if you compare both virgin and refined coconut oils, refined coconut oil will always play second fiddle in terms of health benefits.
But if you’re using for skin care, then you may fall in love with refined coconut oil, like me.
I used to apply virgin coconut oil to my skin. But after trying refined coconut oil, I began to use it on my skin more often than virgin coconut oil because it gets absorbed faster.
What’s more, when you compare refined coconut oil to other vegetable oils like safflower oil, peanut oil, sesame oil, sunflower oil etc for cooking, I would say, refined coconut oil is definitely better in such context because even though it is refined, it still contains mainly saturated fats that are very much less likely to respond to oxidation, which is good for your health.
Oh, remember to choose organic refined coconut oil so that you can safely use it in any way you want.