The Fat That Will Make You Thin
If you go to the online nutrition databases, coconut oil doesn’t look so hot. It has about the same nutritional profile as any other saturated fat and is accused of being highly pro-inflammatory. The problem with this oversimplified and unflattering portrayal of coconut oil is that it is inaccurate and incomplete. Coconut oil is unique in that it is the most saturated of all the dietary fats including beef fat and lard. Because of its high degree of saturation, coconut oil is highly resistant to rancidity, and is safe for cooking at relatively high temperatures.
It contains 92% saturated fatty acids, 6% monounsaturated fatty acids and 2% polyunsaturated acids. 63% of the fatty acids found in coconut oil are medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs), which range from 8 to 12 carbons, giving coconut oil important and unique health benefits. The MCFAs found in coconut oil are lauric acid (48%), caprylic acid (8%) and capric acid (7%). Studies have shown MCFAs to be beneficial in weight management, preventing liver damage and treating epilepsy. In addition to all the bodily functions that may be enhanced by the consumption of MCFAs the most remarkable finding of modern research has been the ability of certain MCFAs to enhance the human immune system and actively participate in the capacity of the human body to fight virus, protozoa, bacteria and fungi. This is all accomplished without causing any known harm to human tissues. Furthermore, microbial organisms have not shown any build-up of resistance to the use of MCFAs over time.
In addition to their antimicrobial properties, there has been quite a bit of research performed regarding the role that MCFAs play in weight loss. Most studies conducted on this subject agree that MCFAs do increase fat burning for up to 24 hours. It is generally believed that the mechanism of fat loss caused by MCFAs is that they act as kindling to help burn up other longer chain fatty acids stored in the body.
Researchers have not yet determined the exact quantity of MCFAs that are needed in order to achieve the optimal health benefit. It is generally recommended by experts on this subject that adults could probably benefit from the consumption 2-4 tablespoons of coconut oil daily. Substituting your regular cooking oil for coconut oil is a delicious and healthy way to begin improving your health.