When it comes to Keto, an important source of fats comes from the oils that you cook with and put on your salads. One of your best options is coconut oil. In this article, we’ll discover just why coconut oil deserves to be one of your top choices.

Overview

Coconut oil comes from the kernel of the meat of the fully ripened coconut. This is an edible oil that has been used for hundreds of years as a key ingredient in homeopathic medicine. It has long been recognized for its ability to improve the functioning of the immune system, as well as its antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral abilities.

Coconut oil contains the following acids which have been shown to improve a whole host of conditions . . .

  • Capric acid
  • Caprylic acid
  • Lauric acid

The oil of the coconut has been recognized, due to these amazing compounds, to treat the following . . .

  • kidney infections
  • stress
  • obesity
  • pancreatitis
  • diabetes
  • obesity
  • dry skin

Types of Coconut Oil

Pure Coconut Oil

Pure oil comes from dried out coconut kernels, which are known as the copra. This version is sought after for being unrefined and additive free.

You can get pure oil in capsule form. It is also used extensively in skin care products.

Refined Coconut Oil

Known as RBD, refined coconut oil comes about as the result of machine and chemical processing. The result is a colorless oil, that is also odorless, thin and free of protein suspension. It does not contain any unsaturated fats. This is the main form of the oil that is used in cooking.

Virgin Coconut Oil

Virgin coconut oil comes from the milk that is contained inside the coconut. Centrifugal separation, fermentation and enzyme action are used to process the oil. This is generally accepted as the most tasty of the versions of coconut cooking oil. It is also the richest in antioxidants and medium-chain fatty acids.

Organic Coconut Oil

Organic coconut oil comes from organic coconuts – those that have had no exposure to insecticides or synthetic fertilizers.

Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

Organic virgin coconut oil comes from virgin coconut oil from organic coconuts.

Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

Preventing Heart Disease

Lauric acid is the magic heart improving ingredient in coconut oil. With 50 percent of coconut oil being lauric acid, it is the best source that you will come across. Lauric acid has been seen to work to reduce blood pressure and bring down high cholesterol levels. It has also been shown to have a marked improvement upon blocked arteries, helping to prevent atherosclerosis.

Weight Loss

Those who live on tropical islands are very rarely overweight. A part of the reason is that they eat a lot of coconuts, and they consume the oil. This despite the fact that coconut is high in dietary fat. The reason that coconut is an effective fat fighter is that it is full of short and medium chain fatty acids that help to burn off stored body fat. They help to increase the metabolism, while decreasing stress upon the pancreas.

The medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) which coconut oil is comprised of are unique in that they do not end up in the bloodstream. Rather, they go directly to the liver to be converted into energy. That makes MCFAs a superior form of energy. Unlike glucose they do not lead to an increase of insulin release which triggers a process that leads to fat storage.

In a study that was published in the International Journal of Obesity in 2000, the effects of replacing olive oil, which contains long chain fats, with coconut oil, which contains medium chain fats, was observed. The results after 14 days showed that the MCFA group lost significantly more body fat.

Coconut oil helps to support the proper functioning of the endocrine system and the thyroid.

In addition to the weight loss benefits mentioned above, coconut oil will help you to reduce weight by attacking the abdominal cavity and working on the deadly visceral body fat that surrounds your organs.

Coconut oil is a completely natural, stimulant free way to boost the metabolism. Coconut oils contain triglycerides which digest very easily. These medium chain fatty acids are then immediately converted into energy. In contrast, long chain fatty acids are difficult for the body to break down and more likely to be stored as body fat.

Because coconut oil is high in saturated fats, you do not want to go overboard on it.

Digestive Improvement

Coconut oil has an amazing ability to bring relief from the following digestive issues . . .

  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • ulcerative colitis
  • gastritis
  • diverticulitis

Controlling Diabetes

Research has conclusively shown a coconut rich diet can protect people who are predisposed to diabetes from insulin resistance.

Hair & Skin Improvement

Coconut oil is one of the best things you can consume for healthy hair. It has the ability to restore lost protein which causes dull and frizzy hair. As well as taking it orally, you can apply it directly to the hair after shampooing.

Skin Care

Coconut oil is a safe, completely natural way to treat dry skin. Unlike mineral oil, there are no side effects! Coconut oil is a fantastic moisturizer with the ability to prevent fine lines and wrinkles. It can also improve elasticity to prevent sagging skin. It has been shown to treat such conditions as . . .

  • Dermatitis
  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Skin infections

The Brain Benefits of Coconut Oil

The brain needs a continuous stream of energy to function at its best. If the supply of energy to the brain is interrupted, neurons will begin to die. The result for the individual will be headaches, brain fog and tiredness.

Studies have shown that coconut oil can provide the brain with a very efficient, clean source of energy. It can also help to combat a number of neurodegenerative disorders. The key to their effectiveness is, once again, those medium chain fatty acids.

Unlike long chain fatty acids, medium chain triglycerides go to the liver without breaking down bile salts that are produced in the gallbladder. Here they get converted to ketones which go directly into the bloodstream. These are then directed to the brain to be used as a preferential source of energy.

There has been much research showing that ketones are the brain’s preferred source of energy (link to article on keto brain benefits). Research conducted on dogs has shown that dogs that consumed MCTs in their diet had better age related memory performance because the MCTs aided in the release of omega 3 fatty acids that are required to form memory centers in the brain.

Are There Any Side Effects?

