Tropical coconut oil has received a lot of health spotlight in recent years. But is it deserved? There is no escaping the coconut oil craze. People use it for cooking. You cook with it. They pour it into their coffee and spread it on their toast. They even put it on their hair and skin and more. It seems like there’s nothing coconut oil can’t do!
But just because ketosis enthusiasts embrace this oil doesn’t necessarily mean it’s healthier than others. One thing to consider when eating or cooking with coconut oil is the saturated fat content. Like other solid fats at room temperature, coconut oil is high in saturated fats, which most nutritionists should limit. Research shows that the vast majority, 90%, of the fats in coconut oil are saturated.
Although how bad saturated fat actually is for your health has been debated, a systematic review of 16 clinical studies published in 2020 concluded that coconut oil may increase levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. cholesterol) which is higher than non-tropical vegetable oils. So while it may increase heart-protective cholesterol like HDL, it also increases LDL cholesterol, which is linked to the risk of heart disease.
For this reason, it is necessary to limit saturated fat consumption to 13 grams per day. A tablespoon of coconut oil contains about 11 grams of saturated fat. It’s very easy to reach or exceed that limit when using coconut oil in excess. It also leaves little room for other sources of saturated fat in your diet.
Remember, when consuming coconut oil, it should be one of several oils in your diet. You don’t have to put it everywhere (it packs 121 calories per tablespoon, which is about the same as other oils). Just take it in a rotation between extra virgin olive oil, peanut oil and grapeseed oil.
But coconut oil has so many other benefits that even if you consume it in moderation, a glass may not last long! Check out these ways to use coconut oil from head to toe.
1. A natural treatment to relieve eczema
2. Acne Treatment
Along with the many other benefits of coconut oil’s antifungal and antimicrobial properties, early research suggests it may be a reasonable option for patients with mild to moderate skin infections, particularly acne vulgaris caused by P.acnes. While coconut oil, like all others, is comedogenic, meaning it can clog pores, research has also shown that it has anti-inflammatory properties, can protect skin from the sun’s rays and UV rays, and can improve the skin’s natural barrier against environmental damage. If you have sensitive skin or are prone to acne, consult a dermatologist before trying it.
3. As a moisturizer
Coconut oil glows when applied to the skin. Coconut oil can be a great natural moisturizer that doesn’t contain added fragrances or other ingredients that can cause irritation. Research has shown that applying coconut oil to the skin twice a day significantly improves skin hydration and is just as safe as other oils. You can use coconut oil to soothe irritation and inflammation and reduce the risk of bacterial infections. When you get out of the shower, warm some in your hands and apply to your legs, the back of your arms, or any rough, dry area.
4. For better oral health
A technique called “oil pulling” (which consists of swirling oil in the mouth) is often performed with olive oil. This can benefit people with gum or plaque problems. You can also try coconut oil. There is reason to believe that coconut oil would likely benefit the oral microbiome and oral health in general. The benefits may be due to lauric acid in coconut oil, which has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that may help prevent tooth decay, according to a 2017 review in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medical.
5. To prevent athlete’s foot
The same antifungal components in coconut oil, specifically lauric acid and caprylic acid, may help prevent other fungal infections, including athlete’s foot. Preliminary research has found encouraging antifungal activity for these compounds, but more research is needed to determine how safe and effective they may be in humans. If you exercise a lot and are afraid of athlete’s foot, smear your feet with coconut oil before bed (cover with socks as the oil can be greasy). As a bonus, since heels are prone to dry, cracked skin, coconut oil moisturizes feet. Remember that the best way to fight yeast infections in the gym is to wear shoes or slippers when you shower and dry your skin well before putting on your socks and shoes.
6. Hair treatment
Applied before or after washing, coconut oil may help reduce the risk of damage from combing your hair, a study has found. In a study of three oils, coconut oil was the only one that reduced protein loss from damaged or undamaged hair when used before and after shampooing. One possible explanation: the lauric acid in coconut oil easily penetrates hair proteins to protect your hair. Use oil sparingly or you risk looking oily (even if your mane is well moisturized).
Recent research also suggests that coconut oil may help fight dandruff. A 2021 study published in Scientific Reports found that coconut oil may help improve the health of the scalp’s microbiome (possibly due to its antifungal and antimicrobial properties). After treatment with coconut oil, the scalps of women prone to dandruff showed an increase in microbes that were negatively correlated with dandruff. More research is needed, but an occasional hair mask with coconut oil probably won’t hurt.
* Presse Santé strives to convey health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE can the information given replace the advice of a doctor.
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