A few years back Coconut Oil became the preeminent miracle cure for everything from dry skin to weight loss and has permanently solidified itself as a staple of many American's homes. Unfortunately to capitalize on this new found momentum, many magazines, websites, and corporations have convinced people to use coconut oil as a remedy for problems it's not qualified to fix. So what are you left with after sifting through this agenda driven propaganda and technical jargon? Well to answer that we're going to address the usefulness of coconut oil in its 3 most popular applications.
#1 Is Coconut Oil an Effective Skin Moisturizer
Short Answer: No…because you could do so much better!
Long Answer: This is probably the most popular use of coconut oil today. Coconut oil is cheap, well marketed, and present in almost every consumer level product on grocery store shelves. But just like your mom always used to say “Just because all your friends jumped off a cliff, doesn't make coconut oil a good moisturizer”... ok so that might not of been an exact quote, but that doesn't make it any less accurate! The main reason that coconut oil just isn't good for your skin is the fact that it scores an average of 4 on most comedogenic scales! After the shock of this soul crushing news starts to wane and you're able to speak again the next logical questions is… What in the world is a comedogenic scale? I'm glad you asked! Google defines it as this: “A comedogenic scale is a rating scale that goes from zero to five. Oils with a rating of zero won't clog pores, and oils with a rating of five are highly likely to clog pores.” This means that coconut oils consistent rating of 4 means that it is moderately likely to clog pores. With this in mind at Bare Skin Spa we recommend avoiding breakouts, and optimizing moisturization by choosing an oil that ranks lower. Three of our favorites are Argan Oil ( 0 on scale ), Hemp Seed Oil ( 0 on scale ) or Grapeseed Oil ( 2 on scale ).
#2 Is Coconut Oil an Effective Cooking Ingredient
Short Answer: Yes...if you buy the good stuff
Long Answer: I'm going to get some hard news out of the way first, I hope you're sitting down… Coconut oil is a saturated fat! (Gasp!) Now that we ripped off that band-aid let me say this, not all saturated fats are created equal. In fact coconut oil contains lauric acid, a type of saturated fatty acid that -- although it does raise cholesterol levels -- mainly increases HDL, the healthy type of cholesterol that you want to be high. As far as actual cooking effectiveness is concerned, coconut oil, being a saturated fat can handle much higher temperatures than polyunsaturated (most vegetable oils) without losing its beneficial properties! On top of all that, it also gives a smooth texture and enhances the delicious taste of whatever dish you use it in. Just like any other ingredient though, its beneficial qualities are truly based on the quality of the ingredient itself. To get the optimal taste and health benefits out of your coconut oil, make sure only to purchase organic extra virgin coconut oil!
#3 Is Coconut Oil Effective For Weight Loss
Short Answer: Yes…if used in moderation
Long Answer: The better your metabolism the more efficiently your body burns calories, and the fundamental principal of weight loss is burning more calories than you consume on a daily basis. Coconut oil is one of the few oils that is made up almost entirely of Medium Chain Fatty Acids. Translated into english this means that your body metabolizes coconut oil exponentially more efficiently than olive oil, butter and similar oils. This means that the calories in coconut oil will cause less weight gain than most other oils. Coconut oil is also digested thermogenically by our bodies. This means that eating it tends to increase energy expenditure (fat burning). That’s right! Research suggests that the calories in coconut oil not only do not accumulate as much fat, but it can actually help burn calories consumed from other sources as well. With all that in mind though, it's still a fatty oil and should not be consumed in excess if weight loss is your goal.
Coconut oil is just like any other product on the planet, it's good at some things and terrible at others. Knowing this doesn't diminish the quality of coconut oil it just brings our expectations of it back down to earth. I hope this article has helped you make a more educated decision on when, where, and how to integrate coconut into your daily routine. For more helpful hints, and professional advice from the self care industry, subscribe to the Bare Skin Spa Newsletter. Thank you for reading!
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