Coconut Oil: Facts and Myths
By Anna Cortesi
Coconut oil has been given various properties but is not fully confirmed by worldwide research.
Although coconut oil has been reported to help lose weight, lower levels of bad (HDL) cholesterol, and promote the proper functioning of the heart, there is nothing to support it.
In contrast, research into the benefits of coconut oil to the skin and hair is extremely encouraging. So let’s look at everything in more detail.
In terms of heart health, coconut oil has not been shown to help. This oil contains stearic acid, but most fat is harmful to our cholesterol. So 60% of the saturated fats in coconut oil are harmful to our body and the rest 40% are neutral. Therefore, it is prudent to avoid such oils and to prefer genuine olive oil (or soybean oil and corn oil).
It has also been reported that coconut oil contains MCTs, which are medium chain triglycerides and are not readily absorbed into our body. There are theories that emphasize the contribution of these substances to boosting metabolism and burning extra calories. However, further research is needed before science can determine this. Until then, the use of coconut oil for weight loss has not proven beneficial.
Regarding skin and hair health, as we have said, the evidence is in favor of coconut oil. In particular, coconut oil has a combination of moisturizing, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant properties. This, as you understand, is extremely beneficial to the skin. More specifically, when using coconut oil for hydration, it may cover some imperfections (such as expression wrinkles). It fights free radicals and can kill bacteria that take refuge in skin pores.
In the hair, coconut oil root massage is very useful. With your fingers, apply a sufficient amount of coconut oil to the scalp and leave for a few minutes. When necessary, rinse with cold water. If you do it often, you will notice a big difference in your hair. Coconut oil will hydrate your hair and your hair will look healthier, shiny and free from broken edges and blur.
Although there are many health claims about coconut oil, to date there is insufficient research to confirm or refute these claims. Until we have more information, consumption of coconut oil should be measured in the context of a healthy diet. In terms of skin and hair health, however, it has already proven to be of great benefit to each of us.
Therefore, it is prudent not to pursue unproven claims and try to incorporate natural, healthy foods into our daily diet. There are alternative foods such as olive oil that have proven beneficial to our health and deserve a privileged place at our table. Until younger, then, let’s focus on using coconut oil on our skin and hair for great results!