Before I even start this article, I will say up front, this will not be an article talking about Coconut Oil on P2 – I am still on the fence, and as long as that is the case, I don’t feel right about writing something that will be permanent in cyberspace.
I know you all are dying to know, but sorry, just not ready.
This article will be discussing more about the benefits of Coconut Oil on maintenance, which includes both P3 and P4.
Coconut Oil is a saturated fat made up of medium chain fatty acids (this will be important to know later, so keep it in mind).
What does this mean? It means that it is absorbed readily and transported directly to the liver for use as fuel. As a result, coconut oil has been implicated in raising metabolic rate and is not easily stored as excess fat (which in turn can help with weight loss).
Benefits of Coconut Oil include:
- Antimicrobial properties that boost the immune system and helps fight viruses
- Promotes heart health
- Helps with thyroid function
- It has been suggested to help kill cancer cells
- Helps regulate blood sugar
- Recently reported to help with Alzheimer’s disease
- Helps with kidney problems
- Can help control high blood pressure
- Used topically, it is said to prevent wrinkling and be good for dry skin and hair.
I can hear it now .. but it’s a saturated fat! And we all know saturated fat is bad for you.
Oh boy, here we go. ::giggle::
Ok, this article is not going to go into that in detail, I do that in my Good Food Hunting eBook, but for the sake of argument, let’s just say the saturated fat argument doesn’t work with Coconut Oil because most of the saturated fat in the oil is medium-chain fatty acids, which is easier to digest than the more prevalent long-chain fatty acids in most other oils, including butter.
So there. HA!
When using Coconut Oil in your maintenance, it’s important to know that the first 3.5 tbsp is considered a therapeutic dose, and so should not be counted in your calories or ratios. So no fair using Coconut Oil (or MCT Oil) as a way to up your calories or to get your fat ratios closer to 70% (which is my standard for maintenance).
I know, more questions, like, why 3.5 tbsp?
This dose is based on research using Coconut Oil for sickness and disease. It seems that the dosage is based on the amount of lauric acid a nursing human infant receives on daily basis. It is the lauric acid in breast milk that is responsible for much of a babies resistance to sickness. Looking at an infant’s lauric acid intake, they calculated what an adult would need in coconut oil to get an equivalent dosage and 3-4 tablespoons per day is the dosage most health professionals recommend be taken by people who are using the coconut oil therapeutically.
Next question? Why not count them in the calories?
By raising the resting metabolic rate and not being readily stored in our bodies as fat, the Coconut Oil burns off its calories and then some in most of us. Eating Coconut Oil has a net loss for the day. Counting those calories into our total calorie count is not productive as in reality, we experience a net loss. Coconut Oil usually doesn’t get stored in our bodies so it’s a transient calorie, but only up to the therapeutic dose.
Next question? How can I incorporate this in my diet?
My first answer is always Bulletproof® Coffee* (using a mixture of MCT Oil and Coconut Oil).
Second, you can substitute this coconut oil for any of the other oils you currently use. Since this oil is a solid in cooler temps, here is a trick, store it on top of your hot water heater it will always be a liquid for you. Some people use the solid coconut oil as a butter substitute and the liquid oil as a cooking oil. Some, who do not like the strong coconut taste, mix the coconut oil with olive, natural palm oil or butter for cooking. Sometimes they mix it with a nut-butter (like almond or cashews) or a seed-butter (like sunflower seeds, yum) for a spread.
Some just eat it by the tablespoon (I do that with MCT Oil now) and you can also use it as a moisturizer (make sure you measure how much you use).
My new love is Coconut Butter, and I swear I can’t keep enough of it in my house, and OMG, don’t even try putting it on a banana!
And last but not least, you can make:
This recipe is 4 days worth of the therapeutic dose
1 cup coconut oil (liquid form)
4 T cocoa powder/dark chocolate
1.5 tsp vanilla
2 tbs raw sugar, or equivalent in honey (or sub your own artificial sweetener)
Mix everything well, pour into a shallow baking dish lined with plastic wrap or into silicon cupcakes and placed in the freezer until hard. Alternatively you can use a plastic ice cube tray which works very nicely to help you with manageable serving sizes. If using a baking dish, break into pieces, put into a container and keep in your refrigerator or freezer. You may add nuts, like Macadamia nuts but any nuts will do. Play with the recipe and come up with something you like.
Do you have a way of using Coconut Oil that I haven’t shared? Let me know by commenting in the box below.
I would like to thank articshark for her tireless efforts on research that helped me write this article. I would also like to thank EweWho who proofed the article for me and then made the recommendation to follow The Coconut Mama on Facebook. Seems she has a lot of good tips about using coconut.
*Upgraded™ and Bulletproof® are trademarks/service marks of Better Baby LLC