Oil is a required ingredient for almost any recipe. Whether you are stir-frying vegetables, roasting meat or making dessert, you will most likely need oil. Although we often opt for extra virgin olive oil when cooking healthy meals, there are also other alternatives. Have you ever tried coconut oil? This neutral flavoured oil will give your daily meals a healthy boost and benefit your body. And once you try it, you may never want to go back to conventional oils!
1. Coconut oil has a high smoke point
Cooking oils past their smoke point can have detrimental effects on our health. Not only does it develop a burnt taste, but it will begin to release toxic chemicals, lose much of its health properties such as antioxidants and it will oxidise, creating free radicals. Fortunately, coconut oil has a high smoke point, which makes it a much safer and healthier oil to cook with.
2. Coconut oil quickly converts into energy
Coconut oil contains 90 percent fat which is made up of medium-chained saturated fatty acids. Our bodies actually react differently to medium-chained saturated fatty acids, sending them straight to the liver to be converted and used as a quick source of energy.
3. Coconut oil controls sugar cravings
We all reach that point in the day where we hit the wall and crave something sweet to give us a boost of energy. Coconut oil controls that often powerful sugar craving by preventing our energy stores from dipping too low and replenishing our energy reserves when required.
4. Coconut oil improves digestion
The fatty acids present in coconut oil have antimicrobial properties. These properties are activated inside the body, or more specifically the digestive tract. Once activated, they improve our digestive tract’s microbial balance causing a soothing effect. Consequently, this reduces the probability of digestive problems such as bloating and irritable bowels.
5. Coconut oil assists in weight loss
An oil that helps you lose weight? Yes, it is possible. Coconut oil assists in weight loss in two ways. Firstly, the medium-chained fatty acids increase our body’s energy expenditure thus also boosting our metabolism and accelerating weight loss. Secondly, coconut oil slows the digestion process and prevents blood sugar spikes to protect us against insulin resistance. One study even found that rats who were overfed medium-chained fatty acids gained 20% less weight in comparison to those who were overfed long-chained fatty acids.
If you haven’t tried coconut oil before, hopefully these benefits will motivate you to give it a go. You’ll also notice how nice coconut oil smells when you open the jar each time. But in order to take advantage of all that coconut oil has to offer, remember to go for the organic cold-pressed versions at your closest supermarkets and health food stores!