For the past few years now, the crazy claims of the magical benefits of coconut oil have been seen everywhere from local TV to social media. We’ve been flooded with shows and posts about coconut oil helping with everything from weight loss to teeth whitening. But are these claims really legit? Is there any science behind it? Well, not as much as we would like to believe. There are good reasons to believe that coconut oil isn’t as beneficial as more would think.
This tropical nut oil can actually be the cause of some pretty bad things from slowing hair growth to weight gain, and even heart disease. It’s a scary thought that something so natural can do harm to our bodies, but certain things just aren’t meant to be taken in such a concentrated form. Let’s find out more about it.
1.) Coconut Oil is Pretty Much Liquid Fat
It is true that we do need a certain amount of fat in our diets to help with many processes that go on in the body. Fat is needed for brain function, muscle growth, hormonal processes and much more. Though coconut oil can help to provide that nutrient to us, it contains no number of vitamins, minerals, or fiber.
Basically, what you are consuming is liquid fat with no added nutrients. This would be helpful if you needed to up your caloric intake a bit, otherwise, you’re just intaking empty calories which is of no benefit.
If you need more fat in your diet, try and get if from other sources that will also provide you with other nutrients as well such as Avocados which contain healthy fats, fiber, and plenty of vitamins and minerals as well. There are other weight loss supplements that contain healthier fat than coconut oil.
2.) Coconut Oil Can Increase Your Risk of Coronary Artery Disease
Coconut oil contains 14 grams of fat per 1 tablespoon. That’s the recommended serving size. 12 of those fat grams are saturated fats. These types of fats can and will raise the bad cholesterol in your blood that can lead to heart disease when eaten regularly an in abundance.
According to a study from Harvard Health, people who had a higher intake of common saturated fats, had an increased risk of CAD by as much as 18 percent. These types of saturated fats are also found in foods such as butter, fatty meats like bacon, beef fat, processed meats, and palm oil among other foods.
Due to all the latest coconut oil hype, many people have increased their intake of coconut oil over the years by adding it to everything from their coffee to their smoothies, but this might not be the brightest idea after all.
3.) Coconut Oil Can Cause Weight Gain
Typically, people eat a certain number of calories per day to maintain their weight. Adding coconut oil to the diet can increase those calories tremendously and cause the scales to tip in the wrong direction over time.
Coconut oil contains 117 calories for just one little tablespoonful. By adding it to your smoothies, your coffee, your recipes, and more, you can easily go over your calorie budget.
Weight loss is a simple equation: In order to lose weight, you must burn off more calories than you consume, placing your body in a caloric deficit.
Adding coconut oil to your diet will do nothing for weight loss, unless you take away calories from another source such as your daily serving of milk or eggs, or by adding exercise to burn off the extra calorie consumption. Otherwise, it’s not going to magically make fat melt off as some articles and shows out there have promised us all.
4.) It’s Not So Great for Your Hair Either
People have been told that coconut oil can do everything from fix damaged hair to cure baldness, but it might not be the answer you are looking for.
If you have thick, coarse hair, coconut oil can actually cause it to become stiffer due to protein build up, this can be a good thing if your hair is fine or thin, otherwise it can cause breakage due to build up and a reduction in the hairs elasticity.
Coconut oil also creates a barrier between water and your scalp, and if you don’t wash your head thoroughly, it can cause blockage from build-up in the hair follicles where they will not receive any moisture or oxygen, this can prevent hair growth so if you are going to use it in your hair, it’s best to keep it away from the scalp.
Coconut oil can also make your hair look greasy and unwashed as any oil might do. Coconut oil is very heavy and penetrating due to its small molecular structure so if you decide to give it a try, use it very sparingly, otherwise you might get some funny looks from people.
5.) Coconut Oil Can Take a Toll on Your Skin
Coconut oil actually has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that can benefit the skin according to the Natural Medicine Journal and a few studies that are available online. These properties can help with certain skin infections. However, placing coconut oil on your skin can also clog the pores and cause acne outbreaks for many people, even those who are not typically prone to acne.
Coconut oil ranks high on the Comedogenicity ratings list. What does this mean? Well the list rates how comedogenic (pore clogging) all oils are from a scale of 0 to 5, with 5 being the most comedogenic and zero causing no clogging at all. Though not all of the lists are the same, coconut oil frequently rates at a number 4 on most of these lists and that’s bad news for your clear face.
When the pores become clogged with dirt or oil, this can cause bacteria to thrive which leads to blackheads, white heads and even cystic-type acne on the skin, so be sure and chose an oil that has a “0” ranking on the scale if you want to keep your skin clear of acne.
Though coconut oil isn’t some lethal parasite that wreaks havoc on your body, it’s best to take it and use it in small amounts and infrequently as it’s not the miraculous substance that it’s been made out to be lately. Like with many things, moderation is key. The same rules apply to taking vitamins. Take what is necessary to avoid wasting money with multivitamins.
You don’t have to take huge amounts of a certain food to improve your health, you can keep yourself healthy with daily exercise, a variety of healthy, whole foods, quality sleep, and clean water.
On a lighter note, I’ll leave you with my favourite coconut song. Sing along now!