There was a time when most health experts advised against coconut oil. Too bad, because now we know that it is one of the healthiest and best tasting of any oil on the planet.
In the last issue of Dr’s call, we touched a bit on coconut oil. Often warned against as “bad for you” because of its saturated fat content, coconut oil has many health benefits.
It does not contain omega 3’s like I said. (Thank you to everyone who wrote to me. If you’re looking for an excellent plant source of Omega 3’s, keep your eyes out for my Sacha Inchi oil….it has passed customs in Miami and we will be announcing it’s arrival soon.) But the saturated fat found in coconut oil is a unique fat that helps prevent heart disease, helps to build up the immune system and does not turn into fat in your body. In fact, it helps to speed up your metabolism …helping you to burn fat and increase your energy!
Like mother’s breast milk, coconut oil is one of nature’s richest source of medium chain fatty acids, medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) and lauric acid. When you eat MCTs, you convert them into monoglycerides and medium-chain fatty acids.1 These fats are very different from the fats in vegetable oils. When you eat lauric acid, it boosts you immune system to help the body fight infections and diseases.2 Lauric acid is known to be anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial.
Coconut oil also stabilizes blood sugar levels, which can help people with diabetes and people who are just trying to lose a little weight. It has also been found to help in thyroid disease and in women with symptoms associated with menopause and PMS.
So what kind and how much coconut oil should you use? 3 to 4 tablespoons a day will provide enough lauric acid to build the immune system. Avoid hydrogenated oil as it contains trans-fatty acids and try to find unrefined oil such as virgin coconut oil instead…most oils are refined, bleached and deodorized (RDB) and are processed with chemicals.
For a reliable on-the-go source of coconut oil that also fills you up, gives you extra energy and contains many other beneficial ingredients, I recommend the energy bars that I eat myself when I’m in a hurry, Dr. Mercola’s Cocoa Cassava Bars. They taste great!
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD
1 Bruce Fife, ND, Coconut Oil
2 Brian Shilhavy, Coconut Oil: The Healthiest Oil on Earth