What are the nutritional benefits of coconut oil?

Coconut oil can help you lose weight. It also has antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, and may help improve oral and skin health.

Coconut oil

contains no cholesterol or fiber and only trace amounts of vitamins, minerals and plant sterols. Plant sterols have a chemical structure that mimics cholesterol in the blood and can help block the absorption of cholesterol in the body.

However, the amount found in a few tablespoons of coconut oil is too small to produce a beneficial effect. Coconut oil is different from other dietary oils because it is composed primarily of medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs), while most other oils are almost entirely long-chain fatty acids. This means that the fatty acids in coconut oil are made up of a chain of six to 12 carbon atoms, unlike the more than 12 found in long-chain fatty acids. This difference in structure has all kinds of implications, from the way the oil is digested to the way it influences the body.

Studies in people with dry skin show that coconut oil can improve skin moisture and lipid content. Scientists are studying medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), including those found in coconut oil, for their potential health benefits. A study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Science found that coconut oil is the only oil that can prevent hair damage and protein loss due to its low molecular weight and its straight linear chain, which allows it to penetrate the inside of the hair shaft. However, limitations in sample size and duration mean that a greater number of well-designed randomized controlled trials are needed to determine the true value of coconut oil for this purpose.

Approximately 50% of the MCFAs in coconut oil are of a type called lauric acid, which contributes to the oil's anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antifungal properties. Coconut oil can help maintain an important hormonal balance due to the lauric acid it contains. According to an evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine study, coconut oil increases healthy cholesterol (known as HDL) in the body. Scientists suspect that the interesting effect of coconut oil on hunger may be related to the way in which the fatty acids it contains are metabolized.

The health benefits of coconut oil aren't that obvious; in fact, it's a highly controversial topic. When you cook, you can use coconut oil in sautées, with eggs, in baked goods or to make popcorn, just remember to choose virgin or refined according to your taste preferences. The MCTs in coconut oil can increase blood ketone concentrations, which may help reduce the frequency of seizures. Virgin coconut oil is considered to be of higher quality than refined coconut oil and is said to be richer in antioxidant polyphenols and nutrients such as vitamin E.

Refined coconut oil generally lasts a few months, while virgin coconut oil can last 2 to 3 years if properly stored away from heat and light. Since the fats in coconut oil contain 65% MCT, it may have fat-burning properties similar to those of pure MCT oil (.

Darrin Balbas
Darrin Balbas

Hipster-friendly tv lover. Hardcore music fanatic. Hardcore troublemaker. Incurable beer evangelist. General zombie evangelist. Passionate bacon guru.

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