In order to decide whether or not coconut oil is good for you, we need to understand why it’s ever been deemed bad. Years ago, we learned about saturated fats and how they could be the cause of high cholesterol, leading to increased risk of clogged arteries and heart attacks. The same was said for many plant oils, including coconut, which is heavy in saturated fat.
The idea that all saturated fats must be avoided is highly erroneous, because you must consider the source of that fat, how it was processed, and what other properties it has. It turns out that the outdated method of thinking that produced the idea of coconut oil being bad, only meant to judge hydrogenated coconut oil. Hydrogenation is what creates trans fats, and it also destroys organic compounds in order to extend shelf life. Pure, organic virgin coconut oil is never, ever hydrogenated and yes, it’s good for you.
If you’re thinking that this means all oils aren’t as bad as they seem, you’d be wrong. Unlike olive oil or soybean oil, coconut oil is rich in medium-chain fatty acids, known as MCTs. Medium-chain fatty acids are much easier to digest than the long-chain fatty acids found in many seed oils and animal products. MCTs are a good source of energy, so although there’s fat in coconut oil, it’s less likely to end up on your hips. That’s why you will sometimes see coconut oil used as part of a diet regimen for weight loss- it’s a healthy fat that doesn’t make you sluggish.
Half of coconut oil’s saturated fat comes from lauric acid. Lauric acid is a fatty acid that is antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial. This is coconut oil’s secret weapon in fighting inflammation inside and outside of your body. The only other oil that even comes close to competing with coconut oil’s naturally high lauric acid content is palm oil, which is undesirable due its negative impact on the environment. So if you’re looking to gain all of lauric acid’s potential benefits, organic coconut oil is your go-to.
The real evidence? Tropical populations have been enjoying coconut in all forms for thousands of years, and they also enjoy great health. Multiple studies conducted over the last century have found that their rates of specific diseases said to be caused by saturated fat are much lower than in many other areas where coconut oil isn’t as plentiful. There’s less incidence of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and more.
And of course, anything that has as many uses as coconut oil does is very good for you. It reduces the amount of waste you generate and eliminates the need for things with toxic ingredients. A jar of coconut oil can repair damaged hair, smooth out rough skin, slow down signs of aging, and keep nails free of cracks and fungus.
Coconut oil is singularly spectacular natural oil. From your hair and skin to your organs and tissues, it’s moisture, vitamins, and unique structure encourage beauty and wellness the way little else found in nature can.