Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re one of many millions and millions of people who have been brought up to believe that saturated fat is bad for human health, period.
“It’ll clog your arteries and give you heart disease.” That’s probably what you’ve heard, right? Well, the truth is, in order to understand whether or not that statement is really true, you need a deeper understanding of what saturated fat really is and is it all “created” equal?
Take coconut oil for example. For many years it was vilified by just about anyone for being insanely high in saturated fats (which is true, the fat in coconut oil is about 90% saturated) and damaging for our health. But there is one key point we need to understand when differentiating between fats found in coconut oil, or say, a cheeseburger, and that is that the saturated fats in coconut oil, and the saturated fats in things like burgers and steaks etc are simply not one and the same thing. They must not be treated as such!
To understand why the saturated fat in coconut oil is good for you, but the stuff in burgers is not, we’ll be looking at two areas: 1) Medium & Long-chain triglycerides and 2) Lauric acid. We’ll start with the former.
Medium & Long Chain Triglycerides
Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) and long-chain triglycerides (LCTs, and both also known as fatty acids) are two very different things.
Long-chain fatty acids are found in most common every day cooking oils and in the undesirable “dead” foods commonly found in the standard American diet, some of which have already been mentioned here.
The reason this is important is because long-chain fatty acids are not good for you at all.
- They’re incredibly difficult for your body to break down.
- They put strain on the liver, pancreas and indeed the entire digestive system.
- They’re also stored in the body as fat, and get deposited in our arteries in lipid forms.
Or in other words, the kind of stuff you’ve heard from the mainstream media about “saturated fats”. But here’s the good bit: Coconut oil contains none of these LCTs. The triglycerides found in coconut oil are all medium-chain, which are
- easily absorbed and permeated through cell membranes
- don’t strain our organs
- sent directly to the liver, where rather than being stored as fat (like LCTs) they’re instead converted into usable energy.
Oh and let’s not forget that MCTs increase stimulation of the body’s metabolism, which means eating coconut oil will help you to lose weight, not gain it.
People have occasionally commented when looking at some of our raw food desserts at Atsumi Raw Cafe, claiming they wouldn’t want to eat them for fear of putting on weight due to the amount of fat content in the desserts such as coconut oil and avocado. Of course, that is not what would happen in reality, as the fats in these foods contain MCTs not LCTs and it’s all down to the difference between the two.
The second area that I’m looking at today in this blog, is lauric acid: Coconut’s secret ingredient! A substance which is rarely found in nature, and is considered by some to be a “miracle” ingredient.
Why? Well, because when consumed, lauric acid is converted by the body into something called monolaurin, which is a mono-glyceride which can
- destroy viruses such as HIV, herpes, influenza
- and is an extremely powerful anti-viral and anti-bacterial substance.
As mentioned already, it’s hard to find lauric acid in nature as there aren’t many foods out there which contain it, so it’s not easy for the body to get monolaurin. The good news? Coconut oil has the highest amount of lauric acid of anything else on Earth (that we know of)!
The bottom line
Coconut oil is great for you, and in truth I haven’t even begun to touch the surface on it’s full range of benefits.
Coconut oil also
- helps fight diabetes because it does not create an insulin spike in the blood stream, as it acts instead like a carbohydrate.
- And it additionally has well-known benefits for the skin, hair and cardiovascular function.
- Plus more which I’ve no doubt forgotten.
We use virgin coconut oil in all of our desserts here at Raw Cafe and is a great addition to smoothies and shakes.
And if you still wish to cook food from time to time (perfectly acceptable!), then coconut oil is a superb substitution for the vegetable oils and peanut oils which will all contain LCTs and be doing your body no good at all.
Also, cooking with coconut oil tastes much, much better than any other oil I’ve tried – so give it a go.
Don’t forget: Always buy Organic Virgin Coconut Oil. If you can’t afford to buy organic, at least make sure it is Virgin.
Thanks for reading. 🙂 www.atsumirawcafe.com