Looking for a tasty “superfood” to bump up your healthy diet? Coconut oil is surely the Swiss Army knife of superfoods with its unique combination of medium chain fatty acids that provide a myriad of positive health benefits. These fatty acids are metabolized different than saturated fats found in steak or cheese. Melt over hot cooked grains, cereals and veggies. Use organic refined coconut oil for sautéing, stir-frying and baking. If you prefer a stronger coconut flavor, try virgin or extra-virgin, but remember, it can burn more quickly, making it better for medium to low-heat cooking. Here are four reasons to toss a jar of coconut oil into your grocery basket.
- Heart Disease: For instance, in the South Pacific native people eat 60% of their calories from coconuts and are the biggest consumers of saturated fat in the world. However, this population is in excellent health, with no evidence of heart disease!
- Obesity: Although it’s commonly thought that obesity is only a matter of calories, the source of these calories is important as well. The medium-chain triglycerides in coconut oil have been shown to increase 24-hour energy expenditure by as much as 5%, potentially leading to significant weight loss over the long term.
- Appetite Suppression: That’s right, the fatty acids in coconut oil can significantly reduce your ferocious appetite, which in turn can help weight management.
- Cholesterol: Studies in both humans and rats show that coconut oil improves important risk factors like total, LDL and HDL cholesterol. The good news is this may translate to a reduced risk of heart disease.