Seniors concerned with healthy living, need to know about coconut oil, the facts.
The popular view seems to be that coconut oil is a miracle product.
There are still those in, what I’ll call the ‘old school,’ who say, “Not so fast.”
The internet is a wash in singing the praises of the substance. It is claimed to help in areas from haircare to slowing the onset of Alzheimer’s.
What is it?
Coconut oil, squeezed or pressed from the meat of a coconut, is high in saturated fat. As high as 90%. Some are in the camp that says the heart cannot handle it. The increased bad cholesterol will clog the arteries and a heart attack is just waiting to occur.
With a little reading I learned this. The old information from the 1970’s has been debunked. One writer calls it a myth. Saturated fats are not harmful after all.
As it relates to coconut oil, experts assert that the cholesterol factors of saturated fats is not harmful to heart health.
There Are Actually Two Cholesterols
Good (HDL) and, bad (LDL). Then it was learned that the various saturated fats had makes ups that actually aided in heart health as opposed to blocking arteries.
An article from Authority Nutrition is filled with the science if you care to read it. All the links to studies and research are included.
When the wheels were coming off the cholesterol scare, actual studies came to light that could not support the claims of the 1970’s.
Without going too far into the weeds on the science, (see the link above) studies have shown that saturated fats are not the cholesterol demons originally thought. Especially the saturated fat, (MCT) of coconut oil.
Science has learned that saturated fat can change LDL to a less harmful form, thus reducing the risk of clogged arteries.
What Are The Benefits
Obesity or being overweight is one subject that affects a large part of the senior population.
The first benefit we see in coconut oil is it’s ability to increase energy. Couple that with a natural ability to suppress appetite, weight loss occurs.
Without talking about the science, it is now believed that the calories of coconut oil actually lend to the burning of other calories.
The result can be ‘significant’ weight loss over longer periods of time.
How About Belly Fat
There have been studies that show that a daily one ounce dose of coconut oil can reduce belly fat. The study showed there to be a significant amount of belly fat loss in as little as twelve weeks, in women.
The same dose for men showed more than an inch in belly fat reduction as measured by circumference. In men the benefits took place in as little as four weeks.
The report was quick to point out that those in the study were not exercising or otherwise attempting to lose the belly fat.
Increased Brain Function
When dementia or Alzheimer’s is mentioned, seniors take notice. An organic compound known as ketone can supply the brain with energy.
A component of Alzheimer’s is the inability of glucose to provide the needed energy to the brain. Ketones can replace that energy source.
Medium chain triglycerides (MCT) the main saturated fat of coconut oil is the ingredient that has shown improvement in brain function. While the evidence does not reverse the disease, early symptoms have been reduced.
The bottom line, coconut oil helps to improve brain function in those with symptoms of dementia.
The Cosmetic Effects
We have learned that consuming coconut oil can have positive effects on human health.
We didn’t mention that those who use the food for as much as half their diet, are generally more healthy that those in the west.
But what about other uses? For years coconut oil has been used as a tanning aid. It is said to protect the skin from harmful UV rays while enhancing the tanning process.
It also is known to help keep skin moisturized
Coconut oil has long been a recipe for healthy and attractive hair. It is not uncommon to find hair care products with coconut oil in their ingredients.
Finally there are the oral health benefits of coconut oil. A process called oil pulling has shown great success in restoring teeth to a more healthy state.
While there are no scientific studies to point to, anecdotal evidence supports the healthy teeth aspect of oil pulling.
The process involves placing an ounce of coconut oil in the mouth as you would any mouthwash. The key is to keep it in the mouth for as long as twenty minutes.
The benefits include the killing of bacteria, freshening of the breath and whiter teeth. It is natural and has no side effects. It is no less pleasant than ordinary mouth wash.
Coconut oil, the facts and benefits support its use, especially for medicinal purposes.
Stir a teaspoon of the product into your coffee once a day and watch for the results. If you are suffering from certain bowel irritations, don’t be surprised if things improve.
Questions or comments? Drop me a note here in the comments section.