What are some of the benefits of coconut oil?


Quick Answer

The use of saturated fats such as coconut oil in the diet is disputed in the health and medical community. According to WebMD, coconut oil raises bad cholesterol levels and should be avoided, along with other tropical oils, to reduce the risk of heart disease. On the other hand, HowStuffWorks.com reports that coconut oil has antibacterial properties when consumed, benefits skin and promotes weight loss.

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Full Answer

Coconut oil is a tropical oil that contains 92 percent saturated fat and no cholesterol. It can be either liquid or solid, depending on the storage temperature. Coconut oil can be heated to much higher temperatures than other oils without being damaged, and it does not go rancid when stored for long periods.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the American Heart Association recommend limiting the consumption of saturated fats, such as coconut oil, to less than 10 percent of calorie intake. Many doctors suggest coconut oil is a better choice than trans fats or butter, but a less healthy choice than unsaturated fats such as canola, vegetable or olive oil.

According to HowStuffWorks.com, the monolaurin in coconut oil is a natural antibiotic and protects against stomach ulcers and some types of bacteria, fungi and viruses. It is also a natural moisturizer and can prevent and treat skin infections and cancer. Medical News Today writes that studies have shown that consuming coconut oil daily can lead to higher good cholesterol, improved insulin response in diabetics, and a loss in weight and waist size.

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