Coconuts have been gaining a lot of attention recently for their amazing benefits. It’s become like the Windex® in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, people use it for everything! And there’s no doubt that there are some pretty great things about coconut oil!
If you’re like me, you’ve started using coconut oil for everything from cooking to skin moisturizer! Being such a coconut oil enthusiast led me to researching the good and bad of coconut oil.
Since most of you have only heard the benefits, I’ll start with negatives first:
Is coconut oil bad for you? In some cases, it can be.
For example, it’s bad for cardiovascular health.
Coconut oil is one of the only rare plant sources of saturated fats (normally found in animal products, margarine and palm oil).
What this means is it increases the “bad” cholesterol in our body. Why is this important? Elevated “bad” cholesterol in the long term leads to plaque in arteries, increasing significantly the chances for heart disease and stroke!
However, coconut oil contains medium chain fatty acids and does not cause an immediate spike of inflammation in the body post consumption. Medium chain fatty acids are easier for the body to process than foods containing long chain fatty acids.
The takeaway is to consume small amounts of coconut oil and preferably none if you have known high cholesterol.
I’ve read recent online posts claiming saturated fats do not have an effect on cardiovascular disease, however the evidence proves otherwise. Always make sure to research the things you hear, and find trustworthy sources!
Now for the good:
1) Great for skin.
Coconut oil has great benefits for our skin! It has antibacterial properties and helps prevent infection and pimples. Coconut oil has been shown to be great for improving dermatitis and healing skin.
Coconut oil is also a great moisturizer for skin as it traps water leaving skin hydrated, and is an effective treatment for xerosis (extremely dry skin).
2) Improves gum health.
Coconut oil “pulling” has been shown to be effective in decreasing plaque formation and decreasing gingivitis.
3)Repairs hair damage.
In comparison to mineral oil and sunflower oil, coconut oil was found to significantly decrease protein loss in healthy and damaged hair when used prior to washing and after washing as a hair product.
Coconut oil has a high affinity for hair protein and is able to penetrate into the hair shaft. This results in strong and shiny hair!
Mineral and sunflower oil showed no effect in improving hair damage.
4) Coconut oil is safe as a cosmetic ingredient and is an excellent makeup remover.
5) Coconut oil has been shown to be a potent anti-fungal treatment especially against Candida.
P.S. Coconut oil is processed and is not to be confused with eating a coconut and coconut water! These have many, totally separate benefits from coconut oil and will be covered in a different post.
Have a Joyful Day!
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