Here's why you should add coconut oil to your diet
Coconut oil is a staple in South Indian cooking and has found fame in various diets across the world. There are different types of coconut oils—like virgin coconut oil, refined coconut oil, and deodorized oil—and each of them has its own use. Coconut oil is edible and can also be applied topically. Here are a few benefits of adding coconut oil to your diet.
Notably, 50% of the fatty acids in coconut oil is lauric acid. When lauric acid is digested by the body, it forms a compound called monolaurin. Together, both lauric acid and monolaurin are proven to kill harmful pathogens like bacteria and fungi. Studies show that both these compounds help fight against the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus and fungi Candida albicans, which cause infections in humans.
Weight gain takes place when we consume more calories than what is required to fuel energy in us. Studies show that consuming foods cooked in coconut oil can give an increased feeling of fullness in comparison to low-fat meals. This indirectly links coconut oil to weight loss. However, it should not be overdone, as a high intake can lead to nausea and loose stools.
Virgin coconut oil is found to exhibit higher levels of brain antioxidants. While there are no direct studies to prove this in healthy humans, a study conducted on rodents found that virgin coconut oil reduces induced stress. Researchers also believe that virgin coconut oil can be useful in treating several kinds of depression, however, such studies are still in a nascent stage.
LDL cholesterol causes fat to build-up in the arteries and raises the risk of cardiovascular disease. The medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) present in coconut oil raise the levels of protective HDL cholesterol, promotes insulin sensitivity, and are great for the heart. A study shows that following a diet program that includes coconut oil raises levels of gppd, HDL cholesterol in people with coronary artery disease.