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Coconut Oil – Bridgeford’s Best Bites: Nutrition Tips

Blog photo croppedAn edible oil  extracted from the kernel or meat of matured coconuts from the coconut palm. It is used as food and medicine. It is slow to oxidize due to its high saturated fat content,  so is resistant to rancidification and lasts up to two years without spoiling.

Coconut oil contains a large proportion of lauric acid, a saturated fatty acid, medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) that raises blood cholesterol levels by increasing the amount of high-density-lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and low-density-lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Lauric acid is also found in laurel oil, palm kernel oil, human and animal breast milk.  MCTs may not carry the same risks as other saturated fats.

Many health organizations advise against the consumption of coconut and palm oils due to their high levels of saturated fat. Companies in the 1970’s and 80’s instead substituted trans fats, unaware of their health-damaging effects. Coconut has been a staple for traditional tropical cultures for thousands of years without resulting in clogged arteries, obesity, and heart disease.

In the 1930’s, a dentist named Dr. Weston Price traveled the world, examining traditional diets and their effect on dental and overall health. He found that those eating diets high in coconut products were healthy and trim, despite the high fat concentration in their diet, and that heart disease was virtually non-existent.

In 1981 researchers studied populations of two Polynesian atolls. Coconut was the chief source of caloric energy in both groups. The results demonstrated that both populations exhibited positive vascular health.

Studies Showing Benefits of Coconut Oil (CO) and Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO)

Brain: Larger decrease in metabolites in muscle, fat and brain tissue than fat free diet.

Cancer: Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFAs) in CO inhibit the growth of malignant human colon cells.

Cardiovascular / Heart : VCO provides health benefits in treating Cardiovascular disease.

Cholesterol: Lowers total cholesterol and improves liver metabolism of fats.

Diabetes: CO and monosaturated fatty acid diets improve glycaemic tolerance so are useful for people with impaired glucose tolerance and type 2 diabetes.

Hair: Prevents combing damage of hair. Reduced protein loss in damaged and undamaged hair; is able to penetrate the hair shaft, used as a pre and post wash treatment.

Liver: VCO protected the liver against damage from paracetamol.

MCFAs are readily oxidised in the liver, leading to greater energy expenditure.

Skin: Wounds treated with VCO healed much faster;  collagen turnover and antioxidant activity increased.

Improved skin hydration and increased skin surface lipid levels, so used as a moisturiser. Dietary fats can modulate tumour production in skin.

Weight Loss: Can decrease fatty tissue gene expression. Larger increases in muscle and smaller increases in fat tissue. Dietary CO oil does not cause dyslipidemia and seems to promote a reduction in abdominal obesity. Greater energy expenditure with MCFAs rather than long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs) results in less body weight gain and decreased size of fat deposits as well as have a greater satiating effect the LCFAs.

Caution: As with all oils, avoid repeated heating as this makes them genotoxic (gene disrupting) and carcinogenic (cancer forming).

We are happy to advise you on your health matters.

Lin Bridgeford DO KFRP MSCC ICAK (UK) MSc
Registered Osteopath Kinesiologist & Yoga Teacher

Aether Bios Clinic

Tel: 01273 309557
Mobile:  07710 227038

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