Thank goodness the 1980’s high-carb low-protein diet fads are over; unfortunately the damage was done. Americans were fatter than ever. Then came the 1990’s high-protein low-carb non-fat fads, which are still in full affect today, but what affect have they had? You guessed it, Americans are fatter than ever. There is no single thing to take the blame though, it is a mixture of imbalanced diet, complete lack of exercise, high stress (chemical and emotional) leading to hormone imbalances that result in increased fat storage in the body.
But fats have gotten a bad reputation in the process. Let’s talk about coconut oil.
Coconut oil is a good source of MCT (medium chain triglyceride), in fact over 50% of its fact content is MCT. Why does that matter? The body handles them differently, using the portal system in the body instead of the lymphatic system or bile salts for absorption. They differ from LCT (long chain triglycerides) in that MCT have a shorter chain length making them a readily available cellular energy source for the body. MCT do not have essential fatty acids, therefore are normally on 50-70% of dietary fat. There is some evidence that suggests that absorption of LCT may be improved if combined with MCT.
Some research suggests that MCT, when substituted in diet for other fats, improves metabolic rate and energy expenditure. This combined with the increased satiety that MCT provides, naturally leads to decreased body fat. Two studies with MCT replacing corn oil and soybean oil, showed a significant reduction in body mass and body weight, one study included exercise and one study excluded exercise. This suggests MCT may have a significant influence on weight management.
Other benefits of MCT in the diet include promoting healthy cholesterol levels in normal range, having positive effects on triglyceride levels as shown in separate studies. MCT also, according to research, to promote healthy heart function and brain health via supporting heart energy generation.
How do you use oils in your kitchen? Well, just about any oil can be used room temperature and added to a smoothie and you would not even taste it. If you are not a smoothie drinker, here is a guide to cook by: Table for Best Temperature Cooking with Oils
1. Olive oil – do not heat at all, it denatures the fatty acids and loses all its health benefits
2. Coconut oil – use with low to medium heat, like sauté and stir-fry applications
3. Grapeseed oil – great for high heat applications
Coconut oil is becoming more available in local grocers in metropolitan areas, so it is easily found. If you are specifically having a health issue and need a high quality product, let me know and I can special order you some for you. Coconut Oil I recommend
Grab a spoonful of coconut oil and enjoy!