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The many benefits of coconut oil

Alicia is a freelance writer who covers everything from pets to cocktails, with cocktails being her favorite. Her loves in life include cheap wine, overpriced lattes, and avoiding exercise at all costs, all while trying to stay slim. She...

Is this trendy fat healthy or hype?

We vote "healthy" -- and there are several reasons that back us up. Coconut oil offers a variety of benefits whether used in cooking or as a beauty treatment. You’ll want to be sure you get in on this trend for the sake of your health.
coconut

Is this trendy fat healthy
or hype?

We vote "healthy" -- and there are several reasons that back us up. Coconut oil offers a variety of benefits whether used in cooking or as a beauty treatment. You’ll want to be sure you get in on this trend for the sake of your health.

Like any food, quality is important if you want the greatest benefits. When shopping for coconut oil, you should look for organic, cold-pressed, extra-virgin oil. The process by which coconut oil is made can greatly impact both its health benefits and its taste. Avoid products that were heat-processed, hydrogenated, bleached, deodorized, refined or include preservatives or additives.

Not all fats are considered equal

We’ve been trained to steer clear of saturated fats, and coconut oil is high in saturated fat. But before you write off this nutritional powerhouse as just another fatty food, you should know that the saturated fat in coconut oil has actually been shown to help people lose weight. Coconut is a natural oil and the fat is inherent in the fruit itself, not artificially created as in margarine or hydrogenated oils.

Perfect for cooking

Just about every other oil available breaks down during high heat, and some studies have linked the use of highly heated oils to health problems, even including cancer. Frying with most oils destroys the antioxidants and oxidizes the oil, creating toxic compounds. Coconut oil can withstand high heat and is one of the most stable oils you can use, meaning it won't break down as soon as the heat goes up. Coconut oil can also be used in place of butter when baking for a healthier or vegan option. The oil will give your food a slight coconut flavor.

coconut oilA natural beauty product

Coconut oil can act as an antioxidant for your skin as well and can be used in place of lotion or even lip balm. Women can use it to remove eye makeup and men can use it in place of shaving cream. Using coconut oil on your face may even help reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Since it is completely natural and chemical-free, it is ideal for people with sensitive skin.

Health benefits

Unlike many fats, coconut oil has been shown to actually slim people down when they consume it. The reason is that coconut oil actually boosts your metabolism and helps your body burn calories more efficiently. In addition, most other fats are stored by your body, while the fat in coconut oil is less likely to be stored and more likely to be burned for energy.

Other reported health benefits include:

  • Faster cell regeneration
  • Improved immune function
  • Improved energy level
  • Heart health advantages
  • Improved thyroid function
  • Stabilized blood sugar in diabetics
  • Improved calcium and magnesium absorption, leading to better bone health

Thanks to the versatility of coconut oil, adding it to your shopping list might just save you money. However the financial benefits are just a bonus, on top of all the beneficial effects this super-food can have on your health.

More on coconut oil

Cuckoo for coconut oil
Coconut oil: 12 Inexpensive beauty products to make at home
Beauty DIY: Make a coconut oil hair mask

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