What’s all the fuss about Coconut Oil?
Coconut Oil is extracted from copra. It is recommended for cooking for the following health reasons:
Boosts ‘good’ cholesterol
How are the benefits of Coconut Oil achieved?
Coconut Oil is used as energy or turned into ketone bodies at a faster rate than other fats. The reason for this is that Coconut Oil is high in medium chain triglycerides (MCT). MCTs are metabolized differently from longer chain fats. The evidence is that MCTs are not stored as efficiently as other types of fat. Since we don’t really want to store fat in our bodies this is a good thing!
The ketone bodies referred to above have an appetite reducing effect. In this way coconut oil increases metabolism and reduces hunger.
In one experiment using coconut oil in cooking instead of other fats resulted in a 20% reduction in weight and body fat.
Why is Coconut Oil good for using in cooking?
Coconut Oil is a saturated fat that burns at high temperatures. Why is this important?
Many other fats are packed with minerals and enzymes that don’t respond well to heat. These fats are better suited to salad dressings than to cooking. Heated past its smoke point, fat starts to break down, releasing free radicals and a substance called acrolein. Acrolein is a chemical that gives burnt foods their acrid flavor and aroma.
When your eyes are watering during cooking and you start coughing, that is due to burning fat. It also means that your kitchen starts smelling and your food tastes bitter and scorched.
Scientists also have fears that fats which produce smoke at low temperatures are carcinogenic.
Both these reasons mean that coconut oil is preferable to use in cooking than fats which have a low smoking point.
How much Coconut Oil should we eat?
Eating coconut oil tends to increase energy expenditure. Having said that all fats, no matter where they come from, have 9 calories per gram. This needs to be taken into account when working out your daily intake. No more than 30 grams is recommended per day. This is equivalent to 2 tablespoons.
Coconut Oil is used in bulletproof coffee and is an important part of a ketogenic diet. Read our blogs on these topics for more information!