July 01, 2015

Coconut Oil – why the hype?

Coconut oil. It’s EVERYWHERE! While I really dislike the word, “superfood,” it really seems as though coconut oil is just that. This “thing” that has been around for a while, but is just starting to get the recognition it deserves!

What is coconut oil?

Coconut oil comes from the fruit of the coconut palm. It is “pressed” out of the fruit of the coconut. The way it is pressed out does make a difference in the quality of the coconut oil and the benefits of using it. The best coconut oil is one that is “virgin,” which means that it is as unprocessed as possible (no bleaching, deodorizing, refining).

Taking it a step further, cold-pressed coconut oil is a step above other coconut oils. A machine mechanically presses the coconut oil out of the fruit, but without any external heat source – the high pressure needed will generate some heat naturally, but the temperature is controlled so it doesn’t exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Why is coconut oil better than other oils?

Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides (MCTS). Your body metabolizes MCTS different than the long chain fatty acids in junk or fast food. The MCTS in coconut oil go straight to the liver, where they are used as a speedy energy source. 

The MCTS in coconut oil keep you fuller for longer while also increasing your energy expenditure, and giving a boost to your metabolism. This enables your body to burn more calories.

While we don’t like to talk in terms of calories in Paleo very often (not all calories are created equal), this is something that is worth noting because the majority of people would rather burn more calories than less!

Uses for Coconut Oil

Doing a search for coconut oil on Google or Pinterest will bring you a myriad of uses for this amazing food. It’s amazing what can be done with coconut oil!

Cooking with coconut oil

Coconut oil can be used for baking, sautéing, or stir-frying.  Use coconut oil in place of butter or other cooking oils. If your recipe calls for butter, try replacing the butter with coconut oil.  Coconut oil has a high smoking point and overall takes heat very well. Coconut oil is solid at cooler temps, but liquid when warmed.

Coconut oil is used for an additional healthy fat in the Paleo diet. Perhaps you’ve heard of Bulletproof® coffee? Put coconut oil in your coffee or tea for an early morning energy boost. You can even add coconut oil to your smoothie for an added healthy fat.

The best part is that coconut oil provides a light flavor – it’s NOT an overwhelming coconut flavor. In fact, my husband, who despises coconut in general, cannot tell when I’ve used coconut oil in place of olive oil. (Shhhh, don’t tell him, ok?)

Coconut oil for healthy living

What coconut oil does for your immunity

  • Boosts immune system
  • The lauric acid in coconut oil kills many bacteria and viruses

Coconut Oil's Effect on Digestion/weight loss

  • Boosts energy
  • Increases metabolism
  • Promotes weight loss – healthy fat

Coconut Oil and Disease

Coconut oil has been known to help lower LDL (bad) and raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels. Coconut oil has also been given credit for aiding in the treatment of a crazy long list of diseases and illnesses (see below).

While we aren’t saying everyone should stop taking medicine and just start consuming coconut oil, there is something to be said for helping your body with natural and holistic methods over (or in addition to) medication whenever possible!

Even if it just means you can REDUCE the amount of medication you take, it’s worth thinking about. With that being said, we aren’t doctors here at Paleo Treats®, so while we are super qualified to give you the best Paleo goodies in the world, we would never claim to take the place of your doctor for medical advice.

Here is a brief list of medical conditions that have seen positive results from the use of coconut oil:

  • Crohn’s disease
  • IBS
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Diabetes
  • Fungal infections
  • Acne
  • Eczema
  • Keratosis Polaris
  • Rosacea
  • Psoriasis
  • Candida fungus
  • Dental health
  • Heart disease
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Thyroid conditions

Coconut oil for beauty

You may think we’re crazy, but coconut oil has amazing benefits when it comes to beauty! Used topically, if can help with your hair, your skin, and even your smell. Here is a brief list of ways you can use coconut oil in your beauty routine:

  • Conditions and strengthens hair – gives natural shine to hair
  • Effective way to reduce protein loss in hair
  • Helps regrowth process of damaged hair
  • Used as a moisturizer on skin
  • Homemade deodorant
  • Eye makeup remover
  • Lighten age spots
  • Increase sun tolerance 
  • Homemade lotion
  • Cradle cap remedy
  • Deep conditioner
  • Homemade sunscreen
  • Dilute essential oils on skin

What are you waiting for? Go out and get some coconut oil!

Liked this article?  Here are a few more that are way less boring!


Author

A self-proclaimed health and fitness freak, Michelle found Paleo in 2013 after becoming addicted to cakes and cookies while pregnant and nursing her 2nd child. Still a “newbie” to Paleo, she loves to encourage others to give Paleo a try, while providing support to their fitness and health efforts. She’s a part-time writer and full-time personal chef to her husband and two kids. She still has a sweet tooth, but is able to keep it at bay with the occasional Paleo Treat

Too much reading...
How about dessert?

Too Much Reading...How About Dessert?

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.