In the industrialized nations of Western Europe and America, coconut oil is often considered unhealthy. The reason given is the high content of saturated fatty acids and the associated increase in cholesterol levels.
HDL cholesterol levels can increase
In fact, coconut oil can help raise cholesterol levels, but it predominantly raises HDL cholesterol. Not only is this form of cholesterol believed to be harmless to the heart, it actually improves its protection.
Coconut Oil and Calories
It is true that fat supplies more calories than other food components. However, since coconut oil has a high proportion of medium-chain fatty acids, it supplies the body with fewer calories than oils with predominantly long-chain fatty acids.
The fatty acids in coconut oil stimulate the body to generate heat. This increases energy consumption and some of the calories in coconut oil are burned before they can be stored as fat in the body. In this way, coconut oil can even support weight loss when used in reasonable amounts.
Coconut fat and protection against infections
Fat not only provides the body with energy. Depending on the fatty acids it contains, it has specific health properties. Lauric acid, for example, which is the most important component in coconut oil, has an antimicrobial effect and thus against pathogens (bacteria and fungi) – especially of course when used externally, when the oil can be applied in concentrated form.
The use of coconut oil in the kitchen
Coconut fat (= coconut oil) can be used in a variety of ways in the kitchen. In addition, it has above-average durability and is extremely heat-resistant.
Most other vegetable fats can be damaged by light, oxygen, and most importantly, intense heat. Substances that are hazardous to health can form in the event of overheating. Coconut fat, on the other hand, remains qualitatively unchanged even after prolonged storage – even under sub-optimal conditions.
Due to its excellent heat resistance, it can also be used for cooking, baking, and deep-frying. Coconut milk, on the other hand, is a good alternative to milk and cream in some cases, e.g. B. for sauces or desserts.
Coconut fat in body care
The cosmetics industry already uses coconut oil or other coconut products in numerous products. They are used in soaps, shower baths, and hair shampoos as well as in skin care products such as hand and skin creams and body lotions.
Due to the excellent care properties of the coconut, it is also very popular for natural cosmetic products.
Coconut fat has the advantage of having only a few unsaturated fatty acids (which – as explained above – increases the shelf life) and penetrates the skin and hair very quickly. It provides effective and long-lasting protection against moisture loss and is particularly suitable for people with dry skin.
Natural and therefore high-quality organic coconut fat is certainly not harmful to health. Only partially hydrogenated coconut fats contain potentially harmful trans fats. By looking at the label of the goods, it is easy to avoid buying coconut products that have been processed in this way, since the law stipulates that partial softening must be indicated on the label of the goods.
Particularly high-quality organic coconut oil contains a high proportion of lauric acid and is easily digestible. Another reason for using organic coconut oil is its pleasant taste, which is popular with many people.
Although the positive properties of organic coconut oil outweigh it, it should not be used as the only oil in the kitchen. Because it contains few of the essential fatty acids required by the human body, it is important that coconut oil is used in cooking alternately with other high-quality organic oils.