It’s counterintuitive–eating saturated fat can help you lose weight? And what on earth does a coconut have to do with oil, fats, and being healthy?
Coconut oil received a bad rap in the late 1990s as investigative health reporters documented the damage hydrogenated coconut oil wreaks on the heart and lungs. Movie popcorn slathered in coconut oil flavoring was the main focus for these reporters, who revealed the fact that a large, buttered popcorn at the movies in the late 1990s had as much saturated fat as one, even TWO, large cheeseburgers at a fast food restaurant.
What the reporters failed to note was that coconut oil, in pure form, is a medium-chain fatty acid and is as healthy, if not healthier, than canola oil, safflower oil, olive oil. In other words, it was the hydrogenation of the coconut oil that turned it into a trans fat–a bad fat–and not the fact that it was coconut oil.
Coconut oil contains lauric acid, a compound that has been the focus of research efforts in combating heart disease, high blood pressure, thyroid conditions, and digestive disorders such as Crohn’s disease. While coconut oil is no magic bullet, researchers have found that it helps with all of these conditions and–an added bonus–it tastes good, melts easily, and helps the body’s metabolism.
This, in turn, means that the body’s thyroid receives a slight boost–helping the body to burn calories more efficiently. More calories burned means more fat burned, which leads to weight loss.
Newspaper and magazines at grocery stories have front page stories touting coconut oil’s medicinal properties. In addition to helping fight heart disease, hypertension, thyroid disease, and more, coconut oil is antimicrobial-which makes it a wonderful moisturizer that also kills germs.
Coconut oil comes in bottles ranging in size from eight ounces to fifty-four ounces, and with a melting point of seventy-six degrees, it hardens easily to act as spread on toast, or melts quickly to be added to recipes for simple meals such as stir fry, macaroni and cheese, or to replace any fat while cooking.
If the average person replaced butter and margarine with coconut oil, researchers claim that the health benefits would outweigh the saturated fat in coconut oil, while helping people to lose weight and improve overall fitness. If you can’t get to Hawaii, you can at least get a taste of the islands and slim down by adding two to four teaspoons of coconut oil to your daily food routine.