For ages, coconut oil has been the staple answer to ALMOST every need. From deodorant, makeup remover, moisturizer, sunscreen, bug repellent — the list of its benefits and uses of this all-around oil just goes on.
However, some can’t still help but air their doubts as they pose this question: is coconut oil really worth all the hype?
What you need to know about Coconut Oil
The dramatic rise and comeback of coconut oil as one of the so-called superfoods of today seemed to elicit various responses from users and nonusers alike. While many people have jumped on the bandwagon and tried using this “miracle oil” with its seemingly endless list of health-giving properties, a huge chunk of the population are still in doubt and wants further proof to these claims.
As it turns out, both sides may actually have a point.
In case you’ve failed to notice, you can find two main types of coconut oil at your local grocery or health store shelves. The first type is known as the refined, hydrogenated coconut oil. This is probably the main reason why coconut oil is now being seen as an enemy than a cure.
Hydrogenated coconut oil is oil that has been subjected to different processes which altered its original safe form--it’s chemically-treated, to simply put it. Because of such chemical treatment, the positive components found in unrefined, virgin coconut oil are totally destroyed and replaced by harmful properties like any other processed oils.
But even the virgin coconut oil has it fair share of downfalls.
It seems to us that answering with either a yes or a no will not suffice and finally put an end to the “healthy or hype” conundrum. So instead, we’ll try a more elaborate approach.
Keep in mind that we may not cover every little detail there is to coconut oil--because honestly, there’s just so much--but we’ll do our best to cover both sides of the story. So is it really healthy or everything is all about the hype?
Let’s find out.
Heathy: It’s true that saturated fat is bad for the body and coconut oil is about 90% saturated fat which in turn makes it harmful, right? No.
It turns out that not all saturated fat is the same. Almost half of the saturated fat found in coconut oil is made up of medium-chain fatty acids, also known as lauric acid. Lauric acid, coconut oil’s main saturated fatty acid, found in few other foods is known to raise good cholesterol (HDL) in the body. It is known to kill harmful pathogens like bacteria,viruses and fungi.
Furthermore, medium-chain fatty acids are more easily digested and converted to energy than other forms of fatty acid. All these are the reasons why coconut is known to promote good blood cholesterol levels in the body.
Hype: While half of the saturated fats in coconut oil is good, you just can’t forget that the other important half of it is more than just medium-chain fatty acids. You have to consider this vital fact as well.
Keep in mind that all oils are a mixture of various fatty acids. And that the artery-clogging and most damaging fatty acid is saturated fat can be found in coconut oil.
Healthy: One key to an effective weight loss journey is to ensure a steady blood sugar level which will keep you from making a beeline to the junkfood aisle at a moment’s notice.
To achieve this, you must include healthy and satiating fats to your diet. Coconut oil is a real popular choice due to its plethora of healthy medium chain saturated fatty acids (MCTs) that boost metabolism for immediate energy.
What’s more is that the MCTs in coconut oil don’t end up as stored body fat like longer chain fatty acids sometimes can.
Hype: Apparently, the limited studies on this beneficial effect of coconut oil to the body presented inconsistent results. So while research shows that medium-chain triglycerides are metabolized differently than other fats, with slightly more calories used in the process like every other edible oils, coconut oil is high in calories with about 120 cal per tablespoon.
Who wouldn’t want to stay away from that?
Rejuvenated Skin and Hair
Healthy: The beauty world is continuously taking notice of the benefits of coconut oil in the hair and skin--and for good reason. Coconut oil is known to improve the hair and skin condition thanks to its natural moisturizing properties. Even beauty experts swear that coconut oil absorbs moisture faster than any commercialized lotion. That’s why most--if not all--handmade soaps from Gorgeous Soap’s collection are mixed with this ever-reliable coconut oil.
On another hand, to keep your locks under control, you can use coconut oil based products as your go-to shampoo.
You can start by trying this Shampoo Bar for Light Hair and see if it will work for you. This product will make your strands easily gain more needed conditioning without worrying about it looking all greasy all thanks to the natural properties of coconut oil.
Hype: Sure, coconut oil can improve the state of the skin and hair but it still needs a little improvement in the healing arena. That said, coconut oil is not yet proven to cure variety of skin conditions despite claims of its wonders.
Additional scientific research on this topic is highly needed to avoid harm and further skin damage.
It’s good to include coconut oil in a healthy balanced diet--after all, it’s one of the healthiest out there. But while you’re at it, make sure that you don’t consume it as your primary source of fat. And don’t even think that it’s your sole key to get that fit and coveted figure.
It sure is beneficial to the skin and hair but false claims on its possible healing effects have yet to be studied so one must be truly careful in depending on this oil for a miraculous skin cure.
Remember that coconut oil is good--healthy even--as long as it is used and consumed in moderation.