Is Coconut Oil the Newest Fad or is There Something To It?

Cecile LaRiviere

Posted on March 11 2014

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably know that coconut oil is the new ‘must-have’ product in your home. It boasts an array of benefits which span from the bathroom to the kitchen, and it seems almost too good to be true. People have been asking me whether it’s just a fad, but it looks like coconut oil is definitely here to stay!

The truth is coconut oil has been used for thousands of years in other cultures. It is a staple in Ayurvedic medicine, the traditional medical system of India, as well as in many other traditional health practices.

We’re a couple of millennia late to the party, but it’s better late than never! Here are some of the reasons why you should invite coconut oil into your life:

It’s Great for Cooking! 

    • It’s a terrific substitute for butter or margarine because it is solid at room temperature.

    • Because of its high smoking temperature, it’s great for baking, stir frying and roasting (unlike olive oil).

    • Unlike butter, it is ideal for vegans.

    • It is extremely stable and resistant to oxidation, which lends itself to a shelf life of up to 2 years!

    • Coconut is classified as a seed or a fruit so people with tree nut allergies generally do not have to worry about allergic responses.

It Keeps You Gorgeous!

    • Dry skin from the winter?  No problem! Coconut oil works wonders as a moisturizer, and can prevent dryness and flaking of skin.

    • It is a great anti-wrinkle cream because of its antioxidant properties. Apply coconut oil directly to your skin to soften the appearance of fine lines.

    • It can be used to treat eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis.  This is why it is often the first ingredient in soaps, creams, and lotions.

    • You can use it as massage oil, lip balm, and even to treat diaper rash!

    • It can be used as a hair mask, as it has healing and nourishing properties for dry and damaged hair. It can be heavy, so if your hair is on the thinner side just massage it lightly into the ends, and don’t forget to wash it out!

    • It is an amazing eye make-up remover.

It Helps Keep You Healthy!

    • It can help improve digestion and digestive problems including Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

    • The saturated fats in coconut oil have antimicrobial properties which can fight various bacteria, fungi, and parasites that can cause indigestion.

    • Most of the saturated fat in coconut oil is lauric acid.  This is considered a healthy
      choice as studies show that lauric acid can raise your ‘good’ cholesterol (HDL)
      and lower the ‘bad’ cholesterol (LDL).

    • Coconut oil also helps in the absorption of other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids.

    • Coconut oil contains medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) which are small enough to be absorbed into the cells where they're quickly converted to energy. Through this process insulin sensitivity is improved as there is no spike in blood sugar or insulin levels.

It Might Even Keep You Skinny!

    • The short and medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) in coconut oil can help take off excess weight. These MCFAs are sent directly to the liver and immediately converted into energy rather than being stored as body fat.

    • Even Oprah is behind it! In September 2012 Oprah magazine cited two studies linking coconut oil to weight loss. Here are the specifics:

“A study published in the journal Lipids found that a small group of obese women who consumed two tablespoons of coconut oil a day for 12 weeks saw their waistlines shrink, while women who consumed the same amount of soybean oil experienced no such change. And one of St-Onge's studies, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, revealed that overweight subjects who consumed medium-chain triglycerides as part of a diet program lost more weight and more abdominal fat than subjects who consumed olive oil.”

 Coconut Oil: Not Just a Fad!

I only keep two oils in my home; olive oil for salad dressings and low heating,
and coconut oil for everything else.

If you decide to purchase coconut oil, make sure it’s labeled virgin or extra virgin as they are produced from the first pressing of fresh, raw coconut without adding any chemicals.

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