Even if you have a busy schedule, you still need to think about you and your family’s diet. You probably associate quick meals with fats and oils. We have the processed food industry to thank for that. As a result, “oil” has become a hot-button term for “unhealthy.” We might think that eliminating anything with oil in it will result in losing weight and increasing our overall health.
However, some oils contain healthy fats and a host of vitamins that we don’t want to lose. Coconut oil is rapidly breaking the stigma by becoming integral to health food, despite being high in fat and calories like any oil. “Alternative oils,” as they’re being called, can encourage a host of health effects. Consider these 5 surprising health benefits of eating coconut oil so you can see why health food diets everywhere are reopening the book on oils.
1. Thyroid Health
Coconut oil can be used as a replacement for corn and soybean oil, both of which have been linked to thyroid issues. Switching to coconut saves you from its alternatives’ adverse effects, but it also benefits your thyroid on its own merits.
Inflammatory diseases of the thyroid, including hyper- and hypothyroidism can be reduced with a diet that includes raw coconut oil. Its antibacterial properties can also reduce stresses that lead to thyroid issues.
2. Weight Loss
Even though the best direct benefits come from eating coconut oil raw, using it as a substitute for fattier cooking oils can have all the indirect benefits of no longer eating those as well. This will save you from unhealthy fats. Your waistline will thank you.
Coconut oil doesn’t stop there – it also contains MCTs or Medium-Chain Triglycerides, which are known to help people burn fat and lose weight more efficiently.
3. Immune Health
Microorganisms can give you and your family’s bodies a hard time during a busy week, especially with cold and flu season coming up. Building up your defenses makes you stand a much better chance of having a smooth work and school week while navigating a minefield of germs. Coconut oil has a complex mix of compounds that help you do that.
It contains lauric acid, antimicrobial lipids, capric acid, and caprylic acid. You don’t need to know what those are, just what they do: they’re a cocktail of anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial compounds that keep you and your family’s immune defenses high.
4. Avoiding Dietary Toxins
If you’re like me, you take every care in the world to shield you and your family from consuming toxins. Some are more prevalent than you realize, however – they come out in common cooking oils when exposed to heat. Oxidized cholesterol and cyclic aldehydes are byproducts of cooking with common vegetable oil and they’re not good for our bodies.
Coconut oil is more resistant to heat than other cooking oils, which makes it a less toxic option and healthier overall.
5. Cardiovascular Health
Avoiding saturated fats is common wisdom when it comes to maintaining heart health and lower cholesterol. However, it’s more complicated than that. Coconut oil may have high-fat content, but those fats are essential to maintaining high levels of good cholesterol.
More good cholesterol and less bad is a marker of better cardiovascular health. This is not only something coconut oil can give you on its own by eating it raw, but it increases the effect by replacing those less healthy cooking oils with a better option.
Coconut oil is quickly becoming a staple of health food recipes because of its complex components that encourage weight loss, thyroid and immune health, and healthy heart function. One of its main draws, however, is that it’s one of the healthiest alternatives to the cooking oils that introduce a lot of unhealthy fats and toxins into our bodies in the first place.
Its biggest benefits may be what it allows you to remove from your diet, rather than what you add. Its ability to sub for unhealthy cooking practices makes it a no-brainer in my house.