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Sunday, November 10, 2013

EZee Health - Coconut Oil, Part I - Weight Lost and Energy Booster

By now everyone have read or heard how good is the Coconut Oil and how beneficial is for our health and beauty. I don't really know where I'm using it more often - in the kitchen or in my bedroom...I use it for everything. I almost don't fry, but when I really have to, I would always chose Extra Virgin, Cold Pressed Coconut Oil before any other. Using Coconut Oil can help with your overall health and even contribute positively in your weight lost program.

I've read lots of articles naming the benefits and 100+ ways to use the Coconut oil, but hardly any describes the reasons behind. Here I've put together a somewhat detailed article on why it is so special. I hope you will find it useful.

But first lets go back in time and see how the Coconut Oil lost it's leading status...

The truth is, it’s not news. Ancient cultures have praised the virtues of coconut oil for centuries. Natives of tropical climes have used coconut oil since the dawn of time, and the rest of us are rapidly catching on. Historically, coconuts and their extracted oil have served man as important foods for thousands of years. The use of coconut oil as a shortening was advertised in the United States in popular cookbooks at the end of the 19th century. Both the health-promoting attributes of coconut oil and those functional properties useful to the homemaker were recognized 100 years ago.

But during the World War II, the Japanese military occupied the Philippines and other South Pacific islands, where bloody battles were being fought. The once-plentiful supplies of Coconut oil were cut off, and especially in the USA. Instead, the big edible oil manufacturers had to come up with different sources for producing cooking oils. By the end of the war there were lots of money at stake and the coconut oil was demonized as an artery clogger.

By the end of the 1950's, public opinion had turned totally against saturated fats like butter (and coconut oil). Saturated fats were blamed for raising cholesterol, and cholesterol was now viewed as the evil enemy, the culprit responsible for the steep rise in heart disease. With the help of the edible oil industry lobbying in the United States (quoting Ancel Key's articles, 1953-1957 on saturated fats), federal government dietary goals and guidelines were adopted incorporating this mistaken idea that consumption of saturated fat was causing heart disease. This anti-saturated fat issue became the agenda of government and private agencies in the US and to an extent in other parts of the world.

The Truth about Coconut Oil 

Coconut oil consists almost entirely of saturated fat -- about 92% -- which sounds pretty bad on the surface. But not all saturated fats are created equal. As the old saying goes, "some are more equal than others". Coconut oil actually helps you lose weight and stay healthy in ways that no other fat can match. These benefits are directly related to its chemical structure or more precisely the length of the fatty chains.

Coconut oil is nature's richest source of these healthy Midium-chain Fatty Acids (MCFAs). By contrast, most common vegetable or seed oils are comprised of long chain fatty acids (LCFAs). These LCFAs are by comparison more difficult for the body to break down and require special enzymes for digestion. This puts more strain on the pancreas and the liver and the digestive system in general. LCFAs are easily stored as fat and more commonly can be deposited at the arteries in lipid forms such as Cholesterol.  On the other hand the MCFAs in the Coconut oil are directly sent to your liver and easily converted into energy, without need of any special enzymes. Easily digested, they don't apply stress to your digestive system and actually stimulate your metabolism and thus support your weight loss.

Coconut Oil's Natural "Miracle" Ingredient: Lauric Acid

You've probably heard that breast milk is jam-packed with nutrients and disease-fighting ingredients that help keep babies healthy. Besides coconut oil, the only other source of lauric acid is mother's milk. Lauric acid is critical for infants because it's the only protection they have until their immune systems develop. When you think about it, that fact speaks volumes about the power of lauric acid - it keeps babies healthy even in the absence of the immune system! That's why coconut oil is a critical ingredient in healthy milk formulas. The lauric acid in coconut oil is used by the body to make the same disease-fighting fatty acid, that babies get from their mothers' milk.

Unfortunately, in the past 50 years the modern everyday diet have seen increase in consumption of the partially hydrogenated trans-containing vegetable oils and a decreasing amount of the lauric acid-containing oils. This type of change in diet has an effect on the fatty acids the body has available for metabolic activities.

The lauric acid in coconut oil is one effortless way to help strengthen your immune system.

Coconut Oil and Cooking

Coconut oil is good for cooking, because saturated fat is not harmed by heat -- unlike unsaturated oils. Through all this post I'm talking about virgin coconut oil -- oil that has not been refined, bleached, or deodorized. Although none of that processing is necessary, some manufacturers do it anyway, which produces the same problems as those associated with hydrogenated oils. I'm strongly against frying, but whenever absolutely necessary use the Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, as the healthiest choice.

Compliments to

Coconut Oil and Weight Loss

Coconut oil breaks down quickly and is burned for fuel long before it can be stored as fat. That process makes all the difference in the world, not only to your weight. Coconut oil becomes a liquid at 76-degrees Fahrenheit (25-degrees C). So on a warm day, it's liquid in the jar. On cool days, however, it's a white solid. When it's solid, it looks like one of those hard-to-digest fats that might clog up your arteries and end up around your middle. But the difference becomes apparent when you pick up a little and rub it between your fingers. The fat "solid" turns into an oily liquid almost immediately. That reaction hints at how quickly it metabolizes -- how quickly it breaks down to produce energy in your even warmer interior.

