Very recently, there has been a number of articles in the media regarding Coconut Oil.
Indeed Business Insider UK recently ran a headline which stated 'Coconut Oil's Health Benefits are a myth', and one study claimed that it is as bad for you as beef fat...!
Moreover, a study by the American Health Association published findings that coconuts are high in saturated fats, and suggested they could be linked to cardiovascular disease, BUT the study only looked into existing data, and many people suggested the data was 'cherry picked'. To make matters worse, the media jumped on the study and created sensationalist headlines from selected parts - and given that people generally only read headlines (whether in a newspaper or scrolling through Facebook), they can cause alarm.
As is the case with many (often natural) products/ingredients, coconut oil has rapidly increased in popularity in recent years, and has previously been touted as a super food, as well as a healthier alternative to other plant based oils, thanks to the medium chain triglycerides it contains.
And there are a multitude of benefits linked to coconut oil. It is made up of Caprylic, Lauric (also found in human breast milk) and Capric Acids, and 91% of the fat in coconut oil is healthy saturated fat (think of brazil nuts or avocados. You know how these are accepted as 'good fats'?!).
The medium chain fatty acids found in coconut oil provide the perfect source of energy because they only have to go through a 3 step process to be turned into fuel (compared to long chain fatty acids found in plant based oils). MCFAs are also:
- Easier to digest
- Not readily stored as fat
- Are anti-microbial and anti-fungal
- Smaller in size, allowing easier cell permeability for immediate energy
- Processed by the liver, which means that they are immediately converted to energy instead of being stored as fat
Coconut oil also has a multitude of other uses - including as a beauty product!
- Skin moisturiser
- Treat skin conditions
- Remove Makeup
- natural toothpaste and/or mouth wash
- Natural sunscreen (when combined with SPF)
- Conditioning hair and treating scalp conditions such as dandruff