There has been a lot of press lately about coconut oil and all of it’s health benefits. But is it really as “magical” as all of these claims suggest? Like so many things, coconut oil has it’s good and bad points. Regardless, it does seem to be a versatile product, having many uses other than a edible ingredient.
First, the down side.
Although there are many saying that it is a “miracle” weight loss product, there are no scientific studies to back this up. Coconut oil is actually high in saturated fats, maybe not as high as some other oils. Again, the problem arises in the claims that it can help treat Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes. No human studies have been done that we know of that prove that this is true. It seems that coconut oil hasn’t had as much research as we all may think.
So it is a good idea to consult with your doctor and get a free consultation with one of our nutritionist at TNT before starting a regimen that includes coconut oil.
Now, for more positive qualities
Food Related Benefits
A study from the University of California, Berkley, claim that the saturated fats in coconut oil aren’t as bad as saturated fats found elsewhere. This is due to the fact that the fatty acid in coconut oil comes from lauric acid, which has been linked to raising good cholesterol (HDL) as well as bad cholesterol. With that in mind, moderation is key.
Coconut oil is best used to replace other oils as an alternative, especially for those with dairy allergies or intolerances. You may find coconut oil a friendly baking and cooking alternative when compared to butter or dairy-based margarines. It is also a tasty substitute for these items in smoothies and oil when frying in a pan.
Beauty Related Benefits
Unrefined, organic coconut oil can be used as moisturizer all over your body, and is great for that tough skin on hands, feet, elbows and knees. It is also an amazing product to shave with, and scrub with—at a fraction of the cost! You can make your own moisturizing, chemical-free skin scrub too, by combining a half cup of melted coconut oil with a cup of brown sugar (or sea salt).
By itself, it can also be a natural face cleanser and makeup remover, gentle enough for the delicate skin around the eyes. Coconut oil (remember, unrefined and organic) can be used head-to-toe, literally. It makes a wonderful hair conditioner. Be sure to use recommended amounts, 3 – 5 tablespoons depended on length and thickness, and to avoid getting too close to your scalp to avoid greasiness.
Healthy Pet Benefits
Yes, it seems even our pets can enjoy the perks of coconut oil. It is a healthy source of nutritious fats, aids in the ability to absorb nutrients from food and can even help with fresher breath because of it’s anti-microbial protection. And just like with us, coconut oil can give our furry family members a shiny coat and sooth their skin. Be aware though, that – while not common – it is possible for pets to be allergic to coconut oil, so check with your vet.
While it appears that coconut oil (in it’s unrefined, organic form) has many health benefits, inside and out, you will still need to take the good with the bad. Regardless, this seems to be a handy product to keep around the house.
Contact us today with any and all of your nutritional concerns.
Total Nutrition Technology