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What Is Coconut Oil
Coconut Oil is a natural oil, derived from the meat of the coconut. It is high in lauric acid, and anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. It has been used successfully for centuries to combat various health ailments and improve the condition of skin and hair. It has many uses, including cooking, as well as for health. On the shelf, the oil has almost a lard type of appearance, but it quickly melts down when cooked over a low level of heat.
Six Weeks On Coconut Oil
For anyone looking to lose weight, coconut oil makes a great supplement to the diet. This oil is high in medium chain triglycerides, or MCTs. MCTs are broken down in the liver, and when that happens, they make the energy burning properties of the body more efficient. This means that the body can burn a greater number of calories in a shorter period of time, and that burning occurs with less effort. One scientific study tested this theory, offering approximately two tablespoons of coconut oil to women daily for a six week period of time. The study found that these women maintained a healthy weight and were even able to lose stubborn belly fat, leading to the recognition of this oil as a healthy dietary aid.
Cooking With Coconut Oil
If you want to add coconut oil to your diet, whether for weight loss or the other health benefits, you can use it in everyday cooking to enjoy both the taste and health benefits that it offers. Many enjoy this oil as a replacement for butter or less healthy vegetable oils, using it to saute vegetables, cook eggs or in a favorite baking recipe. The flavor practically disappears in most recipes, making it ideal for individuals with a variety of taste palates.
In addition to utilizing virgin coconut oil in cooking, it can be enjoyed as a supplement on a day to day basis. A tablespoon of oil blends easily into a morning cup of coffee, favorite smoothie or over a warmed piece of toast. The oil can also be taken directly by mouth, right off a teaspoon, anytime one chooses.
Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Extra virgin coconut oil is the purest form of coconut oil. While it had previously been labeled as unhealthy by some, this label was an unfair one, based solely on the claims that this oil was full of saturated fats, and therefore, unhealthy for the heart. What was not considered in these studies and reports was that the oil used was not the original but had been hydrogenated, due to the addition of a hydrogen molecule which changed the composition of the coconut oil. While the hydrogenation process does increase the shelf life of many products, it also decreases the health benefits and increases trans-fats within the oil.
In comparison, virgin coconut oil contains only healthy fats that benefit the body. This oil is composed of about fifty percent lauric acid, which has been scientifically proven to benefit the heart and circulatory system. By consuming large quantities of this oil as part of their regular diet, many individuals have been able to successfully lower LDL cholesterol, while also increasing HDL, or “good”, cholesterol.
Coconut oil is also receiving an increased amount of attention when it comes to natural remedies to alleviate the symptoms of HIV and AIDS. Because this oil is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, it can assist in keeping infections away and the immune system strong, allowing for an increase in T-Cells throughout the body. While coconut oil is not a replacement for conventional AIDS medications and treatments, it works well as a complementary therapy, and many have found increased energy and health by using it.
Diabetics can also find benefits in consuming extra virgin coconut oil on a regular basis. This natural product has a positive effect on thyroid functioning and hormone balance, making it easier for the body to utilize and process sugars effectively. This has lead to a decrease in the amount of insulin used by some diabetics and an increase in their overall state of health. While no changes to medications for diabetes should be made without consulting a physician, adding coconut oil to the diet is a simple way to enhance any diabetic treatment plan.
Coconut oil is not only for internal health, but it is also used regularly by those looking for natural beauty products to replace paraben and sulfate filled store bought creams, lotions, soaps and pastes. This oil has wonderful anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, making it an excellent remedy for everything from diaper rash to athletes foot to tooth decay. Many individuals use virgin coconut oil as a daily moisturizer or lip balm, and they often find that it increases the supple, healthy quality of their skin without many of the side effects associated with less healthy, chemically manufactured ingredients.
Virgin coconut oil is also a wonderful alternative to traditional, fluoride filled toothpastes, as many studies have shown that it effectively keeps tooth decay at bay and generally promotes healthier teeth and gums.
Because of coconut oil’s anti-bacterial properties, this product makes a wonderful replacement for many over the counter topical aids for cuts and scrapes. Coconut oil can help to fight infections on the skin, and it also decreases healing time. In addition, the moisture provided by this oil can help individuals to avoid scarring of the skin, making it an essential product to carry in every first aid kit.
Because this is a natural oil, it is very safe to use in children, and they will enjoy the health benefits as well. The oil is so safe that, in its virgin form, it is often added to baby formula recipes in order to increase the intake of healthy, and necessary, fats.
It is easy to see that there are many benefits to using extra virgin coconut oil on a regular basis. This tasty oil promotes internal health and is also an asset to any skin care or beauty routine. Just be sure to only choose virgin coconut oil, rather than hydrogenated oils, in order to reap the health benefits listed above.