What is it about coconut oil that has made it so popular?
Pure virgin coconut oil contains about 92 % saturated fat. Most saturated fat is found in animal products and contains cholesterol but coconut oil, a vegetable source of saturated fat, is cholesterol-free.
It contains short chain and medium chain saturated fatty acids also non as short chain triglyceride (SCT) and medium chain triglycerides (MCTs).
Approximately 50% of coconut oil is Lauric acid (a type of MCT). Lauric acid is converted in the body to monolaurin, which acts as antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal. However, it only has such effect on pathogenic microorganisms helping support a healthy gut flora. A healthy gut flora supports immunity.
MCT’s also have fewer calories (8.3 calories per gram) compared to long chain triglycerides (9 calories per gram), which means they are more rapidly absorbed by the body and more quickly metabolized in the liver being immediately converted into energy.
This process reduces the amount of fat we pack into storage and improves insulin resistance; therefore, coconut oil is suitable to be used for people with diabetes and may also be used in moderation for people trying to lose weight.
Saturated fats are also more stable to heat hence a better option to cook with.
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