Coconut oil is everywhere these days and lately, in everything. The latest trend is to add it to smoothies and juices; however, there are many uses for this vital ingredient. Coconut oil is extremely beneficial and should be a staple in all families’ kitchens and health routines.
So how is coconut oil good for you? Unlike most oils, it is made up of saturated fats, which means it is digested differently to other saturated fats, meaning it actually helps to lower bad cholesterol levels rather than add to it. Consuming just a little of it at meal times stabilizes blood sugar levels and slows digestion. This helps avoid ‘sugar highs’, which are any mom’s worst nightmare. When paired with fruit and vegetables, which are both relatively high in simple sugars, it helps to stabilize the speed at which those sugars are released into the blood stream. A simple smoothie can now give you longer-lasting energy and keeps you feeling fuller for longer.
According to the Alzheimer’s Society, recent research has suggested that the consumption of coconut oil could be a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, although these findings are not yet conclusive. It’s also anti-bacterial, eases kidney problems and lowers high blood pressure.
But there are other ways of getting the same result without having to drink oil! Chia seeds, spirulina powder and nut milks all have protein, healthy fats and nutrients which control the speed at which the body digests food. This means you can save the oil for more useful things like baking and sautéing vegetables because after all, as healthy as it may be, it’s still an oil.
So where did the trend come from? It all started when top models decided to share their ‘diet secrets,’ such as adding oil to their morning protein shakes. For models, who are on a constant and restrictive food program, coconut oil is beneficial because it allows them to get enough nutrients, calories and fat that are otherwise removed from their diet. But for normal people who eat and cook normal food, it’s just an unnecessary waste of calories.
So don't be fooled into thinking that drinking a coconut oil smoothie after your morning workout is going to help you lose those last few pounds. If it sounds too good to be true, it’s because it is. While coconut oil is not your quick fix, it’s health benefits over time are significant and something the whole family’s diet can benefit from.