Coconut Oil is the kind of food that, if it were a person, would be too pretty, too smart and too nice. It’s just so good that all the other foods are jealous.

Date incarcerated: The vegetable oil industry and followers of a theory called The Lipid Hypothesis rounded up all natural saturated fats, butter, lard, coconut oil and palm oil, locked ‘em up and threw away the key somewhere in the early 1950′s. That’s too bad because coconut oil is quite honestly the most enchanting food you’ll ever meet!

The Charges: The initial accusation levied in The Lipid Hypothesis, is that there is a direct relationship between the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet and heart disease. Many studies since the 1950′s have successfully challenged this speculation, but the vegetable oil and food processing industries started promoting and funding even more research to boost their product sales. As if that wasn’t enough, they started the untrue rumor that coconut oil makes us fat. Pulling out the “fat card” is such a low blow!

The Vindication: The proof of innocence is quite simple. All one needs to do is take a look at populations who consume large amounts of coconut oil. Back in the 1930′s Dr. Weston A. Price, a dentist, traveled through the South Pacific, looking at traditional diets and their effect on dental and general health. He found that those eating diets high in coconut products were pretty much free of heart disease. Plus, they were healthy and slender. He observed this over and over again.
Skip ahead 50 years to a study in which researchers observed populations of two Polynesian atolls. Coconut was the chief source of energy for both groups. The results, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, concluded, “Vascular disease is uncommon in both populations and there is no evidence of the high saturated fat intake having a harmful effect in these populations.”(1)
What makes coconut oil so special? It’s all in the fat!
•Half of the fat in coconut oil is a rare fat called lauric acid: Your body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, monolaurin can kill viruses like HIV, influenza, measles as well as protozoans like giardia and pathogenic bacteria.
•Coconut oil also contains another fatty acid called capric acid; also known for its antimicrobial properties.
•2/3 of the fat in coconut oil are medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs).

Let’s take a closer look at Coconut oil’s MCFAs compared to Vegetable Oils Long Chain Fatty Acids (LCFAs).

First, Vegetable Oils:
•The majority of LCFAs are stored as body fat.
•LCFAs are prone to oxidation/rancidity, which in turn causes artery damage.
•LCFAs are difficult for your body to digest.
•LCFAs put added burden on your pancreas, liver and your whole digestive system.

Now, Coconut Oil:
•MCFAs are smaller. They permeate cell membranes easily.
•MCFAs are easily digested.
•MCFAs are sent directly to your liver, where they are converted into energy NOT fat.
•MCFAs stimulate your body’s metabolism, and you know what that means, weight loss.
Oh Coconut Oil, How do I love thee, let me count the ways!
1.Coconut oil fights diabetes. Quite simply, its energy without the carbs.
2.Coconut oil is good for your heart.
3.Coconut oil gives you energy.
4.Coconut oil is a natural anti-biotic and anti-viral.
5.Coconut oil makes you skinny.
6.Coconut oil is good for your skin.
7.Coconut oil is good for digestion.
8.Coconut oil is good for your brain. Check out how it helped reverse Alzheimer’s disease!

Man, at this point, why eat anything else?

Reference

1. Prior, I. et al. Cholesterol, coconuts, and diet on Polynesian atolls: a natural experiment: the Pukapuka and Tokelau Island studies. Am J Clin Nutr 1981, 34:1552-61.

Author's Bio: 

Kristin Konvolinka is a molecular biologist by training, a ten year veteran of the biotech industry and a certified herbalist. Her passion for food drives her overall wellness philosophy that real health begins with real food. Guiding you to your best personal health is her goal.