Coconut oil produces ketones with healthy effects

Coconut oil is derived from the coconut fruit. It is considered one of the tropical oils along with palm oil.

Unlike many other fats and oils, coconut oil is unique due to its high percentage of saturated fat. The intake of saturated fats is widely thought to promote plaque development and increase the risk of heart disease, but the evidence supporting this belief is weak at best.

Recent evidence from comprehensive critical reviews has shown that increasing saturated fat intake is not associated with an increased risk for heart disease. Saturated fat intake has little to do with whether saturated fat gets stored in the body–that is driven more by excessive carb intake. So, as long as carb intake is relatively low, you don’t need to be concerned with consuming saturated fat. In fact, saturated fat is a good fuel, makes foods more palatable, pleasurable, and promotes satiety. 

Moreover, coconut oil contains a unique blend of saturated fat. Most saturated fats are 14 to 18 carbons, but medium chain fatty acids are 12 carbons or less and are found in high amounts in some foods like coconut oil. Medium chain fatty acids have really interesting properties. They are not stored in appreciable amounts in the body and are promptly burned as fuel. Medium chain fats are broken down so rapidly, it results in increased production of ketones. This may explain much of their therapeutic value in managing neurological conditions like seizures, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. Emerging research links elevated levels of ketones with positive effects on a number of neurological diseases, not to mention management of obesity, pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and even some cancers.

Consider cooking or baking with coconut oil as a substitute for not-so-healthy high omega-6 oils such as safflower, sunflower and corn oil. For athletes on lower carb diets looking for sustained energy, take 1-2 tablespoons (130-260 calories) before exercise. For mental or neurological benefits, consider 1-2 tablespoons per day.

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