Megan Johnson McCullough– A look at pros & cons –Coconut oil has certainly made its debut lately on our grocery shelves, in recipes, and it’s all over the health trends we see. It has even become a type of water to have. The key to considering this oil healthy lies in the way our body processes it.
Let’s cover the groundwork. Coconut oil is made by pressing the fat from the white part called “meat” inside the huge nut. It is solid at room temperature, which gives it a long shelf life similar to other oils. It can also withstand being cooked at high temperatures. However, about 84% of its calories come from saturated fat whereas 14% of olive oil’s calories are from saturated fat and 63% of butters are.). The difference is that coconut oil fat is made up of triglycerides that our bodies handle differently than those found in traditional vegetable oils.
When following the dietary standards, we are to consume no more than 13 grams of saturated fat per day. That’s the amount of 1 tablespoon of coconut oil.
Like most elements of life, there are pros and cons to the consumption of this oil. For example, fans of coconut oil point out studies that suggest the MCT-saturated fat in coconut can boost your HDL or “good” cholesterol. This claim makes it less bad for your heart health than the more popular saturated fat from animal-based foods like cheese and steak or the many other products containing trans fats.
The counter argument would be that it also raises your LDL or the “bad” cholesterol.
A quick lesson on cholesterol:
- LDL — helps form plaque that blocks your arteries
- HDL — helps remove LDL
So all in all, we want to get our fat from sources like nuts and avocado, not necessarily oils. Personally, I use PAM cooking spray which does have zero everything on the nutritional panel. However, I realize that means there is artificial galore in the ingredients. Here again brings up the point of pros and cons to the elements of life.
Coconut oil is also great for topical skin purposes. It can help alleviate dry skin and add moisture. Some argue they don’t like the greasy texture.
Nutrition is a key component of our fitness and health journeys and the more informed we are, the better choices we can make. When I hear a trend, I research to help every BODY. Fuel your BODY how you want it to operate and let the journey be a learning experience along the way.
Every BODY’s Fit www.everybodysfitoceanside.com