Your average coconut isn’t much to look at. But lurking underneath the unassuming exterior is a powerful force for good health.
Sure it’s a saturated fat, but the latest science is finding that we may have been misled a bit. Saturated fats are a vital nutrient that’s essential for life. Our cell membranes even need these types of fatty acids to function properly.
And recent scientific research shows that the medium-chain triacylglycerols (MCTs) that make up coconut oil may have wide-ranging health benefits. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
Fight Fat with Fat
The way our bodies process the MCTs in coconut oil reduces the opportunity for those fats to deposit into our existing fatty tissues. And it gets even better.
Consumption of MCTs from coconut oil has been shown to increase metabolism by turning up our bodies’ thermostats in a process called thermogenesis. When we produce more heat, it allows the body to utilize more energy. These increases in thermogenesis and metabolism mean our bodies burn more fuel—fat.
And coconut oil also has been shown to make you feel more full. So consuming coconut oil will help you feel satiated for longer, reducing overall food intake.
Guard Your Heart
Coconut oil has a famous fan. You might recognize the name—Dr. Mehmet Oz.
Our favorite cardiothoracic surgeon and host of The Dr. Oz Show says coconut oil is a heart-healthy food. We couldn’t agree more. And the latest scientific literature backs up these claims, too.
Evidence of coconut oil’s cardio-protective properties comes from the MCTs’ ability to support normal blood lipid profiles. That means coconut oil has been shown to support healthy triglyceride levels and the good kind of cholesterol—high-density lipoproteins or HDL.
Our heart is just the start. The process of breaking down coconut oil in the liver produces ketones and short-chain fatty acids—both shown to help support cognition.
Hopefully you understand why the coconut is worth cracking into. So next time you see one, remember all the power hiding right underneath that hard shell.
SOURCE: USANA Health Sciences