The Coconut Oil
Craze – Should I
Jump on the
No, you shouldn’t! (end of post).
But what exactly is it about coconut oil that makes it so unhealthy?
Let’s dive into some of the fascinating research and find out.
Coconut oil is a special kind of fat
Coconut oil is a fat and contains the same 9 calories per gram as other fats.
It is extracted from the “meat” of the coconut. Coconut oil is a white solid at room temperature. People are running out to the stores and buying up “Virgin Coconut Oil which is made by pureeing coconut meat and gently heating it. To make conventional coconut oil that is used in candies, coffee creamers, movie popcorn and other foods, the coconut is cooked and treated with chemicals like hexane to extract the oil.
Coconut oil contains a unique type of fat known as “Medium Chain Triglycerides” (MCTs). In fact, 65% of the fat in coconut oil is these MCTs.
What makes MCTs unique is how your body metabolizes them; they’re easily absorbed into the bloodstream by your gut, where they go straight to the liver, and they’re burned for fuel or converted into “ketones.”
This metabolic process, unique to MCTs, is what sets coconut oil apart from other fats.
Coconut oil MCTs DO NOT help with fat loss
Coconut oil’s MCTs have been shown to have very little fat loss benefits.
It can help to increase feelings of fullness, which can lead to a natural reduction in the amount of food you eat. But healthier fats that are available are able to do the same thing.
Since Coconut is only about 65% MCTs it has shown to only burn about 40 fewer calories a day. With a whole MCTs maybe 60 calories.
Have you also heard Coconut Oil is good for your heart? The evidence points towards an increase in your LDL Cholesterol…the bad one. In one study from Malaysia researchers fed young people diets that get 20% of their calories from either coconut oil or olive oil. After a 5 week study, LDL was 8 percent higher on the coconut oil diet. High LDL raises your risk of Heart Disease.
There have been no good studies done on the benefit of Coconut Oil and Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is when the brain loses its ability to use glucose, but it may still be able to use compounds called Keytones…and the liver can convert MCT’s into keytones. Unfortunately, consuming MCT’s or Coconut Oil doesn’t seem to raise the keytone levels high enough.
One last claim on Coconut Oil is that it fights bacteria. There are no good studies with coconut oil vs. bacteria or viruses in people. One done with mice, failed.
Pro Tip: Always (and I mean ALWAYS) avoid “hydrogenated” coconut oil or any type “hydrogenated” oil . It can be a health nightmare because it contains the infamous “trans fats.”
Homemade Healthy Chocolate
⅓ cup extra virgin oilive oil
1 cup cocoa/cacao powder
4 tablespoons maple syrup
2 dashes salt
4 tablespoons slivered almonds
- Add Olive Oil and whisk in maple syrup, salt, and cocoa/cacao powder until smooth.
- Stir in slivered almonds until evenly distributed.
- Pour into an ice cube tray and freeze.
- Store in fridge or freezer to avoid melting.
Serve & enjoy!
Tip: Substitute other seeds, chopped nuts, or dried fruit instead of the almonds if you wish.