Coconut oil has become somewhat of a trending topic. By now, it’s no longer new to anyone reading this post – we’ve all heard about coconut oil. Hearing about something like coconut oil and understanding what it really does – now that’s two totally separate topics.
I’ve heard mixed opinions about coconut oil in the past. Some people swear by it, and others think its bad for you. I’ve also read through studies on both sides. When a topic is controversial, it can make things harder for you – you want to give it a try, but you’re not sure what to think of the two sides to the subject. Is coconut oil really bad for you? Will it add to your cholesterol count? Will it make you gain weight?
This post is all about coconut oil. I’ve decided to set up a post to debunk myths surrounding this topic. At the same time, I will be completely biased – giving you both the good and the bad side of coconut oil.
What is Coconut Oil?
First of all, let’s consider what coconut oil really is. It’s a term that we hear often – but some don’t truly understand how it’s made or what it is.
Many people refer to coconut as pure fat. This is also why coconut oil is considered an excellent addition to your keto diet. Remember, your goal is to reduce carbs and increase fats. Plus, many of the fats found in coconut oil are really good for you 🙂
Coconut oil… you guessed it… is made from coconuts. This is the obvious part. Did you know that different parts of the coconut can be used to produce this oil? The meat of coconut fruit is often used as a way of making coconut oil. Some processes also turn to the kernel of coconut.
Mature coconuts are usually used in the process of making the oil.
Remember how I mentioned that coconut oil is pure fat… well…
Guess how much fat is in 100 grams of coconut oil? The answer is 100 grams. Yes, it’s all fat – while some of the fat (actually, the most) is in the form of saturated fats, there are also monounsaturated and polyunsatured fats in this oil.
The amount of coconut oil you add to your food will not reach this amount – but I did just give you a good indication of why coconut oil is so great for the keto diet.
Health Benefits Of Coconut Oil
I’ve read a lot about the beneficial effects that coconut oil has. This is what sparked my interest in the oil – yet I’ve also seen some exaggerated claims. Many people fall for these claims – and end up with disappointment.
When I consider the health benefits of anything – coconut oil and other foods – I always turn to scientific evidence. Why? Because I want to ensure there is evidence to back up any claims made.
With this in mind, I’ll be sharing some health benefits of coconut oil that have been proven. I’ll also link out to the research so you can see for yourself how coconut oil works in your body.
- Heart Health: If you’ve been on my blog before, you might have read my post about recent studies showing that keto is good for your heart. Coconut oil is one of the many foods that contributes to these benefits. In one study, researchers show a much lower incidence of heart disease among people who incorporate coconut oil into their daily diet. According to another study, populations where coconut consumption is highest tend to have lower rates of heart disease and cardiovascular events.
- Antimicrobial: Viruses and bacteria are common in our daily lives. While some microbes are good, others can lead to life-threatening diseases. Coconut oil is rich in chemicals that fight off invading microbes. The monolaurin chemicals in coconut oil helps to fight off fungi, bacteria, and viruses, according to one scientific publication.
- Reduces Seizures: If you’ve been doing research on the keto diet for a while, you likely know that the diet was originally made to help control seizures in kids. Today, this benefit remains active in people who experience seizures. Coconut oil, in particular, contains chemicals that may contribute to reduced severity and frequency of seizures, according to studies. In fact, one study shows that coconut oil, along with a state of ketosis, might even be used as a treatment for seizures.
- Skin Health: Your skin is the first thing people see when they lay their eyes on you. Apart from weight and teeth, skin is another factor that largely contributes to self confidence and self esteem. Studies have shown that incorporating coconut oil in your diet may help to improve your skin. Coconut oil boosts moisturization of your skin. It is also great for people with eczema.
Of course, there is another major benefit – you’ve come to this blog likely to learn how the keto diet can help you lose weight. This is one of the major benefits that you get with the ketogenic diet. Coconut oil added to the keto diet can be a great way to boost your results.
Now, I want our focus to turn to a very important study – specially in relation to weight loss. In one study, researchers found that coconut added to a diet may help in reducing belly fat.
Why is this so important? Because the fat that stores in your belly are the most harmful of them all. This fat is linked to many adverse effects, including clogged arteries, high blood pressure, and more.
In another study, researchers showed that coconut oil may also have appetite suppressant properties. This means adding some coconut oil to your meals could make you feel full for longer after the meal. You may find that you no longer have a need to constantly nibble throughout the day too – that’s definitely a benefit!
Is Coconut Oil Safe?
This is an interesting question. It gets asked a lot, but the information on the topic is often a bit confusing. Some say “yes, go head”. Others, however, rather suggest you turn to alternatives – like olive oil or avocado oil.
For most healthy people, adding some coconut oil to their daily diet will be safe. You should, however, be cautious about how much you use.
If you use too much coconut oil the first time, you may feel nauseous.
There are also a few negative.. or side-effects… linked to this oil. It is important to consider safety first.
Here’s a look at a few side-effects that have been reported by people who use coconut oil:
- Muscle pain
- Joint pain
- Stomach upset
- Swollen glands
Damn… that’s quite a list. And a scary one too. Muscle pain, joint pain, headaches – are these really side-effects you’re going to experience when you start using coconut oil?
The truth is, most people won’t experience these. Now, I must admit, I had an upset stomach and a few headaches at first. These, however, were actually symptoms of the keto flu – something I’ll discuss in a future diet. The effects lasted just a few days and weren’t bad enough to interfere with my day.
Most people won’t have these horrible side-effects – but it is still important to at least know about them. The risk always remains – which means understand side-effects and know when to say no to something like this.
Adding Coconut Oil To The Keto Diet
It’s much easier to add coconut oil to your diet than you think. This is also a great strategy to get started with. Since coconut oil is so rich in fats, it’s a great way to start adding more fat to your daily diet.
The best way to start using coconut oil is to cook with it. Coconut oil can be used to fry your favorite foods. It’s a great alternative to the regular seed oils you are using.
You can also use coconut oil as an ingredient in your favorite smoothie. Try combining yogurt, a protein powder, some of your favorite low-carb fruit, and a small scoop of coconut oil. Worried that coconut oil is going to spoil the taste? No need to worry. Opt for an odorless coconut oil and you’re good to go!
Another option is to make yourself a batch of keto-friendly treats with coconut oil. Coconut Mama shared a really great recipe for some coconut bars. They are keto friendly and they are so good!
Want To Hear More From Me?
I’ve shared (what I think is) a great piece to help you understand what coconut oil is and how you can add it to your keto diet. I will be posting regular content like this, to help you get the most out of the keto diet. Plus, I’ll be sharing content on how you can use keto to maximize your weight loss results (in a safe way, of course!).
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