Benefits of Coconut Oil

Brien Shamp wrote an article on the benefits of coconut oil that was eatured in Ms. Fitness Magazine in the Fall 2005. Coconut oil has received a bad rap from the media and western medicine. Did you know coconut oil is an anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral? You could be missing out on the health benefits if you are not eating this food.

Check out the article here:

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As I have pursued more education in the field of nutrition I kept reading about the many benefits of coconuts and coconut oil. I know many of you are scared to eat anything to do with a coconut because it has a bad rap due to it’s saturated fat content. I invite you to do the research like I have. See Tropical Traditions Virgin Coconut Oil. If you want to save yourself a few hours there is a mound of research and testimonials which have touted coconut oil to be the best oil to use in order to achieve a host of benefits.

After reading the research & testimonials, I did my best to find some quality coconuts, but 2/3 were moldy inside. Apparently, we are supposed to get them soon after they are picked (should be green in color not brown), similar to most other produce. I then purchased some coconut oil at Whole Foods and learned later from Dr. Mercola and others that not all coconut oils are created equal. I have taken the following information from Tropical Traditions Virgin Coconut Oil.

In the past coconut oil received negative press in the US because of its high level of saturated fat. Modern research has shown that not all saturated fats are alike and that the fatty acids in coconut oil, the medium chain triglycerides (MCT’s), do not raise serum cholesterol or contribute to heart disease, but are in fact very healthy. To make matters more confusing, not all coconut oils are the same. Some negative studies done on coconut oil in the past were done on hydrogenated coconut oil, which has been altered from its original form. Generally speaking anything altered is not good for you. Other studies have clearly shown that traditional Asian cultures that eat significant amounts of coconut in their diet do not suffer from modern diseases seen in western cultures that promote a low-fat diet. I am not saying the coconut is the panacea for all health conditions. I am sure there were many other variables that contributed to the Asian cultures decrease in modern disease.

Much of the current research on the nutritional and medicinal benefits on coconut oil has surfaced in recent years. Most of the research has been done by Dr. Mary Enig. Dr. Enig has classified coconuts as a “functional food,” which provides health benefits over and beyond the basic nutrients. She has specifically identified lauric acid as a key ingredient in coconut products:

“Approximately 50% of the fatty acids in coconut fat are lauric acid. Lauric acid is a medium chain fatty acid, which has the additional beneficial function of being formed into monolaurin in the human or animal body. Monolaurin is the anti-viral, antibacterial, and antiprotozoal monoglyceride used by the human or animal to destroy lipid coated viruses such as HIV, herpes, cytomegalovirus, influenza, various pathogenic bacteria including listeria monocytogenes and heliobacter pylori, and protozoa such as giardia lamblia. Some studies have also shown some antimicrobial effects of the free lauric acid.”

As a “functional food,” coconut oil is now being recognized by the medical community as a powerful tool against immune diseases. Several studies have been done on its effectiveness, and much research is currently being done on the incredible nutritional value of pure coconut oil. For the research behind coconut oil go to Tropical Traditions Virgin Coconut Oil.

Besides it’s immune benefits, coconut oil is being used by thyroid sufferers to increase metabolism, and to lose weight. Several studies have shown that medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) promote weight loss. See Tropical Traditions Virgin Coconut Oil. There is even a Yahoo Group (http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/coconut-info/) that revolves around the benefits of coconut oil for weight loss as well as it’s other benefits. The article I have included in the research article section talks about the weight loss benefits of coconut oil.

Dr. Mercola (www.mercola.com) and Paul Chek (www.paulchekseminars.com) are also big promoters of coconut oil for all the reasons above and prefer it when cooking all foods given coconut oil is saturated and very stable. Cherie Calbom, M.S. stated in “Thyroid Health: A Key to Weight Loss”, considerable research has shown that trans fatty acids, present when vegetable oils are highly refined (hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated), are especially damaging to cell tissue and can have a negative affect on the thyroid as well as health in general. Long chain fatty acids in vegetable oils or polyunsaturated oils oxidize quickly and become rancid. The most common source of these oils used in commercially prepared foods is the soybean. Another reason to be careful of soy. Coconut Oil is the safest oil to cook with because it can withstand higher heats than most oils before becoming rancid.

To add pure virgin coconut oil to your diet, you can purchase the Tropical Traditions brand made in the Philippines at the Optimal Fitness Lifestyle Center. This Tropical Traditions Virgin Coconut oil is a truly unrefined coconut oil. It is made from organic coconuts. Coconuts are used fresh (within 24 hours of harvest) from small family farms on Mt. Banahaw in Quezon Province, the coconut capital of the Philippines. Most coconut oils on the market are refined.

Our goal at OFLC is to increase health awareness. Please forward this article to those you think it would benefit.

In Health,