Friday, September 19, 2008

Avocado and Coconut Oils - Super Oils for Health

Looking for good oils to improve health? Oil from avocado and coconut alike are extremely beneficial to consume. Eating whole avocados and using unrefined, extra virgin coconut oil for cooking needs are two great ways to get essential fatty acids necessary to maintain health.

Avocados contain a superior oil that is comprised of about 70 per cent monounsaturated fats. This oil is one of the most plentiful sources of beta-sitosterol -- clinically proven to reduce levels of unhealthy cholesterol. Avocados also contain lutein -- a nutrient that protects against cataracts. This delicious fruit is a a good source of Vitamin E and the mineral potassium, which helps maintain optimal blood pressure levels and protects against circulatory diseases. Eating avocados provides the correct type of Omega 6s - something we receive too much of in other forms from processed foods in the Western diet.

Although coconut oil falls into the category of saturated fat, this is the type of saturated fat which is actually healthy to consume. Too much saturated fat increases risk of health problems such as heart disease because it raises levels of unhealthy cholesterol. The difference between the saturated fat in coconut oil and that in processed foods such as desserts and breads is that it exists in an alternate chemical form and is processed easier and and sent directly to your liver to be converted to energy.

Approximately two-thirds of coconut oil consists of Medium Chain Triglycerides. These MCTs are comprised of lauric acid, capric acid, and caprylic acid. These essential fatty acids and their corresponding monoglycerides are powerful antimicrobial agents and are effective against a wide range of pathologic bacteria, viruses, fungi, and yeasts.

Research has shown that the type of fat found in coconut oil speeds up metabolic function, and therefore is a calorie burner. As long as you eat the correct types of saturated fats in moderation, such as coconut oil (and avocado oil), your health will maintain its proper levels of calorie intake per day.

1 comment:

Frederick said...

Hello Raine,

Thank you so much for making clear the distinction between coconut oil (CNO) and most other fats or oils. Most people just mention CNO as an artery-clogging saturated fat, no different from animal fats, etc.

Yes, the predominant fat molecule found in coconut oil, medium chain fatty acids (MCFA), are unique and don't behave like long chain fatty acids (LCFA) commonly found in almost all other dietary oils and fats.

MCFA-rich coconut oil is essentially PRO-Energy, NOT PRO-Fat.

Great post!

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