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Healthy Foods: Coconut Oil
Before I list all the amazing benefits of coconut oil, we’ll first need to clear up misconceptions about saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. We’ve been told for decades that saturated fats are bad for you but it’s not necessarily the level of saturation that determines an oil’s or fat’s health benefits. It’s important to note that unsaturated fats (oils) are vulnerable to oxidation and free radical formation causing the oil to become toxic, whereas saturated fats are not. The hydrogenation process used to solidify an oil creates trans fats which our bodies are unable to process. We should all know by now to avoid trans fats. The more processed an oil and the longer it’s been stored and exposed to light, the more likely it is toxic to your body.
Coconut oil is comprised of 48% lauric acid, 7% capric acid and 8% caprylic acid which are medium chain fatty acids and processed differently from the long chain fatty acids found in most vegetable oils and meat fats. MCFAs go directly to the liver where they are converted to energy and are available for immediate use without raising the blood sugar level. They stimulate metabolism and will help you to feel satiated and less hungry.
Here is a sampling of ailments and conditions that coconut oil can help:
• Prevents heart disease, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, stroke and diabetes.
• Supports the development of strong bones and teeth and protects against osteoporosis.
• Kills viruses that cause mononucleosis, influenza, hepatitis C, measles, herpes, AIDS and other illnesses.
• Protects the body from breast, colon and other cancers.
• Prevents premature aging, degenerative disease, liver disease and damaging effects of UV radiation from the sun such as wrinkles, sagging skin and age spots.
• Kills bacteria that cause pneumonia, earache, throat infections, urinary tract infections, and fungi and yeast that cause jock itch, athlete’s foot and diaper rash.
• Reduces symptoms associated with psoriasis, eczema and dermatitis and relieves pain and irritation caused by hemorrhoids.
• Reduces severity of problems associated with malabsorption syndrome and cystic fibrosis and relieves symptoms associated with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and stomach ulcers.
Coconut oil does not break down even when heated to very high temperatures so simply switching to using virgin coconut oil for all your cooking needs in place of processed vegetable oils will promote weight loss and provide the benefits listed above and more!
For further information, I highly recommend reading The Coconut Oil Miracle by Bruce Fife, C.N., N.D. This book provides very thorough explanations about how our bodies work and includes extensive lists of resources and references.