Coconut oil: an aid in the diet

Published : 08/23/2019 09:37:24
Categories : RECIPES

coconut oil forlive benefits

Let's discover the benefits of coconut oil, and in particular how this fat can be inserted without problems into our diet.
Strengthens hair, whitens teeth and removes plaque, burns fat, reduces stress, strengthens the immune system, protects the stomach and the heart.

What is coconut oil

Will it do well? Can you replace olive oil? Can it be used during cooking?

These and others are the doubts about foods not well known in the Mediterranean diet.

Today we hear a lot about coconut oil and its properties, both in the nutritional and cosmetic fields. It is an oil that is very resistant to oxidation and polymerization, it is therefore very stable and can be used in the kitchen without the risk of the formation of carcinogens.

Oil or butter are similar terms because the low melting temperature makes this "oil" solid above 24 ° C and liquid below this temperature, so depending on the season, in summer it we find it in the form of oil and in winter like butter.

Saturated fatty acids (SFA) and medium chain saturated fatty acids (MCFA)

Fatty acids can be unsaturated or saturated. An excess of the latter in nutrition is usually associated with an increased cardiovascular risk.
In fact, if in excess they in fact cause a stiffening of the vascular walls, with a reduction of their elasticity, thus favoring hypertension and the formation of atheromatous plaques, with a consequent increase in cardiovascular risk.

A diet with excesses of SFA has also been linked to an increase in LDL cholesterol ("bad" cholesterol). SFA can be long or short chain.

Long-chain ones are responsible for the harmful effects mentioned above, unlike those with a short chain, which, on the contrary, seem to have beneficial effects on our health. In fact, MCFAs have a different route of absorption than SFA: being smaller in size they can be transported through the portal circle, where they bind to albumin and are deposited directly in the liver. Here they are immediately oxidized and used to produce energy.

This mechanism seems to be very important in increasing metabolic flexibility. Very often, in fact, we observe a blockage of the metabolism and the difficulty in losing weight, despite following a correct diet. This may be due to our body's inability to use fats as an energy substrate, to mobilize them from adipose tissue and consequently to promote weight loss.

The use of these MCFAs would seem to stimulate the metabolic pathways responsible for the oxidation of fats and therefore would help in improving the metabolic flexibility of the organism.

MCFA and coconut oil

Coconut oil has long been demonized due to its high SFA content. However, it has recently been seen that specifically, it contains a high amount of MCFA, including lauric acid (it makes up about 50% of it and is found in abundance also in breast milk).

It is important to emphasize and differentiate coconut oil, from virgin coconut oil. The refining processes that lead to coconut oil mean that part of the MCFA is lost.

These processes are not carried out to obtain virgin coconut oil, which therefore has a higher concentration of MCFA, and is therefore preferable to coconut oil.

Consume or not coconut oil?

A tablespoon of coconut oil contains 12g of saturated fat, more than the much-talked about palm oil or common butter, but palm oil is rich in palmitic acid (C16: 0, 41%), associated with strong body inflammation and cardiovascular damage, coconut oil contains very little palmitic acid (only 8%) in favor of a high presence of "good" medium-chain fatty acids: we can therefore consider the oil of more healthy coconut oil than palm oil.

Once again, the truth is in the middle. We certainly cannot think of replacing it with olive oil, whose protective effects on the cardiovascular level have long been known in the literature. Certainly, however, it can be used in a balanced diet for its more or less relevant content of MCFA.

Furthermore, it is not an excellent alternative for frying. Its smoke point is in fact 175 °, lower than olive oil (190 °) or 230 ° peanut or corn oil.

(From: )

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