Since MCFAs are shorter, they contain less energy. So instead of containing 9 calories per gram like longer saturated fats, they contain a little over 6 calories per gram. That's a bargain, right there. For the same satisfying taste, you save 1/3 the calories over meat and dairy products. But that's just the beginning, because the medium-chain fatty acids tend to be converted into energy, rather than stored as fat.

Replacing other fats with coconut oil means that the rate at which your body stores fat slows down, because more of your dietary fat is metabolized for energy. But beyond that, coconut oil actually increases the rate at which you burn stored fat, even beyond the extra fat you burn simply because you exercise more and work harder. As you grow accustomed to your new energy levels, you'll tend to eat less sugary and starchy foods, because you don't have as much need for them. It's not something you'll have to try to do, either. Your body will make the adaptation naturally.

But wait. There's more! When you've been consuming coconut oil for a while, most of the fat you've stored only contains 2/3 the energy of long-chain fats, because you've been storing medium-chain triglycerides. So whenever your body goes into fat-burning mode as a result of exercise or waiting to eat, it has to burn 1/3 more stored fat to deliver the same amount of energy! It's like getting 60 minutes of exercise for the price of only 40 -- another great bargain.

The process might take less time, than you think, too. Fat stores are actually dynamic. Fat doesn't just sit there like a lump. Every day, your body releases the fatty acids it contains and replaces it with new fatty acids it receives. So the fat in your body actually turns over every 2-3 weeks! Of course most of us tend to put on more fat than taking off, but the issue here is we are usually putting more on the partially hydrogenated soybean oil (LCFAs) than saturated fats. Just eliminating the trans fats tends to stabilize your weight. "Partially hydrogenated oil" on a food label generally means soybean oil, and soybean oil adds an additional problem of its own -- it inhibits the thyroid's ability to produce the hormones we need to burn fat, generate energy, and carry on the processes of life. When the thyroid isn't operating properly, your body's metabolism is lowered, so you store fat instead of burning it. And you don't want to exercise, because you don't have the energy. So you just naturally gain weight.

Summary of Weight Loss Benefits
To sum it all up, coconut oil reduces your fat calories by a third, tends to be burned for energy rather than stored as fat, promotes the metabolism of stored fat, and keeps your thyroid firing on all cylinders. And since you're more energetic, you tend to exercise more and work harder, so you burn even more fat.

The Miracle Energizer and Fatigue Fighter

Coconut oil energizes you for most of the same reasons that it promotes weight loss. It has even been effective in treating Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

The increased energy induced by coconut oil occurs for a variety of reasons:

  • Coconut oil's MCFAs are converted to energy packets in the liver, and burned for fuel. 
  • Because it provides a richer, longer-lasting source of energy, it makes it relatively easy to reduce or eliminate sugar dependence. 
  • When you remove the sugary snacks and refined flour products from your diet: You eliminate the sudden drops of energy that make you hungry enough to eat a horse and tired enough to go to sleep wherever you're standing. 
  • You burn fat stores more readily, which evens out your metabolism. 
  • You stop using up insulin and minerals like chromium that are needed to process the sugar and starch, so you don't create a deficiency that incapacitates your energy-production systems. 
  • Finally, coconut oil offloads the immune system. Since the immune system needs less fuel, more energy is available for your brain and muscular activity.

How to Increase the Coconut Intake

About 3-1/2 tablespoons of coconut oil per day is recommended for good health.

The best way to get the recommended amount is to take a tablespoon with every meal, because it gives you an energy lift that makes coffee unnecessary and curbs your appetite!

The simplest way to take coconut oil is to replace dairy products with it in your diet:

  • When cooking or baking, use coconut oil whenever the recipe calls for butter, margarine, or shortening. 
  •  Use coconut oil as a dairy substitute in coffee or herbal tea, where it produces a rich, creamy taste. 
  • Mix with raw milk, cream, fruit smoothie, vegetable juice, cottage cheese, or yogurt. 
  •  Add "Sweetened Coconut Milk" to your breakfast oats.
One can organic coconut milk,
1/2 can of water,
2 tablespoons of honey,
Pinch of sea salt.

Mix at room temperature and chill. Add to oats, hot chocolate, coffee. Thant's the easy way to make the coconut milk. The even healthier way is from the real coconut flesh, as if you are preparing the almond milk.

I'm sure will come up with many other ways to sneak some coconut oil into your meals. Feel free to share.  

In Part II I'll cover the topical, anti-bacterial and healing properties of the Coconut Oil. It can replace most of your medicine cabinet, energize you, and make you slimmer in the bargain. And of course I'll share many beauty secrets in using the Coconut Oil, home made 100% organic and natural remedies.

Continue to Coconut Oil, Part II, The Miracle Medicine

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