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Coconut Oil: Proven Benefits, Myths And How To Use

Coconut Oil: Proven Benefits, Myths And How To Use

If you’re reading this article, chances are that you might have heard one or two wonderful things about coconut oil but would like to get a better understanding of the oil before actually getting down to using it. Coconut oil is indeed classified as one of the world’s “superfoods” because of its highly respectable healing properties and benefits for our wellbeing.

And here’s why you shouldn’t stop exploring other powerful benefits of this “superfood”:

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Proven Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

Studies have shown that coconut oil can kill harmful bacteria as its content makeup is 50% Lauric Acid, which is used medically for viral infections. This substance has also been proven to kill the bacteria Staphylococcus Aureus, which is a very dangerous pathogen.

Surprisingly, coconut oil can also be used as an effective hunger suppressant due to its high fatty acid content. Fatty acids such as the medium chain triglycerides (MCT) have an appetite-reducing effect. In one study, men who were given more MCTs ate 256 fewer calories than men who weren’t give as much. Although this study was conducted over a short period of time, increasing MCTs in your diet may be a long-term solution to weight loss.

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Another one of the benefits of coconut oil is that it can also lower cholesterol as saturated fats helps increase good cholesterol (high density lipoprotein) while reducing bad cholesterol (low density lipoprotein). In one study, regular consumption of coconut oil in 40 women led to better cholesterol levels as compared to soybean oil.

Myths About Coconut Oil

As with many wonder foods out there, the internet is filled with claims that are scientifically backed up and those which are simply trumped up.

Due to the thick and solidified state of coconut oil, caused by its low solidifying point of 24 degrees celsius, there are many misconceptions of coconut oil being thick and difficult to be absorbed by the body. But little do people know that coconut oil is actually a very thin liquid and it is not greasy or sticky, hence it is very easily absorbed by the body and favoured to be used as a tanning or massage oil.

Many people avoid coconut oil mainly because of its high saturated fat content. As a result, they form the misconception that it will lead to obesity and heart diseases. In fact the opposite is true, as the saturated fats in coconut oil actually help to increase the body’s metabolism, thereby leading to higher energy consumption and faster fat burning.

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Potential Risks of Using Coconut Oil

Due to the lack of extensive studies on the effects coconut oil has on cholesterol, the American Heart Association has maintained that we should limit our intake of all saturated fats, despite whether or not coconut oil contains MCTs.

However, all health institutions agree that the benefits of coconut oil make it a better alternative to using trans fat oil and commercial vegetable oils that are processed.

DIY-spa-week-coconut-oil-beauty-recipes

    How to Use Coconut Oil

    Coconut oil can be used for many ailments and skin issues. Its deep skin penetrating properties act as an extremely effective skin moisturiser which is perfect for dull or dry skin. Simply applying pure coconut oil to the skin and leaving it on overnight can be very beneficial for the skin, as reported by many users.

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    Coconut oil is also a good hair conditioner known to strengthen hair and give a healthy shine. Applying coconut oil to your roots can also prevent lice and dandruff as it has anti-microbial properties.

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      The Difference Between Pure Coconut Oil and Refined Coconut Oil

      Refined coconut oil is oil that has been bleached and deodorised and is usually extracted from dried coconut meat. The deodorising process takes away the oil’s distinctive odour and flavour. Most refined coconut oils are hydrogenated and may contain trans-fats which raise the bad cholesterol levels in our body.

      Pure coconut oil, sometimes referred to as virgin coconut oil, is oil that is extracted from fresh coconut meat. Pure coconut oil is not hydrogenated and has not been bleached or deodorised, thus retaining its natural flavours and odour.

      Where to Buy Coconut Oil

      Coconut oil can be purchased at your local supermarket. The oil should be clear and consumers should note not to by virgin coconut oil if there are impurities or if it is cloudy. One can also buy coconut oil online these days at online supplement stores or online specialty grocery stores.

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      Last Updated on September 18, 2020

      7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

      7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

      Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

      Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

      1. Exercise Daily

      It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

      If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

      Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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      If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

      2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

      Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

      One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

      This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

      3. Acknowledge Your Limits

      Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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      Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

      Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

      4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

      Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

      The basic nutritional advice includes:

      • Eat unprocessed foods
      • Eat more veggies
      • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
      • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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      Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

        5. Watch Out for Travel

        Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

        This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

        If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

        6. Start Slow

        Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

        If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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        7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

        Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

        My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

        If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

        I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

        Final Thoughts

        Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

        Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

        More Tips on Getting in Shape

        Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

        Reference

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