For many years, coconut oil has suffered from a bad reputation. That's because it has lots of saturated fat, and critics argued it was bad for your health.
But wait a minute ¦is that accurate?
It is true coconut oil contains lots of saturated fat, but recent research has indicated that not all saturated fats are created equal. In fact, some act quite differently than others after they enter your system.
For instance, the main saturated fat in coconut oil is lauric acid. Lauric acid is a medium chain fatty acid (MCFA), which makes it quite different than a long chain fatty acid (LCFA). MCFAs are transported quickly to the liver where they are largely converted into energy rather than being stored in your body. This hasty conversion process helps support energy expenditure.
Hydrogenating coconut oil destroys good fatty acids, antioxidants and other positive components. But if you use virgin coconut oil, you create a healthier situation.
- Since coconut oil is primarily comprised of medium chain (and some short chain) fatty acids, it is mostly broken down for use rather than stored. MCFAs aren't packaged into chylomicrons and circulated through the lymph like long chain fatty acids.
- Pure coconut oil can also be applied externally to support the appearance of skin and hair.
- Coconut oil may assist in the absorption and retaining of calcium, thereby benefiting bone health.
- Coconut oil supports energy expenditure as compared to equal amounts of typical dietary fats.
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