The Wall Street Journal recently published an article exploring the health benefits of coconut oil.
Much like avocados, nuts and fatty fish like salmon, coconut oil is packed with saturated fats. These fats, advocates believe, are good for the heart and provide a fast and lasting source of energy. Some of the healthiest cultures in the world rely on coconut oil as a dietary staple.
While coconut oil has twelve grams of saturated fat per tablespoon compared to butter’s seven grams, it is considered a ‘heart healthy’ fat as it has no cholesterol. In fact, coconut oil is believed to help lower bad cholesterol, LDL, while raising good cholesterol, HDL. Reduced LDL cholesterol is believed to lower the risk of heart disease.
Part of the appeal of coconut oil is that it consists of medium-chain fatty acids or triglycerides, which refers to the number of carbon atoms in the fat. Most fats in the American diet are long-chain fatty acids. Medium-chain fatty acids are easier to digest, particularly for people with gastrointestinal ailments. The body also burns medium-chain triglycerides quickly making them good energy for athletes.
Yet another benefit of coconut oil is it is believed to kill a wide range of viruses, fungi and bacteria. While not a substitute for more traditional antibacterial and antivirus, coconut oil can help boost the body’s natural defenses.
Rubbing coconut oil onto hair and skin is also a natural and effective moisturizer. Be sure to use organic, cold pressed coconut oil if using topically to limit exposure to pesticides and other chemicals.
Check back tomorrow where we finish up and draw a connection between the benefits of coconut oil for use with Alzheimer’s, Dementia and some types of epilepsy.