We’ve all heard of coconut oil as a miracle-worker from a lot of influencers and health experts. With so many oils out there, this variant stands out, no doubt, as it is multipurpose – it can be used for the skin, the lips, hair, and even with food.
Some even tout it as a superfood because of the many health benefits it offers, including weight loss and intense moisture. But is the hype just an empty noise, is it just an over-hyped product, or is it what it claims to be?
The Buzz around Coconut Oil
Coconut oil belongs to the so-called medium-chain triglycerides, which are shorter than the long-chain ones. Because of their length, the body easily digests them and they go directly to the liver where they become ketones or a source of energy. In short, they don’t become stored fat, which is why a lot of people link weight loss to MCT.
Coconut oil is mostly made of saturated fat, which gives its texture. Throughout the years, coconut oil has been steadily getting the spotlight after the demand for plant-based food just keeps soaring. Celebrity endorsements also helped rake in a lot of curious minds, who hoard bottles of coconut oil from the grocery to stock up in their pantry.
Benefits of Coconut Oil
Before we dig the supposed dirt on coconut oil, it is only fair to lay out some of the benefits that have been proven by studies. The first one is in relation to weight loss – according to a study, fatty acids in coconut oil can help curb the appetite, thereby a person will eat less.
The research gave different amounts of medium- and long-chain triglycerides to six men and those who consumed more MCT consumed lesser calories.
Coconut oil can be used in our body from head to toe, too. A study found that this was useful in moisturizing dry skin and in reducing eczema. Not only that, but another research saw that it is also capable of blocking 20 percent of the harmful rays of the sun. It was also found to have antioxidant elements that make it a good antidepressant, one study done on rodents proved.
What Other Experts Have to Say
Although you’ve probably read good stuff about coconut oil, experts have some precautions and you might want to hear what they have to say. Epidemiologist Karin Michels’ video made the rounds on the internet last year wherein coconut oil was referred to as “poison” because of its saturated fat content.
Dietician Tracy Lockwood Beckerman also expressed the same concern, explaining that it would be laborious for the liver and the pancreas to take on the amount of coconut oil.
Excessive saturated fat is bad for the health, previous studies said. In 2017, the American Heart Association released an advisory, revealing that 72 percent of Americans surveyed see coconut oil as a “healthy food” while only 37 percent of nutritionists deem the same. The discrepancy between them was linked to the marketing stints geared toward popularizing coconut oil.