Coconut oil has long been demonized due to its high saturated fat content. Almost 90% of the coconut oil is from saturated fat. Coconut oil is made from the “meat” of matured coconuts. Due to its increased saturated fat content, it can sustain high amounts of heat without being damaged or beginning to oxidize, which makes it an ideal fat to cook with including frying and baking. Despite its high saturated fat content, coconut oil actually has less calories than soybean, cottonseed, and corn oil.
Coconut oil is being considered the ultimate brain food. The medium chain triglycerides (MCT) in coconut oil can be converted into ketones or medium chain fatty acids (MCFA). The MCTs are magnificent fuel for the brain and are able to bypass the glucose metabolic pathway allowing them to not be altered further. These MCTs are then able to stop erratic brain transmissions that lead to seizures, improve memory, increases motor function, and stock the brain with the supplies to build and repair brain tissue. Ketones have been shown to reduce the brain’s need for oxygen, which can prevent it from injury due to lack of oxygen caused by physical trauma or stroke.
MCFAs add additional energy use to the brain, and unlike long chain fatty acids, MCFAs can pass through the blood brain barrier. (This allows immediate access to the brain) Although MCFAs are less desirable than ketones to fuel the brain, they still are preferred over glucose. The MCFAs are not only energy producing, but also contain antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antitoxic properties which all prevents and heals the brain and body. MCFAs may be less preferable to fuel the brain than ketones, but they do have the capability of killing diseases with their antimicrobial properties.
Coconut oil has the highest amount of MCTs and MCFAs. The other major source of MCTs and MCFAs is found in breast milk. One reason why breast feeding a baby is important is because it allows all the MCTs and MCFAs into the body which aids in fighting infection in newborn babies. Just as these MCTs help fight infection in them, they help fight infection in adults and the elderly. These fats have been shown in clinical studies to aid in the prevention and progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Preliminary studies have linked diabetes and insulin resistance to leading to Alzheimer’s disease. Coconut oil along with other types of fats slows digestion. With decreased digestion rate, carbohydrates ingested will be released into the bloodstream slower. This will allow those who have issues with insulin, including those diagnosed with diabetes to improve and have a better ability to control blood sugar levels.
To aid in your health, EAT MORE COCONUT OIL!
Enig, Mary, Ph.D. “Know Your Fats.” 2000. Maryland. Bethesda Press.
Fife, Bruce, N.D. “Stop Alzheimer’s Now!” 2011. Colorado. Piccadilly Books. Ltd.