There has been quite a bit of media attention given lately to the claim that the saturated fats contained in coconut oil are responsible for clogging arteries and worsening cholesterol levels, thus making a person more prone to heart disease.

But, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), there is no validity to the claim. Saturated fats, when taken in moderate dosages, are actually good for your health. They have even been shown to lower the risk of stroke. It is only when you overdo your consumption of saturated fats that a toxic build-up can occur in the liver.

What Makes Coconut Oil So Different?

Coconut oil is unique in that it contains medium chain fatty acids. Others contain long chain fatty acids, or polyunsaturated fats. The problem is that the body cannot digest these fatty acids. As a result, they are stored as body fat. This is clearly not what you want.

The medium chain fatty acids contained in coconut oil are very easily broken down for energy. They also help to boost the metabolism.

Back in the 1940’s farmers in the United States began to give coconut oil to their cattle in the belief that they would gain weight. However, the opposite occurred. The cattle became leaner. This led researchers to experiment further. They were fed with saturated and unsaturated fats in different ratios. It was found that the cows who were given unsaturated fats were the ones who got fatter.

From this study, it was found that obesity does not result from the overall amount of fat consumed, but specifically the amount of unsaturated fat.

Coconut oil helps to promote weight loss by slowing down the digestion of food. As a result of this, any food that is cooked in coconut oil will make you feel fuller. This will help to ward off food cravings.

Because coconut oil slows down the digestion, it does not cause blood pressure fluctuations after you eat a meal. It also reduces the speed at which carbs are broken down into blood glucose.

Another weight loss benefit is that medium chain fatty acids have been shown to be useful in killing the yeast overgrowth Candida, which can bring on weight gain, as well as making a person feel fatigued and have cravings.

Coconut oil is also an excellent detoxifying agent. It will help to clean out the digestive tract while also nourishing the cells of the body.

How to Use Coconut Oil

The daily recommended dosage of coconut oil is between three and four tablespoons per day. If you are transitioning from a low fat to a high fat diet, you should increase your intake of coconut oil in order to get the body used to the increased level of saturated fats. If you take it too quickly, you might experience diarrhea.

Coconut oil is excellent as a cooking oil. Its thermal stability makes it ideal for deep frying food. The taste of coconut oil makes it particularly good for use in Asian cooking.

When substituting coconut oil for other oils in a recipe you can simply make a one to one substitution. Adding a tablespoon of coconut oil to drinks will enhance their flavor and boost the beneficial properties.

Six Super Coconut Oil Recipes

Blueberry Smoothie with Coconut Oil

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 ½ cups almond milk, chilled
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil

Directions:

  1. Place coconut oil in your blender. Add blueberries, milk,
    and honey.
  2. Blend until smooth. Pour into a glass.

Mango Muffins with Coconut Oil

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup mango puree, warmed
  • 2 tbsp. shredded 1 tbsp. melted coconut oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F° [175° C].
  2. In a bowl, sift flour. Add in baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Whisk all ingredients together.
  3. In another bowl, place mango puree, egg, and coconut oil.
    Stir to combine.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients onto dry ingredients and stir until
    well-blended.
  5. Pour batter into a greased muffin tin and sprinkle with co-
    conut.
  6. Bake for 18-20 minutes.

Morning Pancakes with Coconut Oil

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 small egg, beaten
  • A drop of vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, sift flour. Add the remaining dry ingredients.
  2. Combine all wet ingredients in another mixing bowl. Mix
    wet and dry ingredients until well-incorporated.
  3. Preheat a griddle. Scoop batter up and cook over medium
    heat.
  4. Flip pancakes when bubbles form and edges look solid.
    Cook for a few minutes.
  5. Place pancakes in a plate. Repeat procedure with the remaining batter.

Cheesy Zucchini Frittata with Coconut Oil

Ingredients:

  • 1 small zucchini, shredded
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 small egg, beaten
  • A drop of vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, sift flour. Add the remaining dry ingredients.
  2. Combine all wet ingredients in another mixing bowl. Mix
    wet and dry ingredients until well-incorporated.
  3. Preheat a griddle. Scoop batter up and cook over medium
    heat.
  4. Flip pancakes when bubbles form and edges look solid.
    Cook for a few minutes.
  5. Place pancakes in a plate. Repeat procedure with the remaining batter.

Cheesy Zucchini Frittata with Coconut Oil

Ingredients:

  • 1 small zucchini, shredded
    4 eggs
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Place zucchini in a colander. Sprinkle with salt. Allow it to
    drain for at least an hour. Press it to release all moisture.
  2. Melt coconut oil in an oven-proof skillet over medium heat.
    Swirl to coat sides of pan.
  3. Add zucchini and spread evenly across bottom of pan.
    Cook it for about 5-6 minutes.
  4. Whisk eggs in a bowl. Add Parmesan cheese, garlic, salt,
    and pepper. Combine. Pour egg mixture into zucchini. Reduce heat to medium low. Allow to cook for 8-10 minutes.
  5. Place oven rack on second highest heat setting. Preheat
    broiler.
  6. Allow frittata to broil for 5 minutes until puffed and lightly
    browned.
  7. Place in a serving plate.

Baked Oatmeal with Coconut Oil

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups quick cooking oats
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 6 tbsps. vanilla yogurt
  • 6 tbsps. coconut
  • 1tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F [175° C].
  2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients together and spread
    mixture in a greased pan.
  3. Bake for 22-25 minutes.

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