Coconut is a Super-wonder food. Indians call it Kalpa Vriksha (in Sanskrit means “the tree that supplies all that is needed to live”).
Since blood plasma supplies were scarce during World War II, medics would siphon pure coconut water from young coconuts to be used as emergency plasma transfusions for soldiers who were injured. However, over the last three decades coconut and coconut oil have been incorrectly maligned for increasing cardiac risk. Consequently, most of us shunned them and substituted vegetable oils (like canola, corn) in our cooking.
Genesis of Misinformation
The misinformation (and the continued propagation) about coconut oil’s impact on heart health is based on the fact that coconut oil is categorized as Saturated Fat along with saturated fat rich foods like meat and dairy.
Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT)
Saturated fats (as opposed to Unsaturated Fats found in olive oil, vegetable oils or almonds ) have been demonized as being artery clogging. We have known for a while that there are many sub-categories of Saturated Fat and foods rich in some those categories are significantly beneficial to our health. Coconut oil does not contain the kind of saturated fats you would find in cheese or meat or steak.
It is rich in a super-healthy variant called Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) – which are fatty acids of medium molecular length compared to fat found in meat and dairy which are Long chain fatty acids (LCT). It is well known in the scientific and medical community is that coconut oil is metabolized very differently than the long chain fatty acids found in meat and dairy. More rigorous analysis of past studies, recent randomized trials and new data shows that saturated fat is harmless and in most cases supportive of cardiac health, unless combined with excessive carbohydrates in your diet . But that is a topic for a different blog.
Lowers Cardiac Risk
Recent studies conducted specifically to study impact of coconut oil on heart health have shown it reduces cardiac risk – it decreases triglyceride levels ( blood fat) and raises HDL (healthy) cholesterol, which causes the total cholesterol value to rise as well, but for a good reason. Most of the industrial vegetable oils ( corn, saffola, canola) that people switched to from Coconut Oil are very high in Omega 6. A high ratio of Omega6 : Omega3 (higher than 10:1) is proven to be extremely harmful for cardiac health and significantly increases incidence of heart disease and diabetes – a phenomenon we have seen in the last three decades.
DNA recommends significantly reducing industrial vegetable oils ( like corn, sunflower, saffola) in cooking and substituting it with a heathy mix of Olive Oil, Coconut oil and ghee and managing carbohydrate intake between 100-150 gm per day to manage cardio-metabolic risks common among Indians and South Asians.
Coconut oil is weight loss wonder food. First coconut oil has 10% less energy per gm than fat found in other kinds of meat or dairy. In addition to their lower caloric content, coconut oil is not stored in fat cells of your body as much as the other kinds of fat. Coconut oil has been shown to enhance thermogenesis (i.e., fat burning).
So Coconut oil seems to offer a triple bonus to weight loss –
- It has a lower calorie content than other fats.
- It is are minimally stored as fat.
- It contributes to enhanced metabolism to burn even more calories. This property may be due to the fact that coconut oil gets sent directly to the liver for processing and promotes the development of ketones. Ketone production is a cornerstone of many weight loss diets e.g Atkins Diet.
DNA suggest coconut oil may enable those struggling with weight management, blood sugar management or following a low carb program to more rapidly obtain benefits and more easily adhere to the program.
More on Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT)
- Coconut and coconut oil are rich in Medium-chain triglycerides (Fat).
- They have been shown to lower weight, and to decrease metabolic syndrome, abdominal obesity, and inflammation that cause disease like arthritis and Alzheimer’s
- They decrease appetite when taken with or before a meal and are tasty
- Medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) when taken during pregnancy, prevented obesity for children later in life.
- MCTs have an unusual chemical structure that allows the body to digest them easily and is a great source of fast quick energy without the bad effect of sugar or simple carbs.
Source and For More : Cleveland Clinic Wellness
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Anti Aging, Brain Health and Seizures.
Ketones are also one of the two substances which the brain can utilize for energy (glucose, being the other), that scientists now speculate that for this reason, Coconut oil might be advantageous for the aging brain and has proven that diet rich on coconut oil and MCT diet dramatically reduce the rate of seizures in epileptic children, even those who haven’t had success with multiple different types of drugs…… ( In our next blog)
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