Reasons Why I Love Coconut Oil

I seriously love this stuff –and that’s an understatement. I use it for practically everything from cooking oil, to tooth care, to internal use, to moisturizer for my body (just to name a few).

When buying this product, make sure the label says organic, cold pressed, and unrefined to ensure all of the beneficial properties of the oil are still intact (as high heat exposure denatures molecules).

What makes this oil so special?

A lot of the beneficial properties come from the medium-chain triglycerides (or MCTs) that the coconut oil is composed of. Now, don’t let mainstream media/nutrition advice fool you, eating fats (good sourced, healthy fats) does NOT make you fat. In fact, back in the 1940s, farmers tried feeding their livestock cheap coconut oil to fatten them up and the opposite happened – they became lean and active! [1] But, not all fats are good for you. The offender to look out for is trans fats. The process in which they are created is called partial hydrogenation where hydrogen atoms are added to the oil by exposure to extreme heat. Processed foods use oil from this method because it is cheap and extends shelf life. But, two forms of the molecule are created and one form is the trans unsaturated fatty acid and this one largely does not exist in nature. Our bodies make enzymes specifically to metabolize (break down) saturated fats and cis-unsaturated fatty acids, but there is no evidence that we produce enzymes for trans-fatty acids [2]. For better visuals and further description, this link describes everything perfectly: http://www.indiana.edu/~oso/Fat/trans.html

Bottom line, stay away from processed foods which are laden with trans-fats (even when the label says zero trans-fat!) Seriously, under US law companies can label products as having zero trans-fat, as long as there is less than 0.5 grams per serving [3]. The kicker is they get to choose the serving size so it can meet this requirement (yet another reason never to trust corporations or their processed foods).

Anyways- back to the wonders of coconut oil! The medium chain fatty acids it is composed of are immediately used by the liver for energy [4], unlike other oils which are primarily composed of long chain fatty acids and stored as fat. This leads to MCTs boosting your metabolism, thus, having a detox effect as your body can more quickly expel toxins.

What’s more, this stuff is even anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-protazoic due to the lauric acid it is half composed of [5]. Eating a couple spoonfuls throughout the day has profound effects. I like to achieve this by adding some to my smoothies or even a spoonful to coffee.

Coconut oil is also the perfect cooking oil as it can reach high temperatures before oxidation occurs and free radicals are created (which wreak havoc on your body!). It is especially important to stay away from canola, safflower, sunflower, soy, and corn oils. Not only are these most likely going to be genetically modified, they also throw off your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio (and most Americans already have a skewed ratio) which creates a slew of health hazards. What’s more, they form more trans-fats when they are heated. Noo thank-you!

Whenever the ends of my hair get dry and brittle I use coconut oil as a leave in conditioner and it works miracles! (Note: I learned the hard way not to apply it to the top of your hair as it will look extremely greasy for a couple of days; stick to the tips only)

Using coconut oil as a moisturizer is great since you will not be exposed to toxic chemicals and hormone mimickers like traditional, store-bought products but your skin will be softer than ever! And, since it has anti-bacterial and fungal properties, it helps treat acne, eczema, and psoriasis.

Similarly, coconut oil can also be used as a shave cream. This is another good way to avoid toxic chemicals by replacing it with your current shaving cream. The best way to let these companies know we won’t put up with their pollution of our environment and health, is by voting with our dollar and boycotting such products.

To further rid myself of toxic products sold by these evil corporations, I have replaced my toothpaste with a mixture of coconut oil, activated charcoal, and essential oils. This cleans my mouth and whitens my teeth better than any chemical concoction I’ve ever bought in a tube. Not to mention, awhile back I called the questions or comments line for the Crest Pro Health toothpaste and spoke directly to a representative (BTW, the number is 1-800-594-4158 and I encourage you to give them a call yourself). When I asked her what the beads in the toothpaste were made of she told me “polyethylene”. Yes, THEY PUT PLASTIC MICROBEADS IN THE TOOTHPASTE. These microbeads don’t only get trapped in gums causing a rise in gum disease, they also end up in the waterways when they are known to have a negative impact on marine life. A new study published by Environmental Science and Technology, states that 8 TRILLION microbeads are added to the US aquatic habitat systems DAILY [6]. Again, these corporations have made it clear they don’t care about us or the environment.

With all these uses, it’s easy to see why I have a serious love affair with this product and use it multiple times daily.

 

Where to purchase?

One of the cheapest places I have found to buy high quality coconut oil is Thrive market! They are basically like an online, organic, fair-trade version of Costco and are a great place to start when first replacing your pantry with healthy alternatives. If you have never used Thrive Market before, click here to receive 20% off your first 3 purchases. Cha-ching! Even more savings!

Leave a comment below with other ways you love to use coconut oil!

XOXO,

Chemist Karma

 

Sources:

[1] Dr. Joseph Mercola, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mercola/coconut-oil-benefits_b_821453.html

[2] Indiana University, http://www.indiana.edu/~oso/Fat/trans.html

[3] Food and Drug Administration, http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/LabelingNutrition/ucm053479.htm

[4] Jones PJ. Greater rise in fat oxidation with medium-chain triglyceride consumption relative to long-chain triglyceride is associated with lower initial body weight and greater loss of subcutaneous adipose tissue, International Journal of Obesity & Related Metabolic Disorders. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12975635

[5] Isaacs CE, Litov RE, Marie P, Thormar H. Addition of lipases to infant formulas produces antiviral and antibacterial activity, Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry ;3 : pp. 304-308.

Mitsuto Matsumoto, Takeru Kobayashi, Akio Takenakaand Hisao Itabashi. Defaunation Effects of Medium Chain Fatty Acids and Their Derivatives on Goat Rumen Protozoa, The Journal of General Applied Microbiology, Vol. 37, No. 5. pp.439-445.

[6] http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/19/us/8-trillion-microbeads-pollute-water-daily-irpt/

Note: This post contains affiliate links where I get a small portion if you purchase by clicking the link I have provided. However, the product will always be the same cost for you and I only promote products I believe in and use myself.


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