There has been a lot of buzz around coconut oil over the past few years. Some good, some bad. Food buzz can be really confusing! Since all of our products are made with cold pressed organic coconut oil, we wanted to shed some light on this special plant-based fat with a little help from our friend and registered dietician, Lisa Hayim.
The Truth About Coconut Oil
Coconut oil- a polarizing topic, yet when we cut to the research and dive a little deeper into the science, the confusion is stripped away.
It’s clear that there’s a large misunderstanding when we talk about fats in general. Why the bad rep?
Coconut oil is high in saturated fat- this is a true statement. Saturated Fat causes increased cholesterol which results in heart disease- this is a sort of true statement.
Because Coconut oil contains saturated fats, it therefore causes heart disease – this is a false statement.
While it’s true that coconut oil is high in saturated fats, not ALL TYPES OF SATURATED FATS work the same in the body. In fact, when we talk about saturated fats increasing LDL cholesterol (“the bad kind”) the research we have comes from Long Chain fatty acids (LCTs).
Coconut oil contains 62% of medium chain fatty acid (MCTs)- and how this type of fat works in the body is completely different than LCTs.
Unlike other types of fat, MCT’s are easier to digest and can be used immediately for energy (not stored as fat).
Coconut oil- the good stuff:
- Improves Insulin sensitivity (in animal studies + patients with Type 2 diabetes). Reports have found that the use of dietary MCT preserves insulin sensitivity (2)
- Contains Antioxidant + Anti-inflammatory properties to help the body to function optimally
- Improves immunity thanks to its anti-bacterial properties from the lauric acid (the type of MCT)
- Supports brain health and fights degenerative diseases. Those MCT’s found in coconut oil can be used for energy to be used directly by the brain.
- May actually reduce total cholesterol. (1)