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Five Reasons Why You Should Use Coconut Oil

Update Date: Aug 26, 2014 04:19 PM EDT

Over the recent years, coconut oil has started to receive a lot more attention for being a healthy ingredient. However, not much was known about this kind of oil except that it contains a high saturated fat content at 90 percent. Despite the high levels, not all saturated fats led to increased cholesterol levels and risk of heart disease. When consumed in moderation, coconut oil can be healthy.

Here are five reasons why you should use coconut oil:

1. Source of Energy

Coconut oil contains saturated fats with lauric acid, which is a medium-chain fatty acid. Thee types of fatty acids work differently from the long-chain fatty acids. They are processed by the liver, which converts them directly into energy. Several studies have suggested that medium-chain fatty acid, when consumed in moderation, can help with weight loss.

2. Cholesterol Booster

When used as a replacement to other oils containing saturated or trans-fats, coconut oil has a neutral effect on cholesterol levels. It can boost levels of "good" cholesterol known as high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. However, the lauric acid in coconut oil can also increase low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, otherwise known as "bad" cholesterol.

3. Antimicrobial and Antioxidant Source

Based on some studies done on coconut oil, researchers have found that coconut oil contains compounds that are linked to preventing or fighting some viral, bacterial and fungal infections. Some of these infections include the flu, bronchitis and acne. Furthermore, unrefined or virgin coconut oil contains phenolic compounds, which contain antioxidant-like properties.

4. Easy to Cook With

Coconut oil, which is a solid oil that is similar in texture to lard or butter, is easy to use in dishes. It has a mild taste that will not overpower the other flavors in a dish. The oil is also fairly heat stable and can be used well in baking and cooking medium-heat foods.

5. Skincare Solution

Aside from being used in the kitchen, coconut oil can also become a staple in people's bathroom. Due to the richness of the oil, it can act as a great make-up remover as well as a skin moisturizer, particularly in the wintertime.

People who want a change in their diets could benefit from adding coconut oil. However, moderation is key when using such a fatty ingredient.

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