Good Fats…Bad Fats…it can be very confusing to many of us. But despite a growing understanding of fats—what makes a good fat or a bad fat and why your body absolutely needs fat—there are still a number of myths and misunderstandings out there I need to make clear.
For example, a number of people in the mainstream medical profession still cling to the notion that saturated fats are bad for you. And in doing so, they actually try to scare you away from enjoying the benefits of some of the healthiest fats available.
Coconut and palm oils contain a unique kind of saturated fat—medium chain triglycerides (MCTs).
These fatty acids have a shorter molecular structure than most fats. They also burn in the body at a faster rate. What’s most interesting is that these MCTs provide your body with a number of health benefits.
Put Your Heart On Vacation!
Palm oil, long demonized for being high in saturated fats, actually helps to improve your cholesterol profile. You likely already know that you have two main types of cholesterol—one that can contribute to heart disease and one that protects against it. Well, palm oil helps to lower your bad cholesterol and raise your good.
The fats in coconut oil are more stable than the fats you find in other vegetable derived oils. These fats aren’t damaged when you cook with them. And they are less prone to oxidation in your body. These two facts together make coconut oil one of the healthiest oils for your heart.
Other Health Advantages You Achieve With MCTs!
Using palm and coconut oils as a regular part of your diet can give you other advantages too.
Remember, your body burns MCTs at a faster rate than fats from other vegetable oils. This can mean a boost to your metabolism, which can help to promote weight loss. In one study, researchers had subjects supplement with either long-chain fatty acids or a combination of long-chain and medium chain fatty acids. The group receiving the medium chain fatty acids lost body fat and built lean muscle compared with the other group.
In other animal studies, researchers have found that MCTs help the liver to function better and help to prevent the build up of fatty tissues within the liver.
Because of its stability and its pleasant flavor, I highly recommend that you switch to coconut oil when it comes to cooking. (When choosing a coconut oil, look for one that has not been hydrogenated.) This switch will benefit your heart and your whole body.
Mark Rosenberg, MD