Q:

What are some of the benefits of coconut oil?

A:

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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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are nine ways to eat coconut oil?

    A:

    The simplest way to consume coconut oil is to eat a spoonful once a day. Coconut oil is also used in a multitude of recipes, often as a replacement for butter. Swanson Vitamins provides a list of user-generated recipes on its website.

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  • Q:

    What are the health benefits and uses of coconut oil?

    A:

    According to WebMD, coconut oil has been used to treat diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's disease, thyroid conditions and chronic fatigue. Additionally, coconut oil is used topically to moisturize the skin and treat skin conditions such as psoriasis. However, WebMD asserts that not all of these potential treatments have proven to be effective.

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  • Q:

    Is coconut water good for you?

    A:

    According to WebMD, natural coconut water is a good choice for staying hydrated and adding more potassium to a healthy diet. It is a good substitute for most sports drinks and fruit juices because of its high potassium and low caloric, sugar and sodium content. However, regarding the claims that coconut water is good for healing certain diseases, these are not well-supported by scientific research.

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  • Q:

    Is coconut oil bad for you?

    A:

    While coconut oil is not particularly bad for human health and is superior from a health standpoint when compared to butter and trans-fat oils, it is not as good as liquid vegetable oils, according to WebMD. One tablespoon of coconut oil contains 12 grams of saturated fat and 117 calories.

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