Coconut oil is a saturated fat so isn’t that bad for me? What fats are good for me?
“I am so confused about what fats are good and what fats are bad for me. My best friend is a huge fan of coconut oil and is trying to get me to use it. She is taking it mostly for weight loss however also uses it instead of any other fat in her diet because she says it’s really healthy for you. How can fats make you lose weight and do you think coconut oil is the best for this?”
Not all fat is created equal!!! Coconut is actually a saturated fat which we have been told to stay clear of, however this saturated fat behaves so differently in the body than all other saturated fats.
Coconut oil is about 85% – 90% saturated fat which is why it is solid at room temperature and has a long shelf life as well it is extremely stable under high heat. Butter is about 60% – 65% and beef fat and lard is about 40% saturated fat. Olive oil is only 15% saturated. So how is it possible that this fat is actually good for us? It’s because of the MCT or MCFA oil it contains. MCFA stands for medium chain fatty acids. Unlike LCFA’s (long chain fatty acids) that you get from liquid oils, dairy and fatty meats, MCT’s are metabolized differently in the body. The statement from health officials that ALL saturated fats are bad for you and can cause heart disease is outdated. Newest studies show that this information is seriously flawed.
- MCFA’s differ from LCFA’s because they are smaller and easily digested putting less strain on your digestive system. LCFA’s require special enzymes in order for the body to utilize them
- MCFA’s are sent directly to your liver where they are immediately converted into energy rather than being stored as fat. LCFA’s are stored in your body as fat and can be deposited in your arteries in the form of cholesterol
- MCFA’s help to stimulate your metabolism leading to weight loss
Also, don’t confuse man-made saturated fats with natural saturated fats. Man-made saturated fats are healthy fats that have been manipulated through a process called hydrogenation. You will see hydrogenated fats or partially hydrogenated fats in the ingredients list of many, many foods. Hydrogenation means that they can take a good healthy fat, add hydrogen atoms to it while heating the oil, producing rancid, thickened oil (thus solid at room temperature). I call it plastic fat. This extends the products shelf life. The medical and scientific communities are now agreeing that hydrogenated (plastic) oils should be avoided. These are also called trans fats and everyone has heard of these. Some cities and states have now banned their use. These are the same fats that we have always known to be healthy and heart friendly for over 60 years until they manipulate them. Trans fats are the true enemy!
What foods contain trans fats?
- Deep fried foods
- Cookies, cakes & pies
- Microwave popcorn
- Breakfast sandwiches
- Frozen pizza
You can get a full list of foods that contain trans fats everywhere on the internet
Cooking with Fats:
In my kitchen, I only use 3 fats. 1. Coconut oil 2. MCT Oil 3. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
I use MCT oil and/or Olive oil with balsamic vinegar for my salad dressings. Never heat the olive oil or MCT oil. They are not stable under heat and will cause oxidative damage. Also, most vegetable oils are GMO. This would include about 90% of the soy, corn and canola oils. Vegetable oils are also very high in omega 6 which creates an imbalance in the ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fats. Excess omega 6 cause a plethora of health issues. The only fat that is stable under heat is coconut oil so don’t use any other fats to cook with.
More Benefits of Adding Coconut Oil to Your Diet:
- Coconut oil stimulates metabolism and burns fat
- Coconut oil is actually amazing at raising the good HDL cholesterol
- Alzheimer’s disease protection
- Provides energy
- Heart healthy
- Brain health
- Skin health
- Immune system support
- Thyroid support