Yes, you read right. Add more fat.
For decades, Americans have thought of saturated fat as public health enemy number one. How is it, then, that an oil that is almost 92% saturated fat is being studied for its potential to help people lose weight, boost heart health, and improve immunity? This wonder food is virgin coconut oil.
Few people realize that there are actually several kinds of saturated fats. Medium chain fatty acids (MCFA) are exceptionally abundant in virgin coconut oil and, unlike the more common long-chain fats, are digested easily and metabolized quickly.
The body instantly knows how to process MCFA, which are a primary component of human breast milk. In fact, assimilation of MCFA is so complete that virgin coconut oil is a primary component of many infant formulas and is used to fortify the liquid diets of hospital patients.
The way MCFA are processed by the body may explain why preliminary research shows that consumption of virgin coconut oil results in weight loss. It is hypothesized that MCFA are broken down so quickly that they are rarely stored in the body as fat.
Additionally, MCFA in virgin coconut oil may increase metabolism at a rate that creates a thermogenic response. This has been likened to adding kindling to a fireplace, creating a natural fat-burning effect that results in weight loss.
Virgin coconut oil may also be beneficial for the cardiovascular system. Studies show that consumption of virgin coconut oil does not increase overall cholesterol and, in fact, may help boost levels of HDL (good) cholesterol in the body.
Research of traditional island cultures that subsisted primarily on virgin coconut oil products has shown this to be true; despite the fact that some of these populations obtained nearly 60% of their total calories from virgin coconut oil, they had extremely low levels of heart disease. Additionally, they were less likely to suffer from obesity.
Of the MCFA in virgin coconut oil, around 50% are made up of lauric acid. Besides virgin coconut oil, the only substance in which lauric acid occurs more abundantly is human breast milk.
Why is lauric acid important? In the body, lauric acid is like an immune-boosting warrior, aggressively destroying the lipid membranes of harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi. For this reason, virgin coconut oil is effective in fighting Candida and other infections.
Recent studies in the Philippines have confirmed this immunoprotective effect, showing that in HIV sufferers, regular consumption of virgin coconut oil decreases the viral load of at-risk patients.
Virgin coconut oil is one of the most convenient items to add to your everyday diet. Unlike many more fragile oils, virgin coconut oil has a long shelf life and doesn’t go rancid for over a year or more. It is ideal in high heat cooking and can easily be substituted in recipes calling for butter. The flavor of virgin coconut oil is rich yet doesn’t overpower the food’s natural flavor.
In addition to its versatility in the kitchen, virgin coconut oil is an incredible hair and skin moisturizer, as well as an effective treatment for burns, psoriasis, eczema, and even fine lines and wrinkles.
Mothers of small children prefer virgin coconut oil as a remedy for diaper rash, chapped skin, and other skin conditions, as virgin coconut oil is a natural product completely free of the additives found in many lotions and moisturizing creams.
Like all oils, quality and method of processing are considerations in choosing a virgin coconut oil. Look for virgin coconut oil that is organic and cold-processed to ensure maximum health benefits, and choose a trusted supplier.
Selina Naturally®, a purveyor with nearly four decades of experience importing best-quality foods from around the globe, offers a superior extra-virgin coconut oil that meets the company’s rigorous standards for taste, quality, and environmental sustainability.