The Coconut Craze: Coconut Oil
I wrote about coconut water. I am interested — how a lot of you drink coconut water, or have attempted it? I am not a huge fan of it, as I mentioned in my post. But unless you are guzzling down glass after glass of the tropical drink, there are really no major dangerous ramifications. However, what about coconut oil?
Contentious Coconut Oil
Many nutrition issues are muddy, as well as the problem of whether coconut oil diabetes benefits is a “great” fat or a “bad” fat is a prime example. Lots of folks swear by coconut oil for assorted motives. People who love baking for the reason that it like coconut oil adds a unique, rich flavor to pastries and other goodies and makes a mean flaky pie crust. Others use coconut oil for ordinary cooking, maintaining that it adds and popcorn and wonderful flavor. Coconut oil is used widely in Indian dishes, which, obviously, is partially these dishes are really so delicious and Thai.
And there are people who swear by coconut oil for its numerous health benefits that are supposed, including helping to treat heart disease, enhancing blood glucose control, and encouraging weight loss. Can a tropical oil actually live up to every one of these claims?
A Little History
Using coconut oil for cooking is nothing new in tropical areas. In the early 1900’s, this oil was really used as a cooking oil in america, but it slowly fell out of favor in the 1960’s when scientists started to analyze the potential function in cardiovascular disease of coconut oil.
The connection between coconut oil and heart disease comes from the truth that coconut oil is mostly a saturated fat (92% of the fatty acids in this oil are saturated). And, for the large part, saturated fat, or the “bad” fat, is linked with boosting heart disease. Nevertheless, the tricky thing about saturated fats is that they not all are created equally. The saturated fatty acids in coconut oil are different than, say, those seen in animal fats, like lard or beef fat. Incidentally, using the word “oil” when discussing coconut is a little bit of a misnomer, as coconut oil is solid at room temperature (it becomes a liquid at temps above 75degF).
About half of the saturated fat in coconut oil is lauric acid, which is a medium-chain fatty acid (and distinct in relation to the long-chain fatty acids found in animal fats). The body uses medium-chain fatty acids otherwise than long-chain fatty acids; it could be that these medium-chain fatty acids are potentially valuable and less dangerous. Of note, a unique kind of oil, called MCT (medium-chain triglyceride) oil can be found as a health nutritional supplement for those who have trouble processing routine fat as an outcome of specific health conditions.
Lauric acid, astonishingly, may raise HDL (“good”) cholesterol, but may additionally foster LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, too. It does not appear to change the ratio of the two in a way that is bad. Lauric acid might have a few other health benefits, including antibacterial and antiviral properties, fighting acne, and boosting metabolism. A few of these advantages are unproven, yet.
Is Coconut Oil OK to Use?
Back to coconut oil. Might it be bad or good? Coconut oil got a bad reputation, in part, because it was used in animal studies in a form that was partly hydrogenated. Virgin coconut oil, on the other hand, is not hydrogenated. And even though coconut oil is not low in saturated fat, some newer studies indicate that saturated fat may well not be the villain it is been made out to be.
Coconut oil may actually have some actual health benefits. In a single study, girls given coconut oil as a nutritional supplement (along with a low-calorie diet) had a higher HDL cholesterol, a lower LDL:HDL ratio, as well as a reduced waist circumference when compared with women given a soybean oil nutritional supplement. Another study, also with girls, demonstrated enhanced lipid levels with MCT oil compared with beef tallow. Yet, these two studies were little, and at this time, there isn’t enough research to fully advocate the use of coconut oil.
When it comes to diabetes, a study printed in 2009 in the journal Diabetes demonstrated that mice fed coconut oil had less insulin resistance (their insulin functioned better) and had less body fat than mice fed lard. The drawback was that the mice given coconut oil had higher insulin resistance in the liver, in addition to greater fat accumulation in the liver.
The bottom line? Using small quantities of virgin coconut oil is likely OK (avoid using partially hydrogenated coconut oil for the reason that it contains trans fat). Keep in mind that coconut oil continues to be a fat: one tablespoon features 117 calories and 14 grams of fat (and there is not much evidence that swigging coconut oil will cause you to magically shed extra pounds).